When that umbilical cord stump falls out, it’s a bittersweet moment. I’m staring at the last physical remnant that says this little girl, only 8 days ago, was a part of me. She lived off me. And now she’ll never need me quite in the same way. For a brief moment I consider saving it, placing it in a keepsake box in the back of a drawer or photographing it for posterity. I pick it up, tenderly, and decide its fate.

Then I realize I’m looking at this bloody brown clotted stump of nastiness. Ew.

Garbage for you.

If I need a reminder, I’ll just look at her belly button.


42 thoughts on “Milestone”

  1. You sound so post-partum hormonal. But seriously, ewwww! I was so excited when that thing fell off my baby. My mother was there and we both cheered! You will always remember she was a part of you. She will always be a part of you.

  2. I actually considered doing the same thing when my daughter was born back in February. I thought I was the only one who would, for a brief millisecond, think about where I would store that gross little thing. Thank God it wasn’t just me! 🙂

  3. I kept my son’s, but only because it was easy – he spent some time in the hospital after he was born because he was premature, so when his cord stump fell off, the nurses kindly put it in a little sterile container and saved it for me, so I never had to touch it. Otherwise I likely would have had the same reaction! I don’t know where it is today (he’s 5 1/2), but it’s probably in the house somewhere… !!!

  4. Where does the time go? It seems like yesterday that she was born, and now she’s 8 days old, and soon she’ll be a toddler, and finally she’ll go off to college.Shite.

  5. I did the same thing. I can”t remember if those stumps start to stink. The little man’s dried into this glass-like chunk. Um. Ew. Good call. Although I did save all his hair from his first haircut.. maybe that’s just as gross?P.S. – more photos, please…

  6. Okay, I am gross. I saved both of my kids things. However, I could not deal with wiping them with alcohol. Don’t worry, I do not have the placentas in the freezer or buried in the back yard.

  7. Cordy’s came off in little shredded pieces, so there was really nothing to save, even if I had wanted to.Wow, 8 days already? Seems like just yesterday!

  8. My Mouse’s fell off and I’m fairly sure that my cats ate it.I’m still grossed out to this day thinking that that may be what happened.

  9. look, I have friends who still have placentas in their freezers they were going to bury someday. I’m with you on the letting go of body parts that have outlived their usefulness.on the sentimental side, however, I am sighing a little sigh with you. My second grader is losing his baby teeth. Each one that falls out, I think, but it only just came in.Congratulations, Liz. It’s a sweet time. Every happiness.

  10. God, I hope I didn’t save the umbilical cord from any of my kids, although I imagine some day I’ll be going through their momentos and will come across what looks like a piece of dried bacon and will wonder what it is. You were good to throw it out. And, I’m with Mrs Q—photos, please? Pleeeeeeeeeze???????

  11. Yeah, I don’t really get the keeping-the-stump thing. This from the woman who still has her two year old’s placenta in the freezer.

  12. Shit. Does this mean we weren’t supposed to keep it as a mommy reminder to the wee one’s newness and perfection?I have to go find mine and toss them. Mind you, ten years later, I don’t even know if they still exist.The mice might have found them…

  13. I saved my eldest daughters stinky stump, I though it was gross after but I just couldn’t toss it after having saved it. Years later my ten year old son found it and asked what it was, I told him it was daddys third nipple that had fallen off.. should’ve seen the look on his face. PRICELESS. =)~~~great to read that your doing well.

  14. Good for you. Once you save something like that, it can never be thrown away, and you’ll be stuck with a box of brown clotted stump for 18 years.8 days already!

  15. This is exactly how I feel about being the tooth fairy. And, it made me laugh because my Dad was babysitting when Katie’s fell off and he was mortified.You did the right thing.Carrie

  16. I totally romanticized the bloody stump falling off … until I touched it. Ew.I wrote you a big long congratulatory comment when the birth of sweet Sage (excellent name!) was announced. I just went back to read all your other well-wishes and noticed it wasn’t published. I am such a looser.So wishing you an embarassingly belated, but none-the-less completely sincere and totally enthusiastic … CONGRATULATIONS! Sage is a lucky girl to have you for a mom 🙂

  17. I can’t believe you are actually posting. I don’t post for a week when I have a hang nail let along just passed a bowling ball through my vajayjay, which by the way, would have been a sweet name for a baby girl. Just saying.

  18. OK… I’m getting sappy in my old age and I totally saved Goober’s stump.I think… I meant to, at least. Must be here somewhere… Well, it meant so much to me that I lost it. There. I think that sums it up.Congrats on the new baby! She is beautiful and has a beautiful name.

  19. This is the post where I admit I still have my second daughter’s cord in her top dresser drawer. I need to toss it before she finds it, thinks it’s a raisin and eats it.Congrats again on your new baby!

  20. Soooo, my hubby was deployed when I had Helen and I did happen to keep her stump (until he came home). He missed out on seeing her born and all of the sleepless nights- I couldn’t throw the thing out. I presented it to him the first day he got back, totally full of emotion, and expecting him to be excited that I had so thoughtfully saved this tiny peice of her history….He threw it in the trash and asked if I had always been psycho. So much for emotions and first memories

  21. I am totally kacking myself laughing at queenie’s comment.And what on earth do all of you have placentas in your freezer for???

  22. rofl – I didn’t save his stump, but I did save the yellow plastic clip that they tied it off with… now he is a year old, and I’m wondering what to do with it!

  23. LOL, I never felt that bittersweet feeling when my babes lost that yucky thing. I must say some of the comments here are grossing me out! Saving placentas and circumcision remnants? For real? Egads!

  24. I’m with the other easily grossed-out moms here and didn’t even consider saving fallen-off body parts or ejected bloody masses (wtf?). When I was about 8 or 9 I found my mom’s stash of baby teeth from my siblings and I and was completely disgusted.Having said that, I absolutely saved the first locks of cut hair and have proudly pasted them in each baby’s memory book. One day that’ll come back to haunt me I’m sure.

  25. Congratulations on both the baby and the wise decision to appropriately discard the dried stump.Both girls are beautiful and I love Thalia’s free spirit. I wonder where that comes from.? (I couldn’t decide on punctuation, so I went with both.)

  26. Dawson’s umbilical stump fell off after only 4 days and boy did I panic. I was a freaking nut job over that thing. I though for sure his stomach was gonna cave in and really gross things would spew out of it.I cannot believe how irrational I was!I didn’t save the thing. Ick. I’m glady you tossed Sage’s!

  27. I still have the little man’s shriveled up stump in my jewelry box. Whenever I glance in there, I wonder what the heck it is and then I realize. I just couldn’t seem to throw it away. Sentimental, I am. Especially for medical waste.

  28. One of my good friends was looking at a baby book that a co-worker had brought in, when the stump fell out of it. Being the nice woman that she is, she, um, kicked it under a desk before anyone noticed! EWWWW!

  29. I never considered keeping it…but I will admit, when it fell off, I cried. She just seemed so…grown up, all of a sudden. I also cried when she lost her first tooth, which was YEARS later, so I’m guessing those post partum hormones had settled down by then. Now she’s 11, and I’ll probably cry when she starts her period.

  30. I remember feeling LA Toddler’s precious, new, super-soft skin and realizing, “Enjoy it now, kid. You’re going to spend the rest of your life and a large amount of money trying to get your skin this soft again. And it won’t ever happen…”

  31. in japan, the mother keeps the umbilical cord (stump?) as a precious memory of the link between mother and child. in the past, this was a long box (so, a good portion of the cord) which was put away somewhere, perhaps never to be found again.being married to a japanese man and having given birth in japan, i have both of my children’s umbilical cord (just a piece). the clinic where i gave birth considerately cut off a piece a few days after birth and then saved it for me in a little plastic box. i don’t have to look at it unless i want to.anecdote time: my son’s stump fell off the morning of the day we left the clinic (five days after he was born; this is common in japan). my daughter’s, however, took more than a week to come off. when it did, i was nursing her. when i stood up after finishing, it fell to the floor and i was concerned. when i realized what it was, i was all for throwing it away (i already had a piece for goodness sake!) but my MIL who was ‘helping’ insisted that i should keep it. i tried to convince her that i didn’t need it but…so, i have two pieces of my daughter’s umbilical cord. lucky me.

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