Saturday, May 17, 2008

Life Learning

I’m here in England still enjoying the presence of my new little Nephew who was born yesterday. The baby just popped out without time for anyone else to show up. Here in England, people usually have their babies at home (as this one was). Hospital births are more for emergency only. So at home, a mid-wife comes and delivers the baby in one of the rooms. In this case, the baby came so fast that Jen and Steve did the delivery on their own before any of us could even get there.

Besides seeing a cute new baby, I’ve been learning a lot about contractions, , colostrum, and placentas (for non-baby owners, the placenta is the pancake-like membrane that feeds the baby inside the womb and later comes out after the birth). Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of the placenta for any of you, but incidentally, the Chinese will eat the placenta as a part of their cultural family birthing process. Why the Chinese insist on eating every un-eatable thing in existence, I’m not sure. Regardless, the placenta is a seriously protein packed morsel, great for a family picnic or special treat to bring for the kids at a baseball game. For those who are thoroughly intrigued, I looked up a placenta recipe on the internet.

To cook, wash excess blood from the placenta. Place it in a steamer over water. Place with it fresh ginger slices, half a lemon and a hot pepper. Steam for 15 minutes, turn, and steam 15 more minutes until no juice comes out when pricked with a fork. (Steam over low heat, it has a tendency to boil over and that's a mess.) The membranes and cord may be cooked with the placenta. It is helpful to turn the placenta to "Schultz," i.e., wrapped inside the membrane when you cook it. It will shrink tremendously, and wrapped in the membranes makes it easy to deal with for the next step. After steaming, slice the placenta in 1/8" strips, similar to making jerky. Slice as thin as possible. Place the strips on a cookie sheet (over aluminum foil if you're squeamish) and place it in an oven on the lowest possible setting for several hours until completely brittle-dry.

Nice…placenta jerky for the road. Ok, so although I am Chinese, the rest of the family here is white-Caucasian, so I didn’t want to be the only one eating.

I hope someday to have children of my own. The experience of even watching from a distance is life-changing. Especially in this case, I think I would feel more of a man to have the experience of being the only one in the room to deliver a baby (not that I would look forward to it actually happening that way). God is constantly preparing us in life just by letting us observe and to learn to love through those experiences.

Thanks for checking in. I will be blogging more frequently when I get back home on the 22nd of May.

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