Unless you live under a rock, most people have heard about the most common symptoms of pregnancy -- morning sickness, stretch marks, heightened emotion and sensitivity as well as heartburn. But there is another pregnancy symptom that many times gets left out of conversations because it is... well... more awkward and at times embarrassing to discuss: a pregnant woman's state of mind.
Fear not. That's where my "tell-all" baby blog comes in. I have to admit some of the things I am going to share with you are embarrassing, but heck, if I don't talk about it being someone who lives and breathes the business of communication, who will?
As you can imagine, being an expectant mom comes with a whole slew of anxieties and worries I never had or dealt with before. Originally I blamed those emotions for taking up brain space leaving me feeling like I was totally losing it. However, as the weeks went by and my, for a lack of a better term, "brain farts" worsened, I decided to talk to the doctor about it. Before I continue with this story, let me just preface it by admitting that I of course did what I always encourage every person NOT to do -- Google the symptoms. Try searching under forgetfulness or crazy and see what comes up. Let's just say I think my anxiety level hit a new peak that evening.
During my next OB appointment, the doctor asked if I had any questions and I said yes, as a matter of fact I do. I said, "I think there's something wrong with me." The doctor, seeming ever so concerned, asked what I meant. I began explaining the bizarre things I've noticed during my normal routine like not remembering where I put my phone only to realize it's been in my hand the whole time or having to check and recheck setting my morning alarm 187 times because I couldn't remember if I did it five seconds earlier. Now, I know what you're thinking, "I forget stuff all the time too! How is this anything out of the ordinary?" Believe me, I was never perfect when it came to memory, but this made walking around with your sunglasses on top of your head as you search for your sunglasses for 20 minutes look like just a typical day in the life of anybody. As I was explaining my new found forgetfulness to the doctor, I stopped, blankly looked at my husband then back at the doctor and said, "I'm so sorry. I have no idea what I was talking about."
It only took the doctor a half of a second to diagnose me. I had placenta brain. There are many other names for it like prego brain or momnesia, but I like to sound technical about it because it makes me feel better like it is a real thing that hopefully will go away. However, something else I learned at the doctor's office that day, placenta brain apparently never goes away and with each subsequent pregnancy it gets worse. All I could think is great, the next thing you know I will be blow drying my toe nails and painting my hair. Apparently two brains are not better than one.
As doctors usually are, my OB was right. I am now just about 30 weeks pregnant and the placenta brain is in full swing (research shows it hits its peak during the third trimester).
One of the most memorable occasions happened a few weeks ago. My favorite meal of the day is breakfast and since being pregnant I cannot get enough pancakes. Being a wonderful husband, Joe took me to IHOP one Sunday morning to help fill my pancake craving and if you've ever been to IHOP you know one of the best things about eating there is that they leave the canister of coffee at your table for you to fill your cup as needed. Well, I was about half way through eating my stack of flapjacks when I decided I needed more syrup. So, like any normal person would do, I reached for the syrup and started pouring. Only, I didn't grab the syrup. I grabbed the canister of coffee that was ten times the size of any syrup jar. As I sat there pouring coffee over my pancakes thinking, "hmm the color is the same, but the consistency is a little funny," it hit me. I gasped, looked at my husband sitting across from me just staring in disbelief as well as all the other patrons around us. I put the coffee down, didn't know whether to laugh or cry and said, "I guess this is the last time you will ever take me to IHOP."
There have been many and I mean many other instances just like the coffee one. The day after the coffee pancakes Joe found one of our nice forks in the trash can instead of the dishwasher. All of a sudden I like to say sentences with the verb and object flip-flopped (not good for TV, let me tell you). My quick-wittedness is completely gone and I will only think of good comebacks seven minutes too late. I drive my co-workers and husband nuts by asking them a question, then one minute later asking the same question even after they already answered the first time. They try to be polite, but I know they are all really thinking, "omg, what the heck is wrong with this girl?!" I know I would be!
As are all of the other funky, tough and out of the ordinary things that can go along with pregnancy, in the end I know it will all be worth it. But I do still have one major concern and that is for my unborn child being brought up by a mother who is plagued and apparently will always be plagued by placenta brain. Good luck to Baby Grady I guess and here's to wearing diapers backwards. Cheers!