Well, I’ve been just one person for over three months now, and I started doing a little assessment in the shower this morning. It wasn’t the nakedness that got me started; it was the hair loss. So let’s do a little head-to-toe rundown of the damage.
Well, the hair. Many pregnant women find that the cycle of growing and shedding hair stops while they’re pregnant, resulting in thick, full, healthy hair. Unfortunately, once baby is out and all the hormones start to settle down, all the hairs that *should* have been come out during the past year do, all at once. As a result, we find ourselves losing handfuls, even clumps of hair. I’ve heard that it can be a bit scary, in fact. This is what got me started in the shower this morning, because I try to prevent it from going down the drain, so by the end of my shower the collection on the side of the tub looks rather similar to one of those long-haired guinea pigs that you have when you’re a kid.
Another observation is all the grey hair. Now, this could be from all the stress and anxiety of a screaming newborn, or it could be genetic (my grandmother was apparently completely white by 25) – – regardless, being pregnant has REALLY accelerated this process. This bothers me far more than the hair loss, as I’ve always felt frustrated by having too much ‘body’ in my hair (read: poofy). The most frustrating part of the whole situation is that the white ones aren’t falling out and all the other ones are!!
Next: face and skin. So-so. I had a few wrinkles before and I have a few wrinkles now. I got a few blemishes before, and I get a few blemishes now. I can survive that. I DO have more of that annoying extra flesh under my chin and flopping around on the backs of my arms. I don’t like that one bit.
Next: the ‘girls’. This and my belly are where the true differences lie. Breastfeeding has made its mark, and apparently it’s permanent. I now look like I’m not wearing a bra when I AM wearing a bra, and you can only imagine the horrors when I’m not.
As for the belly, well, it’s pretty nasty. It’s like a little floppy pouch, covered in brown wiggly stretch marks. It’s soft and poofs out whether I’m sitting or standing.
I’ll skip the region between my belly and my legs, but suffice to say that the midwife, the husband, and I are all satisfied with how those stitches healed up.
My legs are substantially hairier than they were before I got pregnant. “What?” you ask? “Does being pregnant make you hairier??” No. I just don’t have any time to shave them anymore. And when I was pregnant, I couldn’t reach them.
Finally, my poor feet. When I was pregnant I could feel the tissues in my arches tearing as I walked, and my feet grew at least a full size. I am delighted to report that while my arches – like the rest of me – will never be as taut as they once were, my feet can now fit back into my pre-preg shoes. Hooray! Of course after a year of not wearing heels, I can only stand about 5 minutes before I want back into my sneakers.
So that’s the sad sad story. But let me offset my grumbling with the following, just to reassure you that it is soooo sooooooo worth it: