I’m Back (minus my hair)

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. There’s no particular reason for my radio silence. Not a lack of anything to say, nor life events to talk about. I think (and this is a very boring excuse) I’ve just struggled to find the time to formulate my tales into words on a page. If you follow me on Instagram, which I’m assuming you probably do if you’ve found your way here, there’s not much new for you to learn. I micro blog over there almost daily. But I guess here is where I really allow my thoughts and feelings to flow. There’s no word limit. No instantaneous likes and comments. It feels almost anonymous and a place where I suppose I can lay it all out on the table, in its rawest form.

So here we go. My last blog, around three months ago, I talked about my pregnancy. It’s still ongoing. 30 weeks now. Sh*t seriously is about to get real. I’m excited, but tentative. Not necessarily because I’m expecting something to go wrong (although I do regularly convince myself that it will), just because when you feel like something is never going to happen, it’s very difficult to believe that it will, until it does. It has been the hardest pregnancy I’ve ever experienced. Not so much physically (although, hello heartburn), but mentally. It was always going to be fairly arduous on the mind. Pregnancy after loss just is. Still, it’s been a relentless barrage of things seemingly going wrong and, at this point, I’m utterly exhausted. I’m happy, because I am carrying a living, healthy baby inside of me. Yet it’s been a long and despairing journey.

For twelve weeks I fretted (huge understatement) about the risk of yet another miscarriage, or, if I was really unfortunate, another Molar. I went into hospital each week for the injection that would hopefully keep my baby alive. I cried tears of joy every fortnight when scans showed that little heart still beating. At 14 weeks, I went for my official dating scan and I finally began to let myself start to believe that this baby would go the distance. I felt those first thrilling waves of excitement. And then, days later, I was diagnosed with an incompetent cervix and told I might still lose the perfect little human, growing within my womb. Not because it’s tiny heart might stop beating, but because my body mightn’t keep it safe for as long as it needed to. More hospital visits, more scans (this time on my cervix, rather than my baby), more fear. At 21 weeks, I was eventually told my risks of premature delivery were minimal. That I could go about my life (and pregnancy) as normal. I could finally get enthused. Make plans. Think ahead to the day when we’d become a family of six.

And then, 3 weeks later, I inexplicably started going bald. Yes, bald. All the hair on my head began to fall out. Rapidly. I mean, why though? I don’t want to be all “woe is me” and honestly, in the grand scheme of things, it is really not a huge deal. The baby is still growing wonderfully. Life is plodding along in a contented fashion. But my hair is dropping out in handfuls and now, at 30 years old, I’m sporting the hairline of an elderly gentleman. Couldn’t I please just catch a break? Alopecia Areata apparently. Along with two other things that have excessively complicated names I absolutely don’t remember. Probable cause? Stress. You’re not kidding. It seems to me, a slight glitch in the evolutionary chain, when your body’s response to stress is to give you a little something extra to be stressed about, but hey, I’m no scientist.

I’ve had time now to come to terms with my new do (or lack thereof) and honestly, I’m surprisingly ok with it. I say “surprisingly”, because the general reaction to my bare noggin has been more one of alarm at my nonchalant attitude, rather than the shiny paleness of my scalp now being so apparent. I don’t know why I’m so ok. Some days I’m really not, but those days are fleeting. Mostly, I simply do not want this to overshadow the really important things right now. My last ever pregnancy. My last ever baby. Moments I want to commit to memory forever, without them being tainted by the absurdity of my follicles jumping ship.

There are times, when I allow myself to think about it too much, that I can literally feel myself becoming encompassed by sadness. When the reality sets in, that I may be bald for the rest of my life. That the hairstyles I’ve screenshot on my phone, over the last few months, in preparation for my annual shear, are no longer relevant. That even something as mediocre as a Mum Bun is not something I can casually toss my hair into anymore. That anytime someone posts about their latest bonce update online, I’ll feel irrationally irritated by it. It’s weird and it’s scary and it’s really quite depressing. I’ve had a lot of messages from people, telling me it’s ok to feel this way and it is, but still, IT’S JUST HAIR. I’m not losing it because I’m undergoing chemo, like so many who really do have reason to feel hard done by. I watched the devastation on my Mum’s face everytime she looked in a mirror, as her hair began to fall out. She was the same age that I am now. Her face is mirrored in my own, when I look at my own reflection. But whilst our hair situation is similar; hers littered the bathroom, whilst Cancer littered her body. A physical manifestation of the disease that would one day kill her. That would snatch her away from her family and her two young daughters when she was just 35 years old. That’s what hair loss was for her. It was evidence, in the reflection looking back at her, that she’d lost her hair, her health and would probably lose her life. So when I look in the mirror, at the fuzzy remnants of what used to be quite a decent barnet, I feel a bit glum and then I tell myself, IT’S JUST HAIR. And you know what, I don’t want it to depress me. I don’t want it to ruin things for me because I’ve been through enough. I’ve had enough things that have caused me sadness and I keep on getting back up and carrying on and not letting things beat me. So this won’t either. I have a good life, damnit. I’ve been fortunate in many aspects of it. I refuse to sink low when I still have so much to bring me high.

It is a bit crap though. I’ll admit that much.

3 thoughts on “I’m Back (minus my hair)”

  1. Inspirational Blog! Precious Pregnancy – allowing nothing to take that way from you 🤰x
    #uvegotthis #lifeinprespective 🙌🏻

  2. Love your attitude Charli, it’s very inspirational- I’m not sure I’d be so positive as you are, and it’s fab that you are under tough circumstances. You’re right though to not let it ruin these precious last couple of months x

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