Today is 37 weeks: term. Tomorrow we will meet with the doctor and hopefully have a better sense of how Bingo will be arriving and when. For now we just know that it will be soon.
One of the quirks of pregnancy (and there are many) is rapid hair growth: a quirk particularly evident when you have all of an inch of hair. Which is why, late last week, Sea squinted at me critically and insisted that I had to have a haircut before we could have a baby. Keep in mind, this insistence came only five weeks after my last haircut and awkward encounter with my stylist.
Plan A had been to cheat on her. The stylist that is, not Sea. But I was worried that I would end up with a cut that I hated. One that could possibly traumatize our child in its first moments of life. (“That’s my mum?!”). I decided that a bad haircut might, in fact, be worse than no haircut at all. But my hair really was too long, and Sea’s squint was becoming increasingly critical. So I decided, once again, to just face the awkwardness.
She was busy when I went in. I sat waiting, back pressed into the black pleather chair and bag held firmly over my belly. I was going to keep the non-pregnant illusion going for as long as possible, I decided, though I was also fairly sure that there was a time limit on that illusion.
Finished with the previous customer, the stylist gestured me towards her chair before looking down at the cash register. I took this brief moment of inattentiveness as an opportunity, running to the chair and hunching into it. The stylist came over without batting an eye, smiled, and threw the black drape over me. Covered. “So, how’s your girl? How’s the baby? Is your girl still feeling well? Which hospital is she going to?”
Half an hour later, I had managed the same half-truths as at the previous two cuts. My vague answers and diversions had carried me through the last pre-baby haircut I would need. Finished, the stylist pulled the drape away from me. She paused. I watched her stare at my reflection in the mirror.
“Something is different.”
Uh oh. Caught! Surely she had me figured out. Now what was I going to say? How was I going to explain my months of lies, projecting my ever-increasing pregnancy and waistline onto the innocent Sea? I looked at the floor. My heart pounded.
After an awkward silence, I willed myself to offer an explanation, but the stylist spoke first. She said: “You’ve lost weight, haven’t you?”
Uh…? Lost weight? What?!
Nope, I haven’t lost weight. I just got a haircut.