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The Power of the Placenta | Eloísa Pérez-Lozano

"The placenta is the least understood human organ and arguably one of the more important, not only for the health of a woman and her fetus during pregnancy but also for the lifelong health of both."

- National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

 

 

Before swallowing

liters and liters of white

from my breasts

all you saw was red.

 

The walls of my placenta, stretched

growing with and for you

state of the (he)art tissue to

enwrap you in prenatal embrace.

 

In the beginning, it led me

to new depths of exhaustion

as I created this original organ

a humble home for you.

 

But like you, it grew stronger

protecting you from the outside world

your eyes not yet ready to see

your ears only hearing echoes.

 

It watched over the production of 

of protective proteins, allowed your cells

to seep into my system, leaving your mark

 in me for years after you left.

 

We were bound by its cord

translucent with veins pulsing

the purple-red of life into you

until your first breath of air.

 

And now my arms hold you close

and my breasts deliver what you need

into your rooting, hungry mouth

as I raise you in this, our outside world.

 

Eloísa Pérez-Lozano (she/her) writes poems and essays about Mexican-American identity, women’s issues, and motherhood. She graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. in psychology and an M.S. in journalism and mass communications. A Best of the Net-nominated writer, her work has been featured in "The Texas Observer," "Houston Chronicle," "Houston Public Media," and "MUTHA Magazine," among others. She lives with her family in Houston, Texas.

 

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