I finally did it.
For the past five days, I have been living at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. With my wife and son.

Two days ago, I woke up and my hair- excuse me-my wig was a complete mess. Tracks were showing, the ends were frayed and quite frankly, it looked like dried straw. The nurse had good intentions. She took our picture as we held Levi for the first time during his early morning diaper change. I was so happy about having my hands under his fragile little head that I forgot what was going on the top of mine. When she held out the phone to show me the picture, I glanced at it and shuddered. In my eyes, I looked horrible. I was smiling, more like beaming, but I couldn’t get over how bad my hair looked.

Once he was back in his incubator and my other half left for home, I went to the bathroom a corridor away from Levi’s room and took a shower, trying to tell myself my hair didn’t matter because Levi was doing better and I should just be thankful for that. Having a premature baby will challenge your ways of thinking. I didn’t have a shower cap, so once I was done, I came out and the front of the wig was all wet. I combed it the best I could and created an awkward looking ponytail. I hated it, but it was neat.

I left the bathroom feeling very conflicted. That night, as I prayed for him, I prayed for myself too, knowing that I had to change something. My wigs were making me feel bad about myself. They had been for a while, and I ignored it, thinking that I had no other options. There were times I went and purchased new units and cried before and after I put them on. The straps and combs were so irritating that I would get headaches. Not the normal kind, but the kind that I knew were a direct result of my scalp being pissed off at me.
I watched Levi fight. Every time the nurses attempted to change his diaper or check his temperature, he turned his little body and swatted them off. Two weeks old, with tubes coming out of his mouth,chest and arms and he already knew to contest things that didn’t appeal to him. I, on the other hand am almost 32 and it took this NICU experience for me to realize that I had given up. A long time ago. I let myself be consumed by ego and in turn, I didn’t do anything to save the sinking ship that was my hair.
After serious contemplation, I decided to shave my head. I told my wife and she said not to do it. She worried that I would be emotional about it and that my wigs wouldn’t have anything to hold on to. In the past, issues with my hair have brought me to my knees. Days and days of crying in my closet were commonplace for me when I finally admitted to myself that my hair was in big trouble. I have always been slightly negligent. I think I get that from my dad. It is almost like I can’t deal with an issue until it is really bad. Strange.

She had a point. There was a great possibility that I would cut all my hair and go off the deep end, especially since I am one big bag of hormones right now. The other side of this is that maybe she didn’t want me to be bald. I can’t say with fidelity that I care about how anyone, including my life partner feels about what I do with my hair. Back when we were friends, sharing stories about other girls, I would cry to her about my hair, or Tweet about it and she would say that I was beautiful anyway. I don’t see why that should be any different now. If anything, I should be deemed even more beautiful, because I AM beautiful, and I am an excellent wife. I should also be considered an excellent mother since I am the one who calls the NICU for updates when we step away from him for hours at a time. The nurses know my voice. They don’t even have to ask for my ID number, but they still do. They better, lest some crazy person be privy to Levi’s personal information.

So, I cut the hair off and I must say that I look a lot better without the wigs. No disrespect to the ladies with hair issues that still wear wigs, but I don’t want that for myself right now. Some will say, “What’s wrong with wigs? Everyone wears them now.” That’s true, but there is a difference between wearing them because you have to, and wearing them because you have to cover a huge bald spot. Wearing them for fun is just that. Fun. Wearing them because your hair is ruined is a little depressing. At least it was for me. Sometimes. There were times that I could convince myself that I was still worthy and desirable, even if my wig was a mess and other times I could not.

Most of the time, I told myself that no matter what was going on with my hair, I was still really brilliant and that was most important. And it is.

P.S. Maxi, I know that you already knew about my pregnancy, because I know you. You can tell me how you found out later. Thank you for respecting my privacy. I would have told you eventually. I just wanted to make sure that he was okay. You know what I have been through. Oh, and by the way, he is an M-word. If you need help with that, just ask me what I mean. I think you can figure it out. It’s our favorite word. I didn’t type it out because people may not understand our humor. I love you.