The placenta is a miraculous organ. It develops from the same cells your baby does (some cells become an embryo, while others form the placenta). The placenta provides baby with oxygen and nutrients, filters waste, and serves as a barrier against germs. It's essentially your baby's life-support system, and is the only organ created and discarded by the human body. It's also f*cking disgusting. Out of sheer curiosity, I asked dads to describe what a placenta really looks like.
I don't remember too much about delivering my placenta. I think I sneezed, and it came out. However, I vividly recall the biology lesson my midwife gave both me and my husband. She held up what looked like a bag of raw meat from its plastic science laboratory bin, and showed us the sac our baby had been in and the cord that had been the conduit between her and the placenta.
My husband took a picture. Knowing that my sister and I are big weirdos (and that I'd been sharing all my bodily changes over nine months), he texted it to her. When I recently asked him to describe it, he called it, "The second most disturbing thing a man sees when his wife has a baby." He still refuses to tell me the first.
In general, I think moms are more likely to view their afterbirth fondly. After all, their body manifested it into existence and it sustained the precious life growing inside them. Dads? Well, dads have a take that's a little more, shall we say, objective.
"An angry sac of innards. Something that shouldn't be outside of a body while the person is alive."
"It looked kind of like a jellyfish."
"If Slimer from Ghostbusters was red instead of green."
"Ewwwww. I have no clue what it looked like. But ewwww."
"A mess of gloobily goo."
"It looks like a big liver or a squished brain."
"It looks like a vital organ that should've stayed inside the body."
"Haggis, or maybe looks like a bag of skin with cheesy jello. I wish I hadn't seen it."
"It's reddish brown, kinda slimy, and looks like a kidney."
Writer's Note: Tim's wife informs me that his description is scientific because he's been to a lot of autopsies. To which I replied, "Whaaaaat?" Don't worry, dear reader. He's a criminal investigator.
"It looks like something from the Alien movie, when the alien is coming out of one of the eggs."
"I don't recall much about the placenta, except to say that when we had to pick one thing to take home from the operating room, our baby was the clear favorite."
"It looks like a very red, veiny, washed up blobfish. It certainly isn't the most pleasant thing to look at, but neither are a vast majority (all) of our internal organs."
"A placenta resembles the unholy offspring of a human brain and a Walmart bag, descended from a partially dissolved manatee embryo brought to life during the course of a science experiment involving gelatinized pork by-products."