Warning: TMI and TME (too many emotions) ahead.
You’ve been warned.
Today I am going to share what it took my almost a year to do Zander’s first haircut. Kris doesn’t even know all this yet.
First, a secret. I have always secretly wished for a baby with lots of hair. Given my genes and Kris’s, I figured that would never happen. But it was a secret wish that made me feel guilty somehow. I think I felt like by admitting that I wished for a not-bald baby would be equivalent to saying I wasn’t completely happy with my little bald + a mullet girl. Which obviously isn’t true. But in any case I kept the wish secret.
Next, my prayer. I knew a baby with a full head of hair would be impossible, but I figured praying that my babies share a birthday would be somewhat reasonable. Coincidences mean so much to me. I look for them throughout my life and find special meaning in them. Like the fact that I used to have dreams when I was TWELVE that I married Kris. Or how my grandparents who were traveling 12 hours to come see us ended up on the same ferry ride as my future brother Reuben, introduced themselves and brought him home to us. I mean, what are the odds that that would happen? I loooove when things work out in an inexplicably perfect way that feels ‘meant to be’. So I prayed for a coincidence, that my second baby would be born on the same day that I became a mother for the first time.
I must have prayed for this every day while I was pregnant. But when signs of labor started appearing a month before Zoey’s birthday I thought there was no way I would make it another month. I was having contractions all the time, I was dilated to the point I was when I went into labor with Zoey. I had to get those horribly painful steroid shots in my butt to help speed the maturation of Zander’s lungs. Then, as quickly as the signs came, everything calmed again. This time I was convinced I would be pregnant far past her birthday. Braxton hicks stop, I stopped dilating, my cervix stopped thinning. It seemed like Zander was staying put.
You guys know how this story ends. Zoey’s birthday eve I began contracting while we had the missionaries over for dinner. They were so mild and painless I didn’t think anything, but they were consistent. I took a hot bath because I had heard that that would calm false labor and do nothing to real labor. During the bath I had one painful contraction, then nothing. I stayed awake till about midnight to see if things would progress. No pain, so I went to bed. Just as I laid my head on my pillow a contraction hit like a lightening bolt. I will never forget that rush of excitement. Things quickly progressed and I took a shower and did my makeup while stopping and slowly dying with each contraction. Kris was timing in the background yelling, “1 minute apart, a minute and a half!”. I seriously couldn’t believe this was happening NOW on Zoey’s birthday. With what was ahead that night, heaven knew I needed a sign. God gave me my miracle.
Just as it was time to push my epidural started to wear off, the numbness was gone from my legs and the contractions became absolutely unbearable. This is the TMI paragraph, so just skip if birth details make you queasy. For those of you who haven’t had a baby, the ‘pushing phase’ is the length of time that the head is literally lodged in the ‘birth canal’. While you are in the most excruciating pain imaginable, you have to push. Pushing creates more pain as the head makes its way through a passage that is WAY too small for a human head. To me, everything felt un-lubricated, like fire and sandpaper was coming out of me, mixed with the sharpest pains with each contraction. Contraction pains, for me, were absolutely indescribable. The closest thing I can compare it to is someone stabbing a dagger to my lower abdomen over and over. I don’t know how else to describe it… I wanted to give up. Literally, I wanted someone to knock me unconscious and rip that baby out of me.
And just when I thought I could not push one more time, the announcement came from my midwife, “He has a full head of hair!!”. My second miracle. Or my third I should say. The first miracle, of course, was Zander himself. This miracle gave me a little extra motivation that I needed.
And that is the long story leading up to why it took me a whole year to do Zander’s first haircut. Every time I see it, I think of my miracle. I think of what I did to get Zander here. His pregnancy and birth was traumatic for me. I am not going to sugarcoat it. So many things about that experience were unbearable. But it was also such a meaningful experience, the things worked out exactly the way I wanted, and better. His hair was another small coincidence for me to add to my list of meaningful, unforgettable moments in life. Zander’s hair symbolizes this whole experience for me. It was HARD for me to cut.
So if you have wondered why Zander has been growing a mullet and didn’t get his first haircut for almost a year now, that’s why. Oh and also I thought his mullet braid was super adorable so… If you see me wearing a little braid woven into a bracelet, you will know why ;).
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Zander’s Seat: Bumbo