Yesterday was Placenta Day.
For us, that is, not nationally. This was the name we gave to the last day of the fourth trimester—the first three months of life during which infants develop from little blobs of burpy sleep to babies who move, digest, and have personalities.
To celebrate, I dug a two foot hole in the back of the garden. In it, we threw Felix’s placenta, which had to this point been cooling out in the freezer next to some hamburger patties. As I ripped off the biohazard bags that had frozen into a series of skins around the red ball, my hands became sticky with thawed blood. Almost immediately upon hitting the warm August air the placenta, hard as an ice cube, began steaming. It released the dark, tangy smell of Felix’s birth, and with it, a lot of memories.
S filmed me covering the placenta with dirt, while I rambled about how cool it was that her body made an entire organ just to support and nourish Felix, which will now feed the garden—the same pocket of land S played in as a child and that our son will enjoy as soon as he gains a little trunk control and hand-eye coordination.
“And that is all I have to say about that,” I said, abruptly concluding my wonderful oration, as the camera rolled on. Then S ran off to deal with Felix—crying because of a mosquito bite—and I plopped a plant down to cap the hole and mark the spot. The ceremony, such as it was, had come to a close.
In the attempt to be more articulate, I’ve thought long and hard about ways to top this account off. The blog as a whole, I mean, not this post specifically. But any final analysis implies a conclusion, while this is just a beginning. Two weeks from now, S will be back to work and I’ll be at home, caring for Felix. I can’t wait.
In part, I can’t wait to just get started with this new period in our lives so that I can stop feeling nervous about it. I look forward to Felix and I falling into a pattern together, and to S and I to adjusting to the new time commitments and strains her return to employment will likely put on our relationship. Financially, I worry about the thin margins we’ll be living within and about finding a way to contribute to our budget. Personally, I hope to eventually conclude one of my writing projects, either the novel I worked so hard on in school or the family history/memoir I dove into a few weeks ago. There’s a lot of change, and many unknowns.
But mostly I’m excited to spend time with this wonderful little kid who’s already taught me so much about myself and the world, and who’s opened me up emotionally in ways I never ever would have anticipated as a non-parent. Looking back on old posts feels like reading the work of another man. The cliché is true about how kids change your life, providing markers by which you measure your years. That was before I had children. This is after.
Maybe I’ll decide to keep broadcasting my adventures in fatherhood to the world at large. But for now, I’ve reached the end of my blog, the end of my “to-be”ness. Now it’s time to just be a daddy and spend time with my son.
Thanks for reading!