When you read books about pregnancy, a recurring topic is the onset of “pregnancy brain.” Symptoms include general forgetfulness, walking into rooms with a purpose and losing that purpose once you arrive, starting a conversation but becoming unable to follow along with it, and general short term memory loss. This temporary memory challenge though seems like it should be similar to other pregnancy symptoms in that some women will get it and others will thankfully be immune to it. When looking over the list of symptoms and signs, I have been really lucky. Morning sickness only plagued me a little though it wipes others out. And, I have only had one crippling migraine (fingers crossed). But, alas, pregnancy brain has hit me hard! Right before writing this, I blanked as I opened “add new post” and thought “Hmmm, what was I going to write again?” Seriously, that just happened! Staring at my computer I racked my brain for the idea I just had a minute ago. Finally after a few minutes and getting up and pacing the room (moving around seems to help alleviate the brain issue) I remembered.
In front of my ninth graders the other morning, I stood frozen at the board. We were discussing the role of the government and how the constitution is a “living” document that has been flexible enough to evolve with our nation and its people. I wanted to write the word “physical” on the board in reference to a conversation point, but the spelling completely eluded me. Saying the word over and over again out loud, a student asked, “Are you okay?” Laughing, I shared with the class that I completely blanked and could not recall this word. It then became hysterical as they shared their versions of the word. As we spelled it together, I could tell that the word was spelled incorrectly but could not conjure up the correct spelling on my own. Finally after what was too long, we spell-checked it and nailed it! This was but the first hilarious though unsettling moment of pregnancy brain that has been followed by constant daily occurrences.
From forgetting which bank to pay for our mortgage, to missing half the grocery list when shopping, to blanking on names of family and friends, this symptom has me in its grip! Post-it notes, lists, steno pads, e-mails, and texts fill my arsenal to combat this pregnancy reality but then of course I have to remember to check these things too! The other wild side-effect of pregnancy brain is believing that conversations that occurred in dreams are real. That’s right, I now have to second guess a lot as I try to figure out if it was a real moment or a vivid dream moment. Car rides into work have become hilarious as I reference conversations that never happened and David has to painstakingly convince me that what I am talking about only happened in my sleep. If you see me wandering about….please return me home.