more info as requested
well...I'm not sure what to add so I will just tell our story. after ds was born, we washed his placenta (after the blood congealed) and then hubbie and dd salted it in a diaper w/sea salt. We placed it in a bowl.
The big difference for me was that it really slowed me down....and I am a type-A personality. So I think it was one of the best things for me.....I needed (and wanted) to slow down a lot. It was much trickier holding etc. and I did often look forward to just holding him.....We did seclusion too until his cord fell off (he was born sunday at 9 am after a 4 hour total labor, and his cord fell off early (around 3 am) Thursday)
the stressful part that had me upset was that he kept flailing and pulling on it or kicking it which hurt him. that is why I finally had hubbie try to cut it.....as soon as those scissors closed down I regreted it as I said, anyway it was too tough and he couldn't have done it anyway. But I asked him to stop. I was also worried that it wasnt' healing properly. (It was fine) I think part of me had some remainder guilt from our freebirth--that I shoudn't be able to just birth a healthy baby in a way that wasn't society's way....I needed to be punished.
: this is my analysis anyway.
again as I mentioned, his cord fell off the early the next day. and it healed into a perfect little belly button.
we then placed his placenta ( much more "jerky-like" in appearance than dd's) in the freezer. I want to plant it when we finally do our move out to our own land sometime in the next 10 yrs. DD"s is there too and has followed us all around w/ each of our moves.
oh, and there was no real smell, though we were in a fairly arrid place too.
my hub. and i discussed doing it again....I didn't love it as much as I thought, or maybe as purely as I thought I would. BUT I don't think I could cut another cord either....too alive. I read extensively Jeannine Parvati Baker's booklet that she sells and do feel like it is important....that it imprints them to be able to let go of things (whatever they may be) when they are ready.
and to be honest, ds is a really peaceful and content little boy. we'll see what he's like.
also, I did think it is interesting that the "honor" of the father often is to cut the cord--what kind of honor is that??? hurting the baby and severing it from it's mother?? I think I also read this in JP baker's stuff. It did resonate when I read that... seems all too symbolic given our current patriarchal birthing climate. And my dear hubbie did say that with baby no. one, he didn't want to cut it....as the midwives request. But he did...just another arbitrary rule we followed from teh experts. <sigh> well, that birth paved the way for our next one.
well I hope this answers any questions. I'd be happy to respond to any other questions you had.