Tuesday, July 13, 2010


            All this time since Joshua was born Michelle hasn’t stopped bleeding. She slowly, over the last few weeks, did all the blood tests the doctors asked her to, but I was worried. The doctor’s office was completely busy, and Michelle seemed to keep getting pushed to the next week, because, hey, a woman bleeding a bit after birth seems pretty normal, right?
            Finally, the bleeding started to smell like rotting flesh, and Michelle called the overbooked doctor’s office with an edge of intensity they finally took seriously enough to book her that very day. I’m so thankful, because it turns out she had a piece of the placenta still stuck in there, “The size of a walnut,” Michelle told me.
            I shudder now even just thinking of it.
            How terrible that she had to deal with that drain on her system for these last five weeks. But how great that they finally got it out and her body can now recover. I’ve heard that there can be all sorts of after-effects to childbirth. Postpartum depression. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Postpartum Feeling Fat (a particularly heinous disorder – of course you’re not slim! You just had a baby! Explain that to an emotional woman, I dare you).
            But I think a reluctant placenta should make the list. Imagine if the doctor hadn’t gotten it out! Actually, no, don’t imagine it. Ooh, I’m starting to feel sick. I’d better stop writing. 

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