Ahh baby brain. Before being pregnant you hear the phrase and think, ‘oh those crazy pregnant people and they’re crazy phrases…’ And then, well then you see that line on that pregnancy test, and you see that heartbeat on the monitor, and you slowly but surely transform into a Mother. But, and I’m not sure of the exact time this happens, you start to realise something…baby brain, it’s real and it’s here to stay (but if it makes you feel better, half the time, you’ll forget!)
And, I’ve got to be honest; one of the reasons I am now a firm believer in ‘baby brain,’ is because, frankly, I hope that’s what it is! Without sounding horribly arrogant, I used to be really quite intelligent, without starting to brag, I have more than one degree and have always been lucky enough to enjoy learning. The reason I tell you this is because two weeks ago, I got into the car for a weekend working trip and wondered why my husband was looking at me quizzically. It turns out I managed to leave the house with no coat but two handbags over my shoulder. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t the first sign that certain parts of my brain had packed their own bags and gone on a permanent holiday, but it was one of the clearest. I committed to my decision though and for both days I went into the theatre with my head held high and both handbags swaying confidently by my side (somewhat to commit to it and somewhat because it was hard to keep remembering which stuff was in which handbag..!)
Other examples are more common, I made a lemon cake but neglected to add any lemon. I’m somewhat reluctant to attribute that to baby brain, because although I’ve always been relatively intelligent, my common sense levels have always been awful and baking is not a natural skill I possess. Still, my baking skills were usually at least competent enough to include lemon in a lemon cake.
And I don’t know if anyone else will agree with this or my imagination has spread into parts of my head that my intelligence and rational thought used to reside, BUT I’m relatively confident that my unborn daughter is already mocking me. As I’ve mentioned in past blogs, she’s much more active at night, but get to a till and realise you’re trying to pay with a library card instead of a bank card..? Oh what do you know, a quick un-characteristic kick! Put a toasted and buttered hot cross bun in the washing up bowl leaving the knife on the plate…? Oh there’s my daughter, suddenly kicking away! Whenever I do something, roll my eyes and think, ‘thanks again baby brain,’ my unborn child seems to do anything she can to say, ‘you’re welcome!’
Luckily, the affect on your hormones and brain power is so well documented, friends and family do tend to be quite understanding, and especially luckily for me, my husband seems to have unending patience with me! On Tuesday, I cried twice; firstly because the t-shirt I wanted to wear didn’t fit and the cartoon character was so warped by my increasing size it was borderline frightening, and secondly about 20 minutes later because I burnt my hot cross bun (sadly not the one I accidentally put in a sink full of suds and dishes, that particular hot cross bun had been toasted to perfection…) But this is what I have deemed a ‘baby brain/loss of emotional control crossover’. I forgot to check the toaster level, but wouldn’t normally cry over it. I’m not saying I’ve ever had an emotional intelligence that would rival Ghandi or anything but I am starting to think that perhaps as women our intelligence levels are somehow connected to our emotional control. At this point, I would like to definitely assert that although I’m suggesting it happens to us all, (I’m more hoping perhaps that it’s not just me…) I am in no way trying to drag everyone else’s reputation with me.
The one thing that is for certain, there’s at least one other… a very close friend of mine is also pregnant, 6 weeks ahead of me; and we keep trying to meet up. Do you have any idea how difficult it is for two women addled with baby brain to catch up? I can’t remember the last time I saw her (although evidently, that’s not cast iron proof that I haven’t..!)
At the time of writing, it’s 3.30am, baby’s kicking, Daddy’s snoring and Mummy’s sipping a hot chocolate downstairs wearing only one slipper… Where’s the other one? No idea. But I’m soon to become a parent, and honestly? Losing a little bit of intelligence is a very small price to pay. Embrace the baby brain ladies, the little ones are worth it!