Pregnancy changes your body. We all know this. But until you’re postpartum, you don’t know which of those changes will be permanent. You may have stretch marks that won’t go away. Your boobs may become unrecognizable. You may never again sneeze without peeing a little.
I have mostly come to terms with my postpartum body. Except for one thing.
Like most women, I have always had hair on my face to some degree. Mostly it was peach fuzz on my upper lip which was, fortunately, light enough to go unseen against my fair skin. I also had one dependable chin hair that showed up like clockwork once a month. I always seemed to notice it in the car. I’d be sitting in traffic, glance up at the rearview mirror, and there, glinting in the sunlight, would be an inch long hair that I was positive was not there the day before.
After being pregnant, that all changed. My former peach fuzz now resembles more what you’d find on an eleven-year-old boy: an unimpressive yet unmistakable ‘stache.
Sometimes I shave it. Sometimes I wax it. Sometimes I pluck it, holding each hair up and poking it, marveling at how thick it is and the way it bends beneath my fingertip.
And my lone chin hair? He now has friends and their visits are much more frequent. Every day they sprout up like weeds and no matter how thoroughly I’ve plucked, one always slips by me, and I don’t notice until I’m out in the world somewhere far away from my tweezers.
To be clear, I do not believe hair on women is inherently bad or gross. I don't shape my eyebrows. I’ve gone long periods without shaving my legs or armpits. Other women’s mustaches don’t bother me. And yet, I feel these hairs on my face don’t belong there. I can’t accept them the way I’ve accepted other changes.
Maybe it’s because they don’t feel connected to my pregnancy. My hips widened and my skin stretched to make room for my baby. My breasts swelled (and then deflated) to feed her. But my sad mustache and wispy goatee didn’t contribute anything. The little freeloaders.
I’d love to be the kind of woman who could shout, “Facial hair, don’t care!” but… I’m just not. Maybe with more time, acceptance will come, the way it did with my stretch marks. In the meantime, I’ll continue to tweeze and wax and double check my chin in the mirror before I leave the house.
Are there any postpartum body changes you haven’t accepted yet? Tell me I’m not alone!