The phone rings.

“Escort desk. How can I help you?”

“We have a placenta for you to take to the lab.”

I arrive, carrying a tray and a pair of gloves. The receptionist points to a door and says, “The placenta is in there” – a short pause – “it’s a heavy one.”

On the counter sits a small white bucket, loosely wrapped with a plastic bag. It looks more than anything like take-out curry and I wonder whether I might be accidentally taking someone’s lunch in for processing. I pick it up. It is warm. I am not sure what the weight of a more average placenta feels like, but I decidedly don’t want to know.


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