I've been reading Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born by Tina Cassidy in the past week, and it's very good. I think I have a interest in medical history in general, since I am both a hypochondriac and thankful that medical practices aren't as fucked up as they were a hundred years ago. Also, since one of my friends here is preggers, I was more inspired to read it since I honestly don't know much about childbirth.
Now I'm a fountain of facts! Did you know that the first successful caesarian section in America was performed in Staunton, Virginia, just a half-hour from where I went to college? I didn't! (I also learned what a c-section actually involved. Yikes.) I think most people I know are kind of tired of me giving them unsolicited obstetric information, but I can't help it! I love facts! Basically, the book has kind of demystified childbirth for me and made me a little jealous that I can't have a baby. (Damn my penis!)
Katy has this running joke that I'm going to be in the delivery room with her when she gives birth so that I can deliver the placenta. Now, just because I've started to become fascinated with birth doesn't mean that I'd really want to do that. After all, I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' babies, and I have a long history of passing out when I'm around blood and needles. (True story: when two female friends of mine got their navels pierced on New Years Eve, I lost consciousness. And I wasn't even watching it happen. Imagine what would happen if I saw little Google popping out of her mother's vagina!)
This morning the issue came up again (on GChat, natch). I told Katy that I'd deliver her placenta if she agreed to eat it (I'm currently in the middle of the chapter on the postpartum period). She refused, saying that it was too disgusting. Even Adam, who is never on my side, thought it was a good compromise; he reasoned that she would even stand to gain something out of the situation, whereas I won't get anything out of removing her placenta. To entice Katy, I found some recipes:
1 fresh, ground, or minced placenta, prepared as above
2 tblspns olive oil
2 sliced cloves garlic
1/2 tspn oregano
1/2 diced onion
2 tblspns tomato paste, or 1 whole tomato
Method: use a recipe for lasagne and substitute this mixture for one layer of cheese. Quickly sauté all the ingredients in olive oil. Serve. Enjoy!
Placenta Spaghetti Bolognaise
1 fresh placenta, prepared as above
1 tblspn butter
1 large can tomato puree
2 cans crushed pear tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 tblspn molasses
1 bay leaf
1 tblspn rosemary
1 tspn each of: salt, honey, oregano, basil, and fennel
Method: cut the placenta meat into bite-sized pieces, then brown quickly in the butter and olive oil. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 1-1.5 hours. Serve. Yummy!
Again, Katy said she wanted to vomit, but I really think that's because she has a baby inside her. Surprisingly, Megan also reacted with disgust, even though I told her that this was a meat product she can eat! Tina Cassidy writes, "[Vegetarians] considered the placenta to be sacred, and, of course, because the organ gave life and nothing was killed to put it on the table, it was considered an honor to eat it." Alas, she was not interested.
I think I'd probably eat if given the chance, probably only to be contrary and freak out all of my friends who still can't believe that I like scrapple and dirty martinis.