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Pregnancy Brain + Mommy Brain = No Brain At All?

I’ve had E’s invitation to her good buddy’s birthday party taped to the refrigerator for weeks. We RSVP’d, picked out a gift, wrapped it, decorated a card with glitter and crayons. The party had a Sesame Street theme—E’s favorite—and a rumor was going around there might even be a bouncy house.

At 2:30pm on the day of the party, I was putting on makeup and about to get E up from her nap when I got a text from a friend. Missed you at T’s party. Is everything OK? Confused, I put away my mascara, re-read the text and checked the clock. We hadn’t missed the party…or had we?

I ran to the fridge. And sure enough, printed clear as day on the Elmo invite, was the time: 10:30am. Which was four hours ago. Not, as I’d so carefully written in my calendar AND typed into my cell phone, 3pm. We’d missed the whole thing.

There are no words to describe how awful I felt. I’d disappointed a good friend, stood up a two-year-old, and devastated my own daughter, who’d been looking forward to the party for ages. How could I have done such a stupid, brainless thing?

Pregnancy brain, that’s how. Except it seems that coupled with my ever-present mommy brain, which is especially talented at misplacing belongings, losing trains of thought mid-sentence, and forgetting stuff, pregnancy brain is more debilitating than ever. In fact, we could even call it Missing Brain.

This is no oops-I-put-orange-juice-in-my-coffee absentmindedness. I’m not talking about forgetting which night the trash goes out, or leaving your wallet behind at the grocery store check out. I’m talking about a whole new level of foggy. Vast, unknown frontiers of dummyhood. I’ve started doing daily Sudoku puzzles and practicing the multiplication tables in a vain effort to reverse the process. Is there a cure for this wretched condition? How can I raise two children if I can barely remember which is right and which is left?

This afternoon, my dear friend, the very same friend whose child’s birthday I’d royally screwed up, called. She, too, is expecting a #2 in December.

“I’m calling to make you feel better about the party,” she told my voicemail (since I’d clearly forgotten to answer the phone.) “I missed my 20-week ultrasound appointment yesterday. Just forgot all about it. I’m so frustrated I want to cry.”

Oh my goodness. I felt sorry for her—and also not-so-secretly gleeful. It’s not just me! Other pregnant mommies are losing their marbles, too! Yippee!

Of course, I called back and offered some words of solidarity and encouragement. In between letting E’s bathtub overflow and accidentally burning her grilled cheese, that is. Could someone please pass the ginseng? Oh wait—I forgot. I can’t have that. I’m pregnant.

Maybe when E and #2 head off to college, I’ll be able to remember my own anniversary, buy the correct items on my shopping list, and string together a coherent sentence. At least for now, I have the world’s best excuse for being scatterbrained...

 

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