A few months ago I read an article about pregnancy brain and all those weird things pregnancy makes woman do. Forgetfulness, confusion, mood swings. They say it’s the hormones, as usual.
My mother told me that when she was pregnant with me, she suddenly couldn’t understand my father’s jokes. Not that it’s something unusual. Many people don’t understand my father’s jokes. But my mother, a brilliant woman with a huge sense of humour, she of all people should understand my father’s jokes, and she didn’t. I think she wasn’t happy about this.
When I got pregnant, my sense of humour didn’t suddenly disappear. Neither did my brain. I felt fantastic. I got married in my 30th week, had passed an exam somewhat earlier, and spent a big part of my pregnancy on the train between Hamburg and Delft. I basically felt very much alert and alive.
I even felt much better than usual because usually my blood pressure is really low, and then it got normal when I was pregnant. So no more dizziness, no more grumpiness in the morning. Also, no food withdrawal syndrome which was great for everybody involved. I had sort of a nesting instinct which presented as a baking instinct. But pregnancy brain? No. But I gave this some thought and I found my explanation.
See, my whole childhood was full of people running after me and shouting: “Hey, Olga, you forgot your sweater/shoes/bag. One day you’re going to lose your head”. I didn’t have anything to say about losing my belongings. But I was quick to point out that as my head is attached to the rest of my body, I can’t really lose it.
I forget my stuff on trains and planes. My mind is so busy thinking that it doesn’t pay attention to boring things like my clothes or shoes. Also, I quickly get confused over the simplest things. Two people talk to me at once? I am confused. A sudden change of plans? I am confused. I have too much to do? I am confused.
Taking this into account, I now understand why I didn’t get the pregnancy brain. If I were even more forgetful and confused when pregnant, I would pose a danger to myself and to my unborn baby. To keep us both alive, my organism takes the other direction. I’m telling you, people, I could stay in a perpetual state of 4-7 months pregnant, that’s how great I felt. When I had my exam, I was very alert and answered all the questions, even the ones I wasn’t prepared for. I am sure it was my pregnancy that made it so.
I found the explanation for pregnancy brain interesting. It’s because your mind is so preoccupied with being pregnant and then with the baby that it shuts off everything else. The article said it’s exactly this brain that makes you a better mother. If this is true, I have been an awesome mother my whole life.