You’ve probably seen the usual – statues of mothers and goddesses, ripe and round, smooth surfaces, pristine images of a demure woman embracing a newborn infant who is gently suckling at her breast… something like that. The focus is usually on the birthing person and the child, fruit of their labour (literally). But I would like to talk about the other passenger of the womb, the star of the last stage of the birth process: the placenta. This incredible organ is created specifically for the baby in the womb and is composed of the DNA from both the mother and father.
The placenta is not usually one of the celebrated parts of pregnancy and childbirth, nor does it elicit the same excited questions that usually get asked of the baby:
“Omigosh, so perfect!”
“How much did it weigh?? Wow, that’s a good size!” “How long did you have to push for?!”.
This particular print is from the birth story of one of the toughest mothers I’ve ever met. Faced with past birth experiences of difficult pregnancies, families across great distances, unplanned interventions, serious health complications, hospitalizations, etcetera… holding her hand in my left and my Starbucks Birthday Drink in the other, as we both pray for strength and how could we possibly know that, less than a year later, another child would be carried to term safely and joyfully? They welcomed Sukma Rengganis earlier this month, with myself, their doula, cracking jokes with the nurse and cheering them on. The little girl’s names are also chosen with so much intention: essentially, “a soul / spirit, for whom we wish that life is sweetened”.
*placenta artwork is on 11”x15” watercolour paper; medium is acrylic paint and ink; sealed with Dorland’s Wax Medium. Each print is a customized, commissioned add-on product that Mira offers to her birth clients; please contact her directly to inquire more!
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