Is that my hair on the floor?

by Jackie Ruth

I was so excited when the nurse entered the room and said that my daughter and I could go home. My hospital bags were already packed, I tossed the pamphlets of information that they gave me into my purse, and sat down in the wheel chair with my daughter. I smiled as everyone said how beautiful she was while we were on the way to the truck.

After we got home, I thought that life would be back to normal. Over the course of the next 3 weeks, I felt stronger every day and reality of being a mom really kicked in.

I asked my husband to keep an eye on the baby so I could go shower. I brushed my hair and noticed more hair in the brush than normal. I thought I was imagining it and jumped in the shower. After taking a long, hot shower, I got dressed and went back out to the living room. My husband said he was going to get ready for the day. After he was gone for a few minutes, he called me into the bathroom. He jokingly asked if I needed to borrow the dog’s anti-shed shampoo. I looked at the floor to where he was pointing and asked, “Is that MY hair on the floor?” I grabbed a broom and shrugged it off as not sweeping lately. The next day, I brushed my hair and noticed an even larger amount of hair on the floor. I started to panic. I thought I was going bald. I started reading the pamphlets from the hospital but none of them mentioned hair loss.

I called my OB and family doctor, leaving messages with nurses. My OB called back and told me to take calcium, prenatal vitamins, and iron on a daily basis until the hair loss stopped. My family doctor told me that it was common and that I would not go bald. The hair loss progressed for almost 5 full months. I am now 6 months postpartum and the loss has come to a stop. Unfortunately, my hair is noticeably thinner and my hairdresser said that I could expect it to be that way for up to 24 months. She suggested hair extensions, but I declined. I know why my hair is thin, and I believe it is a small sacrifice for such an amazing daughter. Keep your head up high and keep in mind that your hair will grow back with time.

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