Okay, this has to be talked about because I think it is absolutely hilarious! I often think of having pregnancy/mom brain as a book of bloopers throughout a long time period. Seriously, it’s a real thing. When I first became pregnant I remember people talking about having pregnancy brain and I couldn’t help but laugh it off as if it was just a thing to say. Then late into my first trimester, I figured out it’s totally true! Of course, I had to look it up just to see exactly what it meant. Pregnancy brain is that lack of memory caused by a cocktail of different things. These include your hormones dramatically changing, lack of sleep, added stress and a lack of energy. I was forgetting all kinds of things from what day it was to what I had just read. I remember having to read things over and over just to get it in my brain! Even sometimes that didn’t work. For me, pregnancy brain went away during my second trimester. I thought, “oh good, I’m normal again.” But no! I was wrong. It returned in the third trimester and it was even worse than the first trimester! I would walk into a room and completely forget why I was in the room or what I was about to do. At the time, it was absolutely frustrating, maybe the most frustrating part of pregnancy. When you’re talking about someone who is Type A and likes to get things done in an organized way, pregnancy brain is an awful thing to have! When you’re trying to prepare for a new baby and you’re forgetting everything you need to do, it actually can become a problem! So, I started writing everything down. I would make a list of everything I needed to do every single day. Otherwise, I would forget. And guess what else? It does not come back to you. At least for me, I wouldn’t remember what I walked into a room for. Ever. Everyone said, “oh, your brain will be normal again soon.”
Your memory comes back but then you suffer from “mom brain.” Yep! That’s a real thing too! Mom-brain is a little bit different than pregnancy brain. You still have the memory loss for sure but there’s other things too. I think it mostly comes from extreme exhaustion and starting a life with something to take care of. A new responsibility. But it causes other things too. This brings me to the bloopers which I can now laugh about but a few months ago these things freaked me out! One time I woke up in the middle of the night and Johanna was nursing. I have no recollection of taking her out of her bassinet and putting her on my breast to nurse. I’m so glad I woke up when I did but thinking back, it was really funny. I was robotic, even in my sleep. My favorite mom brain episode still happens every single day! It’s the phantom crying. I’ll be in the shower or in another room and I swear I can hear her crying. I’ve learned to ignore it and stop letting my brain play tricks on me but for a long time I would get out of the shower and check to make sure she wasn’t actually crying. Most of the time, she was asleep! The phantom crying happens when I’m at work too! I swear I can hear a baby crying but there’s no baby in site! Another funny but sad blooper is when I accidentally poured my breast milk down the drain instead of in the storage bags. I sure did! Completely out of it and not even thinking straight, it went right into the sink. That hurt my soul for sure and I don’t think I’ve recovered from that episode quite yet!
Sure, I could sit here and say that I’m just tired and these things happen to anyone who is tired. However, I think using the mom brain thing is a good excuse to sound completely idiotic. Like while I’m at work and I’m learning something new. It sometimes goes in one ear and out the other. I have absolutely no idea what my trainer just told me. I have to ask her to repeat it and instead of her thinking I’m just a complete idiot, I blame it on the mom brain. Everyone seems to understand what I’m talking about so that’s good enough for me. Other things that still happen are forgetting what day it is, feeling like it’s midnight when it’s actually 10am, forgetting what bills are due and when and forgetting what to buy at the store. Seriously, lists are the only thing that helps! Also, have you ever sat there and watched your baby sleeping on the monitor then you see them moving? But they aren’t actually moving? Yeah, this has happened to me too! Even to the point where I’ve gone in the nursery and picked her up out of the crib. I obviously didn’t check first to see if she was actually awake…. Oops!
Once upon a time my brain was normal and fully functioning but I honestly don’t think it’s ever going to return to it’s normal functioning level. It takes me several minutes to remember where I put my keys, even though I leave them in the same place all the time. On several occasions, I have actually found them in the door! Ugh! Can you imagine?! Having conversations with people can actually be work. It takes serious focus. Often times, I stopped talking mid sentence because I can’t remember what I was talking about. The topic just disappears into thin air never to return again. That’s right! Never! Ever! I’ve forgotten where my cell phone is, while I’m using it! I kid you not, this has happened several times. It’s embarrassing to say the least but it’s hilarious when you think about it.
Short answers are the best answers when you’re a new Mom. Don’t get all deep into conversation about something serious because you’ll end up sounding really scattered and crazy. Of course I have conversations all the time but listen, it’s different! It’s like you’re speaking a different language or perhaps the person you’re talking to is speaking a different language. I’m not sure which one yet but for now I’ll stick to calling it Mom brain!