The last hair cut I had was back in July. The day, I found out I was pregnant. I wacked off my long hair in favor of a shorter doo. That was a decision, I regretted, as I always do when I think I want short hair. I didnt' panic though, as I had always heard that pregnancy hormones, often make your hair grow. I had visions of "middle of the back" hair by the time the baby came so I chose NOT to cut my hair at all the whole time I was pregnant! I spent the 9 months willing the same hormones that made my finger nails and boobs grow, to make my hair grow too....not only did my head hair not grow, but neither did my leg hair...weird!! Instead the color faded, the ends split and by the time Ryder was born, I looked pretty ragged!
The day we left the hospital was my birthday and inside the card Marty brought to the hospital with cupcakes and flowers was a gift certificate for a hair cut at my favorite salon! I couldn't wait to use that certificate...little did I realize it would be a month before I'd be ready to leave Ryder long enough to make that hair cut happen.
As a brand new mom, it never really dawned on me, that as a breastfeeding mom, I wouldn't be able to leave my unpredictable newborn for longer than an hour or so at a time without fear of him waking starving! Reality hit when, after only a week, I was dying to get outside for a walk, some Johnny and Scout time. I fed Ryder, changed his diaper and put him down for a sleep. Figuring I had at least an hour, I left Marty in charge and headed into the fresh evening air with my neglected dog. I made it about half an hour from home, when I got the text, "Where are you? He's melting down!" I ended up running home, though with huge swollen boobs, that was extremely uncomfortable. I walked in the door to the sounds of a wailing baby! Overwhelming feelings of guilt filled my heart. Why was I so selfish? I had put my need for exercise and fresh air ahead of the needs of the precious little guy who depended on me. I beat myself up for that experience for several days. Marty finally convinced me that I was being ridiculous and he reminded me that in order for me to be a good mom, I'd need a little "me time" and in order to get that, he would have to be able to feed Ryder from time to time. That's how we came to the decision that Ryder (who was a breast feeding champ) should get at least one bottle a day. We hoped that would give Marty another way to bond with him and it would prepare them both for times when I might be gone at feeding time.
We had been warned about "nipple confusion" and that "some babies won't take a bottle, ever," but we were confident that our agreeable, happy little guy would adapt to the bottle like he did to most things outside the womb...we were right. He chugged the breast milk out of the bottle the instant Marty offered it to him! It was adorable watching my boys bond like that!!
Knowing that Ryder would take a bottle just as easily as the breast meant that a certain amount of freedom for me was near...at least enough freedom for me to get my hair cut and colored. I pumped twice a day for a few days to ensure that we had enough milk for our daily bottle and also plenty for hair cut day. I had been looking forward to my hair cut for so long, that it surprised me, that on the day of, I had seriousl anxiety about leaving Ryder for that long..actually for leaving him at all! I hadn't anticipated feeling like that at all! I figured I'd easily be able to take parts of my life back. I figured the introduction of the bottle would mean all kinds of freedom that I'd never hesitate to take advantage of....I was wrong! I wasn't worried about leaving Ryder with Marty, I knew they'd be fine. He is a great Dad! I wasn't worried about Ryder screaming with starvation, he had plenty of milk waiting in the fridge. I was genuinely sad to be leaving him, worried I'd miss something great, or that he'd miss me or worse, he wouldn't! I contemplated cancelling the appointment and waiting until Ryder was a little older, but Marty, who was looking forward to his one on one time, convinced me to just "go!"
I arrived at the salon and ofcorse they were running behind. I waited 15 minutes before deciding I couldn't take it anymore and was about to reschedule my appointment when the hairdresser was ready for me. I knew the appointment would take at least 2 hours (always does when I get highlights) so I figured I could still be home by 8pm (that would make three hours in total that I was gone) so I kept my appointment and settled into the chair. I explained to the stylist that this was my first time away from my baby and I was a nervous wreck. I apologized in advance for being distracted, constantly checking my phone and for my fatigued state. She had two boys of her own and was very understanding. I ended up falling asleep in the chair while my hair was processing so I must have relaxed a little but by the time she started blow drying my hair I was sooo ready to go home!! She pulled the brush through my hair with precision and cut layers upon layers until I was ready to rip the scissors from her hands! I have never been in such a hurry to leave the salon before. By the time I got home, it had been exactly three hours and Ryder was sleeping peacefully on Marty's chest. The boys were fine, and once I plucked him off Marty and held, Ryder close, so was I!!