My hair is coming out in big chunks. Apparently when you’re pregnant you stop shedding hair, and then after you give birth all the hair you didn’t lose when you were pregnant sheds together. This morning the shower drain was completely clogged. The babies seem always to have my hair wound around their fingers now.

I’m reminded for some reason of my family dog growing up, Sophie. She was a yellow german shepherd lab mix, and in the summer she would shed giant clumps of white hair. We would brush and brush and brush and it would just keep coming out, spreading across the yard like shearing sheep.

Durning pregnancy and now baby-rearing I haven’t been able to escape this feeling of being an animal. Breastfeeding, for one. There is something in particular about breastfeeding two babies at once that strikes a mammalian chord. Here’s my two little fuzzy-headed babies, busily suckling, my arms curled protectively around them. When my mother was here, watching me do this, she said, laughing, “You’re such an Earth Mother. I never would have thought that of you.” I’m not sure about Earth Mother, but there’s no escaping a feeling of kinship with the dogs and cats.

Pumping breast milk, on the other hand, as I’m sure I’m not the first to note, makes you feel like a cow on a factory farm. And another thing, when the babies smile, they wag their whole bodies like happy puppies. Who could resist nuzzling?

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