adventures and misadventures in parenting, marriage, and life
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Most people think of pregnancy brain as that fuzzy (and or lack of) memory that pregnant women get. While this is an unfortunately true side effect of pregnancy, it lasts far beyond birth--hence, "mommy brain." Mine was just clearing up during our daughter's third year, just when we had decided to have another baby.
Pregnancy and mommy brain includes some wonderful benefits: not remembering childbirth pain (for most, although I do have at least one friend begs to differ), forgetting some of the less enjoyable aspects of pregnancy (room-clearing gas, migraine headaches, sleeplessness, sciatica, and a slew of other random aches and pains), and not caring about forgotten appointments, to name a few.
But pregnancy brain also has some undesirable effects; for example, the strange and sometimes terrifying or anxiety-producing dreams that offer occur during pregnancy. For the past four weeks, I have found myself awake on random mornings at four a.m., heart pounding in fear or teeth clenched in frustration or hyperventilating from anxiety. Most of the time, the dreams are nondescript and seemingly unrelated to anything that is going on in my conscious brain. Although I'm sure Freud could beg to differ, they just don't seem to correlate to anything. Whether they do or not, they seem a cruel trick of nature (along with the need to wake up to go to the bathroom at least once, if not twice, during the night). Having been through this once before, I am all too aware of the sleepless nights that will come with the new baby. That's why it seems extra-frustrating to be losing sleep now, both in quality and quantity.
What is your pregnancy brain like? Does it keep you up at night? Make you forget where you're going as soon as you get in the car? Or do you think it's a myth--an excuse we've made up for ourselves to give us a "get out of jail free" card for when we find we can't--or don't want to--multitask the way we used to?