Part Two....

After a couple hours of spending time in the recovery room with Kaia...the nurses offered to take her to the nursery to give her a bath and clean her up. While she was gone, I was still in a state of shock over the hair. You might be thinking...c'mon April...it's just hair...but it was deeper than that for me...and I was hormonal...remember!

I had grown to love this baby in my belly who I envisioned tiny, pale and BALD or maybe with a tad bit of peach fuzz. That is what all our family baby pictures looked like. And this was my first baby. I honestly didn't know what to expect with a birth of a baby. I had just heard that the love runs deep immediately....and I wasn't feeling that. This baby that came out of me looked NOTHING like the baby I had been dreaming about. We were talking about none other than the hair the whole time the nurses were cleaning her up. I had accepted that fact, and was smiling about this curly hair. What I could do with it....the bows and headbands I could buy....the way I could style it...when in walks a sweet nurse, grinning from ear to ear, with my baby in her arms.

She exclaims as she walks in the door.....'Wait until you see your baby's hair!' The nurse was giggling and I was beaming thinking she must have the most gorgeous curls they had ever seen. Then the nurse proceeds to pull the tiny cap off of my sweet little curly baby's head and honestly it looked like they had stuck her finger in a light socket! As the nurse was giggling, ever so kindly, I promptly screamed at her...."WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY BABY'S HAIR?!' She said....we tried everything....it is straight and pointy and won't lay flat.

It's funny now but it sent me into a whirlwind of doubt and while I jokingly blame 'the hair' for my postpartum depression that lasted a month, I know it really was the hormones. I called my sister trying to put on a smile that day in the hospital room and said, "Jill....my baby looks like a Monchichi." {Do you remember those monkey typed stuffed animal pets? Not sure...here is a picture for you!} My sister giggled and tried to reassure me that I was just over-reacting and to send pictures in the mail immediately. She admitted that she had thought maybe Kaia had some hair...but said when she got the pics in the mail she did say out loud...'Oh, she does kind of look like a Monchichi!' Kaia has been lovingly referred to over the years as 'our Mon Chichi' in our best french accent and she even got one for Christmas last year! But back to battling postpartum depression.

I kept a beanie on Kaia the whole time we were in the hospital....3 days. I was nursing her and tyring to bond with her. Dave on the other hand, had bonded immediately. Besides the nursing...he was doing everything else. The diaper changing, the swaddling, the rocking as I sat in bed and felt like a broken mother trying to form a bond.

My mom stayed for one week with us and saying good-bye to her at the airport was heart-breaking. We were living 3000 miles away from family and I felt like I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I was always feeling close to tears and while I ALWAYS took care of Kaia's needs....I didn't enjoy her or any of the responsibilities that went along with a baby. Dave had read all the pre-pregnancy books for dads before we had Kaia and I was so thankful....because he was able to recognize some signs of postpartum depression.

I would crawl into bed at night and just bawl and say awful things about our baby and my feelings towards her. He would always hold me and tell me that it wasn't me....it was the hormones talking and that they would pass soon. He was so gentle and kind with me and never held me accountable for the words that would spew from my mouth as I cried. I wanted so badly to feel feelings that just weren't there. I was scared. I just so badly wanted to love my baby with all my heart. My sister and mom figured out quickly through conversations over the phone what was happening. They agreed privately that each would take turns calling me every hour to check in. They knew I was sitting at home crying all day while Dave was at work. I tried to put on a happy face....but they could hear it in my voice.

I went to church two weeks later and saw an older lady approaching me and Kaia. I didn't know her really  well but knew she was a retired nurse. I knew it was now or never as I blurted out to her....'I think I have postpartum depression' before she was even able to ask me how I was doing. I cried, she hugged me, and handed me a phone number to call first thing in the morning.

We made several phone calls that evening to family and it was decided between my mom, my sister and Dave that maybe I needed to go home and visit family for a couple of weeks. My mom was sweet to make sure that Dave would be OK sending his unstable wife and new daughter on an airplane so soon after delivery....but he was willing and agreed that it would probably be the best medicine. To be surrounded and supported by the women I loved so much was exactly what I needed. And the change of scenery helped too. I'm not sure exactly how or when those feelings changed, but I returned home to Dave a whole woman falling deeper and deeper in love with my baby every day!

Oh...and the hair?! It was still there. I just did my best everyday to make it perfectly even as it stuck out straight all around her head....placing headbands carefully in the middle to give it a little more character!

As I look back at Kaia's baby pictures of the two of us....I can see in my eyes where 'the change' happened. Where I went to hating the hair and the hormones to loving that little girl so incredibly and embracing the hair. I had no idea the depth of love that I could experience for a baby....but it was there and it was fierce and I knew if the second baby came with hair it would be no problem at all! I also knew not washing it everyday helped it to lay down a bit.

Blake came out bald...perfectly round head. God decided one cruel joke was enough! And I won't play a cruel joke on you and not include a picture of the Hair! Here it is.....

Did you miss part one? It's here.

Happy Friday!

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  1. I love her picture!! my sons hair did the same thing after we brought him home!! we kept hats on him at the hospital then at home his hair looked like we had stuck his finger in a light socket and it all stood up!! i felt the same way though about the connection. I think mine was because i had the c-section and didnt get to hold him for awhile even four years later he is a daddys boy most of the time. thank you for sharing your story!

  2. Thank you for being so honest! Sounds like you have an amazing family.

  3. You are the most amazing mother.
    Thank you so much for this post, and for reminding me that hormones can make you feel crazy things.
    Sometimes, I feel like I'm just the most awful mother in the world for feeling worn out.

    Also, I had to laugh at the monchichi thing. Oh my gosh. That's EXACTLY what my daughter looks like right now.

  4. OH those hormones are CRAZY! While I didn't experience the postpartum depression, I did have hurt feelings over the extreme love I had for this new baby that I didn't always feel for my older kids that I had adopted at ages 6, 2 and 3. Those hormones are CRAZY! I would cry and tell my husband that I just loved this baby "so so much"! I think he thought I had lost it..

    Her hair is DARLING! My little girl came out with black hair and her brother was blond! It was a shock and not at all what I expected. It all fell out and she now has sandy blond hair that grows straight down in her eyes. :) It's crazy.

    Happy Birthday to your beautiful daughter!

  5. Your honesty is a blessing. Your daughter looks so cute with her crazy hair. My son hardly had any hair, but my daughter had lots of black hair.

  6. I love these honest posts about pregnancy and the first few moments, days and months of motherhood. It is tough and I went through very similar depression issues (although not over their hair :) While it may sound trivial to others any mom can understand how you were feeling. Your daughter is so beautiful and you are a wonderful mom! Funny..I recently did a two part blog about my journey into motherhood as well if you want to read it. Here are the links:




  7. i was shocked when Ryann was born with blonde hair and a widows peak... really threw me off when I was pushing and instead of dark hair i was seeing light.

  8. Thank you. It is refreshing to hear that not everyone has the immediate bond. It took me almost a year to realize that I loved my little guy. Just like you, I took care of him, and did all I needed to to keep him alive. However, it was a few weeks before his first birthday that I looked at him and felt that amazing connection with him. It was heartbreaking because I felt like I was a terrible mother. It was also a relief because I felt what I had waited so long to feel.
    Everyone has a different response to motherhood. There is not just one way to do it.

  9. oh...my twins nearly died and were in hospital over 2 months on life support half of that time, on and off...well, i didn't bond with them either and as i couldn't nurse them all i really did was pump...i totally did this for self preservation,detached emotionally, it was when they were 6 months old, and a little better that i began to scrapbook their short little lives...it was then i fell in love with them, and became so proud of their fight for survival and the little miracles they were...sometimes it doesn't happen straight away, but its wonderful when it does...oh..ps...my eldest daughter didn't have hair until she was 3, often people mistaking her for a boy, even when dressed all in pink!!!bet you didn't have that sort of problem with your little one!!!loves it!!!xxx

  10. Love part two of Kaia's birth story. Love your honesty.

  11. That is some fabulous hair! Yes, very much like a monchichi!!!!

    Thank you for sharing your story. So many people talk about rainbows and unicorns after birth, and its just not like that for all.

    Like Mandy (above), I had a similar situation with my twins, but it took me much, much longer to crawl out from under my rock of PPD.

  12. AW! she was so CUTE!! (still is!) Love your family and Dave and their support - so important for a new mother!

  13. When Ava was born, she had the same ultra fine hair that always looked like she just stuck her finger in a light socket. Head bands were the way to go, because clips never stayed. She is now and forever more nicknamed "tweety bird." I remember when I first met you at Hollister camping and you said Ava reminded you of Kaia. She is a beautiful young lady, I can only imagine what Ava will look like in 10 years.


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