Still, it’s been interesting how my friends have been changed by parenthood. Or rather, how beneath the veneer of high heels, make-up and ambition most of us seem to have similar ideas on the subject of breastfeeding, slings and co-sleeping (pro on all three counts). To be honest, my views are largely that the ‘natural’ approach coincides with what seems logical and sensible. Feed the baby what we evolved to feed it and keep it close. We’re just animals after all.
The theme of this weeks column is about what is natural and normal. And something natural and normal (within the animal kingdom) is eating your placenta. For the squeamish, my fabulously pregnant friend Samantha* sent me the link to a company that can provide the kit so you can dry it and make it into easy to swallow tablets at home. DIY vitamins just went hardcore!
Now Samantha’s argument is partly that eating your placenta stops predators smelling blood and coming to eat you and your babies so possibly not necessary in 21st Century Britain among humans. Similarly I got a bit anemic this year and rather than drink and bathe in the blood of serfs like Erzabet, Countess of Bathory (no single links covers this fascinating woman enough for my tastes so please spent half an hour looking into her bizarre story) who quite possibly got genuine health benefits from the replacement of lost iron in her body or go low key and drink my own menstrual blood I take a supplement. It lacks a degree of drama but doesnt scare the builders. And I get points from Boots!
I guess I just think that while placenta is quite possibly a superfood, I can probably manage without it (not that this will stop the fiancé and I from serving pate with Chianti at every dinner party for the following year and winking at our guests). Breastfeeding is commonly agreed to be natural and normal, making your own placenta pills is definitely in the “quirky” camp. Where do you draw the line between sensible and crazy hipppie? Co-sleeping is fairly contentious for example. Why do I see keeping your baby close as a good thing (I know I sleep better with another heartbeat in the room) but washable nappies as sounding like far too much like hard work?
The idea of natural and normal reared its head also on this mumsnet thread about face slapping. I doubt many of you will want to read the whole thing, in which case I want to include the gem of a link to the 80s where Victoria Wood sings ‘Beat me on the bottom with my Woman’s Weekly.’
I was quite staggered by the fear and disgust people can have of something they aren’t into. I mean, I get that people read comics in their thirties and wagon spot (such people are apparently teased by the “cool” trainspotters) but frankly I don’t care. Now, I’m not going to pretend I’m vanilla because far too many of you have spoken to me about my love of underwear and I’ve posted a picture of my corset so obviously I’m not a pack of five big pants from M&S and sex with the lights off kind of girl but equally I’m not on the scene. While I have an interest in attending SWAMP, when it comes to it what really turns me on is the idea of the fiancé with a pizza, some good red wine and Dr Who in the telly.
Sorry to let you down there Delphi sweetheart x
So I see myself as a bit on the fence. I’m fully aware of a quite extraordinary range of sexual practises and the fiancé used to send me video clips in a ‘do you reckon you could do this’ kind of way as (I think) a form of flirtation.** But equally, I don’t think I’m skewing the bell curve of British sexual practises and frequency.
A bit like the breastfeeding but disposable nappies please. A nod towards hippie values in a Tory household and a... ok mentioning being a Tory in a blog about sex no matter what I say now you’re going to assume I have him tied to the radiator and am hitting him with a Dulux**** paint chart whilst I type.
I’m in a bit of a corner here.
Just... what is natural and normal is subjective m’kay.
* She was also pretty fabulous when barren of womb (note to self: stop reading links to Daily Mail articles, you’re using their psycho- misogynistic language in irony now but they will slowly destroy your capacity for thought).
** Answer: What the fuck, I’m not a gymnast! I’ll try anything twice*** but you get I’m a short dumpy Yorkshire lass right?
*** Did you like olives the first time you tried them? Exactly, give it a few goes.
**** I wasn’t brand loyal prior to Charlie but I love the colours in the house and who am I to argue with my (amazing – if you need one USE CHARLIE) decorator?