So, uh, this is… different. (That’s the line my dad uses anytime I tell him something weird.) Consider yourself warned, because you can’t un-see this: Apparently there’s a new trend of saving your baby’s umbilical cord and twisting it into a work of art.
The umbilical cord—which connects your baby to all the important nutrients, blood and oxygen flowing from your placenta in utero—is clamped shortly after birth and the stump usually dries up and falls off, painlessly, within a week or two.
Some parents, however, are holding onto their kids’ cords and transforming them into keepsakes. Get your Umbilical Cord Art Pinterest board ready—these are really something:
I think umbilical cords are cool because the biological ability to grow and sustain a small human is amazing, but these mementos look like something your little one could accessorize with at Coachella 2034.
And, excuse me, are these umbilical cord dreamcatchers for sale? Whose belly-buttons are these?! Do the babies know that one of their body parts has been harvested and is for sale on the Internet? What even is life.
I’m the crystal-wearing vegetarian hippie of the office and this still feels all sorts of no.
My mom actually did save the crumbly remains of my 30-year-old umbilical cord stump: it’s still nestled in my baby book, tucked inside a yellowing Hallmark envelope. As a kid, I used to sit cross-legged on the floor, stroking the strands of hair saved from my first haircut and peering in at that shrivelled piece of myself. I think the difference is that I got to choose when I wanted to see it, and it wasn’t on display as art. It was private. My friends didn’t have to be subjected to it. I didn’t have to explain or apologize or feel embarrassed about it.
So parents, you do you—I’m not judging at all. But I am kind of baffled (and quietly gagging) at this body-part-transformed-into-decor trend.
Did you save your baby’s umbilical cord? If so, how?