I was lucky with my hair loss (not something I thought I’d ever say) because it wasn’t erratic. Yes, a ton was falling out, but at least it was falling out evenly so there wasn’t one spot that was more noticeable. Besides Follicle Mountain that emerged in my drain after every shower, I wouldn’t have even really noticed if it hadn’t been for when that hair – the baby hairs, the after baby, baby hairs – started to grow back.
Although they were always there like shifty teenagers trying to sneak out, the baby hairs weren’t too noticeable when my hair was down. But I live on an island and a hot mother-effing island. So for most hours of the day, my hair is up: high ponytail, low ponytail, high messy bun, mid head ballerina bun – there is variation to my updo but up is up. I leave it down occasionally but long hair down on a hot island is as comfortable as taking your wet bathing suit off to pee. Not comfortable.
With my hair up most of the time, the after baby, baby hairs look like they are out to party. Wayward and unruly they curl and stand in whatever direction they choose. They don’t like to be told what to do, damn rebel hairs. They have their own revolution going.
But here’s the thing. Santiago turned 1-year-old about two weeks ago, so I don’t know that I could officially say that I have a baby anymore. I remember so clearly his little babyness – like it was yesterday that we slept with a low-dimmed light on in our bedroom so that when he woke up in the middle of the night we didn’t have to fumble around for him. But it wasn’t yesterday, that was a year ago and since he is no longer a baby and we aren’t certain we are ever going to have a third child, this might be it for me as far as babies go. And the only thing I have left to remind me of babies are these hairs, these after baby, baby hairs.
These tresses are more than disobedient strands, they are proof that I had a baby not so long ago. Proof that even after you have a baby, the battle with your body still wages. Proof that having a baby is only the beginning and that months – shit – yeeears later you still have battle scars. And scars mean you survived something.
Imperfect lines that say you came out of something scratched up but victorious.
These imperfect hairs remind me of what this body can do, that it can take 18 months of changes and a year of roller coaster hormones and 3 years of (hair) loss and still grow back… stronger.