Pregnancy Brain Claims Another Victim

exercise during pregnancy

The belly steals brain cells, resulting in pregnancy brain. Credit: Frank de Kleine

When I was pregnant with my first, I suffered serious “pregnancy brain.” My typos exhausted spell check, words would go completely missing from my brain, and I would turn off the bathroom light instead of the water. Now, my dear pregnant friend Kate Kordus is experiencing the phenomenon she once doubted as pregnancy brain claims another… —Erin

I’m Smart! S-M-R-T!

Being one of the last of my friends to get pregnant, I heard about a variety of what I thought were ridiculous pregnancy side effects. Things like “truly obsessed with food” to “had to sleep under my desk at work” and one of my personal favorites “pregnancy brain.” Now that I’m pregnant, I totally understand the obsession with food, the mind-numbing fatigue that forces you to find a place to nap at 2 p.m., and most importantly, pregnancy brain.

Apparently, pregnancy brain is what happens when you get pregnant and get stupid. I thought this was the most hilarious and ridiculous lie I’ve ever heard. You’re not stupid because you’re pregnant! Turns out, yes, as a matter a fact, you are. And here’s proof:

Exhibit A – 1/10/2012 at 6:30 a.m.
I go through my normal morning routine of waking up, stretching and walking downstairs to take nice warm shower. Only on this day, I choose to liven up my hair with a change in conditioner (if you don’t do this, you should definitely try it—it does make a difference). As I look through my collection of fancy hotel conditioners from my work travels to LA and NYC, I pick an extra-special one to add a little oomph to my hair. Extra special, indeed. As I lathered the conditioner on my hair I think, “This is such high-end conditioner that it feels lightweight!” So lightweight that I choose to use the entire bottle. It wasn’t until I was rinsing it out that I noticed that my hair wasn’t silky smooth. In fact, it was even more tangled than before. I just kept thinking, “Why would high-end conditioner do this to my hair?” That’s when it dawned on me: because it’s LOTION. Yep, this smart girl put lotion on her hair instead of conditioner. At least my scalp was moisturized.

Exhibit B – 1/10/2012 at 4 p.m.
Later that day, I go to my first doctor’s appointment and am SO excited to confirm that this hasn’t been a figment of my imagination and that I am in fact pregnant. After a series of weighing, poking and prodding, I sit down in a chair and am asked a laundry list of family-related medical questions. Pregnancy brain? Please. That lotion event was a fluke. I can answer family questions half asleep. The first questions consist of name, address, phone number, etc., and they roll off my tongue with ease. Then the conversation gets interesting.

Nurse: Father?
Me: David
Nurse: Age?
Me: 59
Nurse: Well he really robbed the cradle, didn’t he!
Me: (silence) (My dad had me at 30 and that’s my age! That isn’t young!)

The conversation continues and as the nurse HAND WRITES the answer to the very last question, a light bulb goes off:

Nurse: I assume the emergency contact is David?
Me: Actually, it’s Frank Kordus. He’s my husband.
Nurse: What? I thought David was your husband.
Me: No, David is my dad.
Nurse: Sweetheart, when I asked you for the father’s name, I meant the father of your baby! Not the father of you!
Me: Oh.
Nurse: In 25 years I have NEVER had that happen!
Me: Shut it, nurse. (Ok, I really didn’t say that, but I was totally thinking it.)

And since the nurse thought it was 1995 and HAND WROTE the answer to every question, we then proceeded to go through EVERY single question. Again.

As I left my doctor’s appointment and drove the 30 minutes home, I started thinking that maybe pregnancy brain isn’t a myth. Maybe something does happen. But I decided that two little events don’t mean anything. And as I pulled into my driveway and reach for the doctor’s folder that she gave me, I realize it’s not there. I had left it at the doctor’s office. Touché, pregnancy brain, touché. —Kate

See? It’s real. Reminds me of the time I took a shower and forgot to wash my body. How has pregnancy brain affected you? —Erin

 


Comments

  1. Jessica says

    I forgot to go to a work meeting. Like, completely didn’t have the slightest clue until the little reminder popped up on my calendar 15 minutes before it started. The meeting was at an office downtown, 20 minutes away, so I was already late. I grabbed my jacket and purse and started running out the door when I realized that my husband and I had carpooled and I didn’t have a car to drive downtown in. Oops! There were lots and lots of other things, too.

    Also, don’t assume it will get better after you have the baby. The lack of sleep those first few months makes it so much worse!

  2. Erin says

    While pregnant with my second, it once took me four attempts to tell my 3yo what 1+1 equals! In context, she was clearly trying to make the number 11, which we had been practicing reading. She put one doll next to another doll and said, “Look, Mommy! It’s One and One; what does that make?” So I, in all my pregnancy brilliance, tried to clarify: “Well, sweetie, 1 next to 1 makes 2, but 1 plus one makes 11. …NO! Wait! 1 *plus* 1 makes 11, but 1 next to 1… No. Okay, 1 plus 1 is 12, but…No!! Okay, I can do this…1…plus…1…equals……..2. Yeah. *phew*”
    I’m glad there were no adults there to witness my total math failure!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *