I Kept My Baby’s Umbilical Cord
When the nurses brought my oldest daughter back from the nursery shortly before we were scheduled to be discharged from the hospital, they pointed out all of the items we could take home from her crib.
“Here's her comb,” they said. “And her umbilical cord clamp. We took it off, so her actual umbilical cord should fall off in about a week!”
I nodded dutifully and tucked the clamp away in my “baby book stash” that had already secretly started to accumulate.
After following all of the instructions and carefully cleaning her with a sponge bath, night after night, her umbilical cord finally fell off one day as I towel dried her baby powder-fresh skin.
With no warning, and with such an uneventful end to the life-sustaining part of the literal bond between us, I found myself oddly attached to that little piece of her umbilical cord.
And I didn't know what to do with it.
Should I throw it away? Where would I put it? Was it weird that I felt like I couldn't (or shouldn't) throw it away? It was a piece of my baby!
Conflicted, I stuffed her umbilical cord in a little plastic baggie, told myself that it was there if she ever wanted to see proof that she had once actually liked me when the teenage years hit, and promptly forgot about it.
Until recently, when we were going through her baby box (she's 4 now), I was slightly horrified to find the dark, shriveled-up piece of cord. As a mom of three kids now, I can definitely say that I haven't felt the least bit of need to keep my other children's umbilical cords.
But there was just something about my first baby that made me want to treasure each and every part of her babyhood.
And that's not something I regret. Although, I admit, it was kind of weird.
How about you? Would you – did you – keep your baby’s umbilical cord?