Thursday, 4 October 2012

Hair Today Gone Tomorrow

One of the things that people don't tell you (or at least they didn't tell me) is how profoundly unsexy you feel after having a baby.  And it's not like I was walking around in ten inch heels and short miniskirts prior to having my baby girl; I'm not talking about that sort of sexy. I just mean the kind where you get dressed in the morning, brush your hair, and walk out the door with your chin up because you are feeling confident, put together, and--in hindsight--rested.

After getting home from the hospital, getting LB's weight up was our all consuming priority for two weeks. After she leap-frogged over her birth weight and I had a bit of a breather from that strict pumping-feeding-pumping-feeding schedule, I looked in the mirror and felt surprised. I was in my old lululemons, my black tank top had a huge baby vomit stain on it, my hair was greasy, and my eyes were red from lack of sleep. Of course that's the reality of a new baby, but at the same time I didn't want that to be my reality.

Why should a new baby preclude me from showering on a regular basis? Or putting on regular clothes in the morning?

Oh right.

Because the few non-maternity clothes I had left, didn't fit.

Oh right.

Because I was one of those people who used to think, "Mothers, why not shower at night before going to bed? Doesn't that solve your showering problems?" No. Because at night you think the following: shower, or a half-hour more of sleep?


And my clothing situation really annoyed me because while I was pregnant and on one of my nesting purges, I got rid of most of my regular clothes! I have no clue what I was thinking! All I know is that almost as soon as the baby was born, my maternity clothes were huge and didn't fit at all but my regular clothes were snug and I couldn't figure out why I had so few items of clothing. Then one day as I stared at my spartan drawer I remembered the nesting purges and slapped my forehead in annoyance.

So to reiterate: my postpartum stomach was slack and stretched out, my hair was a greasy rat's nest, my few remaining items of clothing were stained with baby vomit, and due to the slack postpartum gut the only pants that fit me were lululemons and I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to deduce that over here wearing exercise clothes to go out for coffee and lunches is not done. Exercise clothes are for exercising. Period. End of story. Those are the standards.

And what I didn't know is that you are not supposed to do anything strenuous for six weeks after your baby is born because you can prolapse during this time. And if you've ever seen a prolapsed cow, you will take this advice very seriously. So I was totally cool with not immediately getting back into yoga or strenuous hikes, etc, and I knew that once I was able to do these things again I would start fitting back into my regular clothes. I was aware of this. I wasn't feeling *blah* because I thought I'd be *blah* for the rest of my life; I was feeling *blah* because I was stuck in *blah* purgatory for the next six weeks.

Or so I thought.

Two things put a kick in my step:

(1) Going out and buying a nice pair of jeans that fit, even though the intention is that they aren't going to fit for long.

(Hahahaha!! We'll see about that one.)

(2) Getting my hair done.

My hair situation was dire as Internet I had not had a pair of shears touch my head in thirteen months. I went over a year without getting a hair cut. Oh good grief but that is ridiculous. My hair was really, really in bad shape: it was as split as a Vegas showgirl's skirt and as dry as the Mojave desert. The only thing it had going for it was I came to the realization that after years and years of obsessively highlighting it, my natural hair colour was really nice. I made this realization right in time for all the white hairs to start showing up.

Le sigh.

So one Saturday morning I headed to the salon feeling like a sagging and frizzy mess and three hours later I left feeling upright and very swishy. It was such a treat to sit in that chair and have the hairdresser give my hair some TLC, and the head massage she gave me as she washed my hair seriously almost put me to sleep.
Before and After.
Perhaps my only regret from that haircut is I asked for a few lowlights to be put in, and the hairdresser hit upon my vain weak nerve by noting the number of white hairs I had and convincing me to dye my entire head of hair two shades darker than my natural colour. As noted above, I have realized in the past two years my natural colour is surprisingly nice so it was sad that I agreed to cover it up completely, because I don't want our baby girl to grow up thinking that colouring your hair is something that every woman just has to do.
But that topic is a whole different blog post.
For now though I would recommend to anyone out there who is going through a major whiplash life change: get your hair done (but maybe don't go too drastic, depending on the life change you're going through. Shaving your head after years of having Rapunzel locks might cause you more grief than needed.) 
Even if your vomit stained shirt smells of sour milk, your eyes are baggy from lack of sleep, and your old jeans still require butter and a prayer to get into, at least you can say: "Hot damn I'm having a great hair day!"


T said...

I'm so glad that you took some time to yourself to get your hair done and buy a new pair of jeans! It looks great Caitie :) I like your natural hair colour too, but the fun thing about dying it is that it wont last forever. Once it grows out you'll be able to enjoy your own hair all over again (haha, without letting it grow out for 13 months!)

I can totally imagine how much it annoyed you to go out in your yoga pants. Everytime I see someone in pjs or yoga pants at school I think of a rant we once had over coffee. Can you believe some of my co-workers wear them to work (and these are not people that just recently had a baby either)?!

Miss you!

Caitie said...

Oh the pj pants! The worst offender of them all! I totally remember that rant! haha!

I can totally believe your coworkers wear them to work! For some reason, the fact that the lulus are black and fitted people have confused these with dress pants. No! They are not! They are not dress pants! Especially for office environments like yours :-s

Miss you too, T! We will be home soon!