I was rushing to take a shower this afternoon while my six-month-old was napping and before my four-year-old got home from preschool, and I noticed it – a big ole’ clump of hair in the shower drain. It was long, dark brown, woman’s hair so it was only mine to claim as I’m the only female in my house. After my shower, I pulled it out and looked at horror at just how much was in the drain. A lot of hair.
I knew I’d been losing hair for some time, but I was shocked at how much was actually in the drain. I had started noticing it about two weeks postpartum with my new baby boy. I was shedding all over the house. Way more than normal. My husband had found pieces on his work clothes, the baby had pieces of it in his hands, and my vacuum canister was filled with it.
I’ve always been a “shedder” as my husband calls me, but after Mr. C was born it hit a new level. So, when I got online and did a little research and talked to some fellow moms it turns out its quite normal to lose a ton of hair after baby. I hadn’t experienced this with my first pregnancy. Some of the other moms told me “you don’t lose any hair when you are pregnant, so after you have the baby you lose all of that hair plus your normal hair loss.” I don’t know about all of that, I’m not a medical person but it sounded about right.
The day before I found the hair in the drain, I went to the dentist and had two cavities filled. TWO. Now, let me back up. I’m that person that brushes their teeth 3-4 times a day. Before babies, I had maybe two cavities total in my pre-baby life. However, after I went through my first pregnancy with Mr. L, I came out the other end with six cavities that needed to be filled. SIX. So, when I was pregnant with Mr. C, I vowed I wouldn’t get anymore cavities. I was vigilant about brushing (even more so), I flossed (even more so), and added a cavity rinse to my regimen. When the doc told me I had two small cavities at my first postpartum dental exam, I was devastated.
Now I had the hair loss, the cavities and every day before I get dressed I’m reminded of the road map that now exists on my lower stomach in the form of stretch marks. Of course we can’t forget the 5 inch scar across my upper pelvic region from which they were both cut and pulled from. They definitely both left their mark on my midsection.
They’ve done a number on my body (and mind).
My body isn’t what it used to be, my hair isn’t as luscious as it once was, and my teeth are quite as healthy as they formerly were.
But as I pulled that clump of my own hair out of the shower drain I realized something. My hair will eventually grow back, maybe not to the fullness it was before I had my babies, but it will become full again. My teeth will probably get worked on again before I enter the dentures phase of life, no matter how much I brush and floss. And my stomach bears the scars of motherhood.
Each mark tells the story of the boy that pushed on my stomach from the inside out, month after month as he grew and grew into the baby I’d find my reason for living for – two times over. That five inch scar provided a safe portal for my eldest to pass through my womb into the world since he decided never to turn while inside of it. His little brother followed the open door already created by his big brother.
I may have days where I feel like I give so much of myself to my children. Whether it be my hair, my body, and heck even my sanity. There are still days I look in the mirror and don’t recognize the woman standing in front of it and there are times I miss the body I had when I was 19 years old.
Those days are few and far between now. They are put in the back of my mind as I look at my four-year-old, who is the miniature male version of me, write his name at the kitchen table or my six-month-old plays in his exersaucer and his big blue eyes follow me as I carry a load of laundry upstairs and he cries because I’m the center of his entire world and when I’m out of sight he thinks I’m gone forever.
They are worth it.
Every cavity I have to get filled (even if not all of them are their fault), every stretch mark I will continue to apply with scar cream probably until the day I die, and every piece of hair I find in the shower sink.
They are so, so worth it.
This post originally appeared on Her View From Home.
Hailing from the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York, Britt has a background in Human Services and Child Development. Married to her Army vet/superhero husband, they are kept busy raising their two beautiful boys, in their cabin in the woods (really in the subdivision). She is also a mom to two angel babies.
You can find her first self-published novel, “Promises of Pineford” on Amazon and Lulu. You can also find her work in progress blog The Bomb Sahm and on Facebook. Pretending to workout at the gym, obsessing over her pets, and secretly wishing she was a Vampire Slayer are just some of her hobbies.