My first home. My mother’s uterus.

I received my first home. A place that nurtured my existence until I was ready for the world. I am forever grateful for that first home, my mother’s uterus. To ease any concerns, my mom’s uterus is perfect. It has no disease, no tumors, there was nothing wrong that she had to have it removed. My mom chose to have her uterus taken out of her body. My mom’s reproductive organs have always been healthy and free of disease. While the uterus removal was elective, it was necessary for the type of repair to other organs.

Now, the story:

As I said goodbye to my mom at a Christmas party last year she leaned in and said, “I’m having a hysterectomy.” I squealed with delight and immediately said, “can I have it?” Then quickly realized what my mom really said and horror filled me. “What? Why? What happened? Are you sick?” And on and on came the questions. After she assured me she and her uterus were fine, she said it was elective in order to repair other issues. So I asked again, “can I have your uterus?” I am pretty sure she was stunned and maybe a little repulsed but said we can talk about it later. Later came and she had settled into the idea of giving me her uterus as long as it was ok with the doctors. (Watch Wendi lose her shit.) WHAT? It’s your uterus. You own it. No one can tell you what you can and can not do with YOUR uterus. Convincing my mom she had to be bold and ask for it was a process. She had to realize that no one else could tell them, but her, what to do with her uterus because she was the owner. And she did it. She asked and rolled her eyes using her crazy midwife daughter as the excuse. I was happy to be the scape goat but in those moments the thought started – why are we so disconnected from our bodies? Why is it wrong or shameful or even disgusting to ask for our body?

In the last few years, bringing your placenta home after birth has become a normal conversations in certain communities. I rejoice that people are honoring this organ that literally gave life to the baby they grew inside of their body. But what about all the other parts of is that help us live our life to the fullest? What about all the sacred wombs that are carelessly, thoughtlessly discarded to the incinerator with out a moment of thanks or praise. Not my home. Not my mom’s uterus.

My dad retrieved the uterus from the hospital days after the surgery because “it had to go to pathology.” It actually didn’t “have” to but I did not want to tackle that as well. My mom had already been brave to ask for it, didn’t want her to fight the battle of it not going to pathology. Anyway, back to my dad. My dad was pretty disgusted and even put it in the back seat as he drove so not to have to think about what was in the car with him. Again, the sad thought of how we have become so disconnected.

I opened it up with some hesitation of what I might see. The fluid it was in was murky and tinged a red-brown. The biggest shock, that I was not prepared for, was so many pieces floating around. It was hacked to shreds. Emotions were bubbling so I wrapped it back up and tucked it away until I could have enough time to actually sit with my home. Awhile later I found the moment. I took my mama’s uterus and I sat under the trees in my front yard and I unpacked it all. As I lifted each and every piece, I wept. I wept and wept and wept. There was so much flooding my mind. Gratitude for my first, warm home of love. Horror of what our medical system does to precious organs. Grief at our disconnectedness with body and life. Wonder that my midwife hands could hold a uterus. Curious about all the parts. Astonishment at how small and how old this uterus looked. But mostly just overwhelming honor at this organ that produces, sustains, and protects life. I wept for quite awhile until I could not resist the urge to put it back together. This poor, torn apart, shredded, sliced up flesh. My midwife hands aches to put it back together. I ran into my office and grabbed my sutures and instruments and began to work. I sutured for hours. Some pieces were easy to put together, others, literally, impossible. When I felt done enough I placed the finish pieces along with all the random pieces I could not connect in a jar and filled it with formaldehyde. (I am pretty sure you can buy anything on Amazon.)

My first home now sits on my shelf. I am reminded daily to honor all life, all bodies, all things. In a strange way this whole experience was a part of my continued healing. Healing as a woman. Healing as a daughter. Healing in relationships. Healing to my own body. Healing towards my mom. For all of that, my gratitude is beyond comprehension.

 

 

 

 

Placentas. Again.

My student, Mona Ziems, introduced me to this GREAT podcast “The Longest Shortest Time.”  What a fantastic Podcast about parenting and birth and hard conversations with the short people you live with and so much more. I am in love!!!

Their most recent episode “A Childless Man Makes Edible Placenta” is a brilliant breakdown of consuming your placenta. If you ever wanted all the details explained clear as day about that magic organ, it is the best 45 minutes you could spend.

Freedom and the Seed supports families’ decision to do whatever they want with this life giving organ.  Some of our clients plant it with a special tree or rose bush. Others have consumed it in smoothies or various recipes (Spaghetti, Stew, Sushi style, etc…) and still others have discarded it. Whatever the path, please take a moment after birth to revere it. What a miracle the whole process of growing a baby and how utterly amazing the placenta is!

We are also happy to help you process your placenta into capsules, tinctures, chocolates and/or smoothies and meals. Just give us a call – 480.528.1689

Happy Placenta!

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i <3 placentas

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Really. I love placentas. I think they are one of the coolest things women’s bodies make (other than another human).

An entire organ created for the soul purpose of sustaining a life.

Each placenta I get to examine and play with is so unique and individualized.

The color. The thickness. The limbs. The bumps. The shape. The weight. The smell. The amnion. The chorion. The edges. The holes. The calcifications. The infarctions. The arteries. The vein. The Wharton’s Jelly. The length of the cord. The cotyledons. The blood vessels that create the tree of life.

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To spread my love of placentas I offer each of the families I work with a tour of the placenta after birth. I love the ooooooos and the ahhhhhs as I explain this amazing organ. I have siblings put on gloves and feel the different textures. I have had grandmothers who have birthed a dozen babies say “I never knew…”

Because of my fascination and love affair with placentas I started to offer a smoothy directly after birth and encapsulation, tincturing, chocolates, prints, and photos in the days that follow.

I know there is conflicting evidence in the efficacy of consuming your placenta in the days that follow birth. But in my small sample size I have only seen positive results.

If you are interested in all the magnificent things your placenta can do read more on my website…

Placenta-pills

http://www.freedomandtheseed.com/placentas/

So much gratitude!

 

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This year I have SO much to be grateful for!

LOVE is number one. I have so much love in my life I can hardly believe my luck. Family, Friends, Mamas, Papas, Babies, Midwives and the list grows… Especially with all the events of the last year, the outpouring of LOVE was mind-blowing!

May love surround you and hold you and sustain you!

Health. The older I get the more grateful I am for the body I was given. I am exceedingly grateful for the healers surrounding me. Each one has effected my life is huge ways. I desire to be a whole person – body, heart and spirit.

May your health grow stronger everyday!

Midwifery. My passion. My profession. I love what I do everyday for every family. It is a joy and a privilege to bear witness of each life crossing the veil. It is a privilege to witness women and men transformed to mothers and fathers. It is a privilege to be let in to the intimate spaces of so many lives.

May you find your passion and privilege!

Challenges. I am eternally grateful for the challenges in my life because that is when growth will occur. AzDHS, my biggest challenge, I am grateful for you.

May you see your challenges as your biggest blessing!

Possibilities. The future is so bright. I sit and wonder everyday what is next? what is possible? Life is full and rich and exciting!

May all your possibilities be at the forefront of your mind, exciting your very being!

Happy Thanksgiving to ALL!!

Winter Solstice – Remember the Light. Remember the Dark.

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Winter Solstice ~ Dec 22

The changing of the seasons. The recognition of death and life. Light and dark. New and old.

For me, the solstice starts starts my time of reflection in ending of a year, a completion of seasons. What has happened over the past year and laying it to rest, preparing myself for the coming of the new year.

There are so many traditions and celebrations you and your family could enjoy through the Solstice. I have created a short list here along with some great websites to spring board your new traditions…

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  1. Share a meal with friends – Solstice recipes
  2. Be outside – make a wreath with evergreens collected by loved ones on a walk through the woods. Evergreens, it’s said, symbolize the continuity of life, protection, and prosperity.
  3. Light candles – build a circle of candlelight, one for each participant, and then blow them out and sit together in the darkness for a few moments offering gratitude before lighting one central, larger candle to symbolize your unity over the coming year.
  4. Watch the sunrise and sunset – ring a collection of bells at sunrise and sunset
  5. Throw “the longest night of the year party” – how to planfoodmore food, more ideas

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Join us at the FATS office for Winter solstice celebrations!

Tuesday December 1, 12-2pm @ the Gilbert location 323 S Gilbert Rd #209 Gilbert AZ

Friday December4, 10-12pm @ the Phoenix location 115 W McDowell #4B Phoenix AZ

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