guest bloggers, parenthood

Guest Post: “Linda McCartney Did A Lot Of … Breastfeeding?”

This is the first of several guest posts we’ll be featuring in the coming weeks from parenting friends of ours about what it’s like to be a parent. Kicking us off is Jill Van Himbergen, a former high school English teacher and mother of Finny. This post also appeared on her blog, Musings on Motherhood, which you can find on our Blogroll. Enjoy. And thank you, Jill!

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For me, one of life’s great mysteries has recently been solved: the origins of Linda McCartney’s crop-top haircut. I have always had a special admiration for Paul and Linda McCartney’s love story. I found it romantic and compelling and dreamy and always hoped that someday my husband and I would also sit in fields of daisies strumming our guitars in t-shirts and bellbottoms while our babies ran circles around us. But, always in the back of my mind was this nagging question: Why the mullet?

Now, I know. Surely it was not intentional. Linda McCartney was just breastfeeding. That’s all.

There are some quite wonderful side effects to pregnancy. The first being, of course, that the end result is a baby who will one day sing “Barbara Ann” to you at a moment’s notice from the backseat of the car. And there are some wonderful side effects of breastfeeding as well. One being that you can follow up a steak dinner with a large slice of double chocolate cake and then find the next day that you have actually dropped three pounds.

But there are some negative side effects to pregnancy and breastfeeding as well. One being the aforementioned Linda McCartney crop top, which takes nothing short of a decade to grow out (i.e. Linda and the 70s). It seems that Linda, who was birthing three children in 70’s, finally said, “Oh, to heck with it!” and just embraced her new found hair growth with a full-on spiked mullet top. I, on the other hand, am a humble blogger, no Oscar-winning rock star, so I have chosen to carefully conceal my Linda McCartney crop top with a small army of bobby pins every morning.

I have battled with my involuntary hair growth for the past year and a half trying an assortment of hair products, blow drying techniques and the old standby spit-and-press in desperate moments just to get these spiky bangs to lay down or my new-found sideburns to tuck back, and now after months and months of pinning and pulling, I am finally seeing some progress. I am finally seeing that the hair around the crown of my head may actually be longer than two inches again and I may soon be able to call home some of the troops of bobby pins, which have been stationed atop my head for far too long.

And then, of course, I realized, come January I will be breastfeeding again and once again I will endure endless months of hair loss followed by endless months of mullet-style re-growth. And at this realization, I could not help but sigh.

But on the flip side, I will have a baby after all. And someday that baby will sing “Barbara Ann” to me from the backseat of the car and perhaps maybe even in three-part harmony with me and his older brother. And maybe someday David and I will win an Oscar for our own co-written version of “Live and Let Die” and our children will sing back-up in clothes I’ve fashioned out of curtains. And after our shows, we can eat all the steak and chocolate cake we want and show up skinny the next day. And well, won’t that be something?

Okay, Lovely Linda, I get it now. The mullet was just you embracing your love for your babies. Now, all I need is a field of daisies and a few guitar lessons and David and I will be on our way to living the greatest love story of all time — my perfect, crop-top mullet being the cherry on top of it all. No bobby pins needed.

[photo: www.lindamccartney.net]

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6 thoughts on “Guest Post: “Linda McCartney Did A Lot Of … Breastfeeding?”

  1. 1. this is hilarious and well-written.

    2. does breastfeeding really cause hair loss??? mothers-to-be everywhere are on tenterhooks.

  2. Lee: 1. Yes. 2. Yes. Every morning when my breast-feeding wife takes the first shower, she leaves behind a small, water-logged woodland creature for me to find and, as such duties of extermination typically fall to the man, deal with.

    Jill, thank you for this. It explains a lot. In fact, I’m using it as an explanation for my wife’s mullet back when she was 13. Take note, world: breast-feeding later in life can cause mullets earlier in life.

    Ben Voreblog: I would ask you to take down from its pride of place on your bookshelf–or the reliquary where it may be kept–your copy of the Instruction Booklet, eleventh edition or later, and refer to 29d, on the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs, with particular attention to the section on “enjoy.”

    For those readers wishing for grammatical edification but lacking the requisite text, I will quote the most relevant portions of 29d:

    “Enjoy” is a transitive verb which is frequently advanced in our contemporary culture as though it were intransitive. Think of the number of times a waiter has depositied a tray of dishes at your table, with the genial command to “Enjoy!”

    Enjoy what? The Buffalo wings? The nachos? Life? The “Budweiser” sign blinking in the window? The exquisite pleasure of being served so effortlessly by Shawn? The more permissive social attitude toward premarital sex? The absence of God?

    1. Oh dear. I clearly need to brush up on my Instruction Booklet — still safely shelved within my ENGL 1-2 folder in a box in my closet. Right next to my shame.

  3. Breastfeeding does NOT cause hair loss! Pregnancy hormones cause the woman’s hair to go into non stop growing cycles with no stopping. During regular growth cycles hair stops growing and falls out and then in a few months is replaced with another hair. When you are pregnant some of the hormones cause virtually all the hairs on your head to grow up once without going into a resting cycle. When you give birth to your baby, these hormones leave your body, whether you are breastfeeding or not, and some women find their hair falling out in clumps. For the record, those who choose not to breastfeed will probably have worse episodes of hair loss due to the rapidly declining pregnancy hormones as opposed to those hormones being replaced by breastfeeding hormones. To repeat, breastfeeding does not cause hair loss but the after effects of pregnancy do. At least for a short period of time.

    P’Gell
    Board Certified Lactation Consultant

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