Pregnancy Brain

I have no shame, and that is why I am about to share a couple rather embarrassing vignettes with you. In my 9th month of pregnancy, I can state that I have become an expert in the embarrassing, often inconvenient reality that is Pregnancy Brain. I capitalize those words because it is a real thing–a really scary thing. Did you know that the brain of a pregnant woman shrinks by a third. We don’t lose brain cells, everything just becomes more compact. The effect being that we lose memory function. I cannot remember where I learned this tidbit of information, but I can tell you that it was a credible source.

But I do not remember the source either.

Pregnancy Brain is a joke, a stereotype. And while I heard the joke for years, I didn’t really got it until I was living with it. Two years ago when Husband and I were out cake tasting in preparation for our wedding we ran across a pregnant baker. She was very nice, her cupcakes were amazing, and we ended up ordering our wedding cakes from her. Fast forward a month or two to when I had decided that our original order was not big enough, I went back to the order to add another couple dozen cupcakes to our bill.

Unfortunately the woman working the counter was not our pregnant baker, as she was now on maternity leave. This woman searched long and hard for our original order, but could not find it anywhere in their book. I was a little frustrated, but the woman promised me there was enough time before the wedding, that she would find the original and add what I wanted to it. It took her a couple of days of turning her books inside out, looking for our order, but she did eventually call me to let me know she had found it. It had just been erroneously filed, a phenomenon she contributed to our pregnant baker’s pregnancy brain.

So you see, even before I was pregnant I knew that Pregnancy Brain was real–or I at least knew that people would attribute any sign of forgetfulness or negligence to Pregnancy Brain. But like everything else, knowing and experiencing are different things. Like I promised, here are all the embarrassing things my poor, shrunken brain has subjected me to.

1. The Airport Incident

Husband had been out-of-town for about a week for work. He is a consultant for a tech company, and his job is to make his clients happy. He has about 5 enterprise level clients at anyone time, and he spends roughly one day a week on each client making sure they are getting what they need from him and his company. This is the least technical, most simplistic, dumbed-down version of what he does. Anyway he had been out-of-town for about a week in Minneapolis, or Milwaukee, I can’t remember which (I couldn’t even remember at the time where he had gone, though he did tell me) and I went to the airport to collect him. Besides not remembering where he would be flying in from, there were a lot of things I forgot before heading to the airport. I forgot to change my shoes, so I was wearing my house slippers. Thankfully they were the ones with the rubber soles. That was just luck. I forgot that he had flown out to wherever he had been with some executives from one of his larger clients. I forgot that when you fly out with people, you generally all fly back together. I forgot to change before I went to the airport, but while I was driving their I decided that it didn’t really matter that I was in sweatpants, slippers, a big puffy brown coat, which makes me look like a ridiculous, and unfortunately colored marshmallow, and that I hadn’t combed my hair all day. It didn’t matter because I was just meeting my husband, and while the Portland airport is small, it is still an international airport, and what does it matter if I walk around looking like a zombie mess?

And boy did I look like a mess, but I was excited to see Husband after a week, so I parked the car and headed inside to meet him at the security checkpoint. Now the airport was REALLY busy that night, so when Husband walked through security there was no room for a great and smooch, instead I just fell in step beside him, making our way to baggage claim. I said high of course, but then because I must have felt some semblance of shame over my appearance I started joking about how I looked. I believe I said something to the effect of how fetching I looked, how I knew he wanted to jump my bones right then and there. To his shame, he did not stop me. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I know I talked about having sex in public because I was so ravishingly beautiful in my sweats, and slippers, and uncombed hair. He let me get ALL of that before turning to me and saying, “Honey I would like you to meet…” and introducing me to three top execs from one of his largest clients.

It was a proud moment for me. So proud in fact that I turned beet red while I shook all of their hands and tried not to notice that they were all barely containing their laughter. I then got to stand there with all of them as we waited for luggage. I will be waiting at the curb, in the car next time. Which turns out is what Husband would prefer. He said something about the ease of collecting his own bags and just jumping in the car, but I am suspicious that it is actually the fear of the real possibility that I will embarrass him.

2. The Toilet Paper Incident

I can’t believe I am even writing this, but like I said I have no shame apparently. I was over at my mother’s house, working or something. It was just me and her, and I was on my computer doing something productive I hope. I don’t actually remember. I had been going pee like every half an hour, just like every other day before and every day since. Anyway, we were both wrapped up in our own little tasks, when I realized that my butt itched. Like maybe I had a wedgy or something.

Warning: This is about to get graphic–not gross graphic. I promise everything was clean, but anyway. If you are my grandmother, maybe don’t read the next paragraph.

ANYWAY, I reached back to investigate this wedgy and instead of adjusting my underwear like I thought I would, I pulled out a wad of toilet paper. IT WAS CLEAN, but I cannot tell you how it got there. I have NO memory of putting toilet paper in my butt crack. It was not really a small wad of toilet paper either, it was a medium wad if we want to classify it. I sat at the dining room table, thankfully no one was eating, just staring at this artifact that I had excavated and wondered. To this day I cannot tell you how it happened. I have no memory whatsoever. It is a mystery, one my mother got a good laugh out of. This has happened one more time since. If I had any shame I would delete that last sentence.

3. The GroupMe App Incident

Husband and I decided that we are not going to post anything on Facebook, or any social media platform, until after baby is born. There will be no, “I am in labor,” announcement. But there are people who would like to know and would be respectful of our wishes, so I thought we would put together a group text for when we actually head over to the birth center. So we put a list together of some 30 names, mostly out-of-town family and friends, who would get a group text when things start happening. I then went through my phone and created a contact group. This took me about an hour as I was having some technical difficulty. Turns out my contacts were saving to three different platforms, which created some problems, anyway I don’t want to relive the details–it was all too frustrating the first time.

But when I was done, I was very proud that I had figured it out, so of course I went to brag to Husband. His response was less than enthusiastic. Turns out that he hates SMS for some stupid tech reason, and since I couldn’t share my contact group with him, he didn’t want to go through the hassle of sending one text through my phone. HIs solution was to use an app called GroupME.

I told him that he was being stupid and that I had already wasted to much time on this one stupid insignificant thing. He told me he would take care of it, and I told him that wasn’t going to happen because I knew he was too stressed and busy with work to do something like this. Which means I could have just left it there. I could have had things my way, because he would never have switched the contact list over to GroupMe, and when the big day same he would just have to use my phone.

But then I thought about how stressed he was at work, and how if this would make him happy I would suck it up and do it. It turned out to be more complicated than I thought. GroupMe, for some reason, would not load all the contacts I wanted, so I had to go in manually and add the 30 some people to the list manually.

This is where pregnancy brain comes in. I thought set the settings for the group, so I could add people without it sending out notifications. But that turns out not to be the case, so every time I added someone to the group, everyone I had previously added got a text message. There first people on the list got the most notifications, while those later on got fewer, and it wasn’t long before friends were texting back into the app asking if things were actually happening and then giving me crap for blowing up their phones.

Which I cannot really blame them. But I can blame pregnancy brain for how I handled it. I LOST MY SHIT. I shut down the app and haven’t opened it since (this was a week ago). I got irrationally mad at Husband for making go through all of this. The more I thought about what I had done, the more embarrassed I was. Not that I really had anything to be embarrassed about, but in my Pregnancy addled mind this was the end of the world. I couldn’t stand to be alone with myself I was so embarrassed, so I woke Husband up from his nap and made him come and cuddle me. That’s when I really lost it. I started blubbering like a little child and COULD NOT STOP. Poor Husband didn’t really know what to do, so he just held me and started making jokes at me expense.

He is a keeper.

He asked me if anyone had left the group, which is a very innocent question. Only one person had left the group, but it was my brother (which is no surprise) but somehow that made everything worse, and I was inconsolable for the next twenty minutes.

Having now had some time to process all of this, I do realize that I was upset and embarrassed over nothing. I was emotional because I am pregnant and totally brainless when I went into set up the app, but none of that really warranted a full emotional breakdown. I even dreamt about it that night, imagining that one of my best friends hated me now because I accidentally sent her some 30 messages about people being added to a damn group.

Thankfully I am over it all. Though I will not touch that app again. Husband can finish setting things up if he hates sms so much. And I guess my brother just isn’t going to know when his niece is born. Because what sibling leaves another siblings birth announcement group. What a jerk.

It has been suggested that I am overreacting.

There you have it folks: the three most embarrassing things I have done since my brain shrunk by a third. After pregnancy your brain will go back to normal, but by that point sleep deprivation will be so intense that you won’t notice you have a third of your brain back. By the time sleep deprivation becomes less of a thing, we will probably be planning for another baby, which will mean my brain will shrink again, so really it is all downhill from here. At least that is what my neighbor told me. She said her pregnancy brain got worse with each child, and she has yet to recover.


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