To be totally honest, I was a tad bit dippy before getting pregnant. I like to think of myself as some kind of savant, brilliant in certain ways, yet hopelessly stupid in others. It seems like pregnancy has exagerated the latter half of that equation some. I often find myself staring blankly into space, oblivious to what exactly it was that I was about to do, or suddenly dumb-founded by even the simplest dilema. When faced with mathematics, the little hamster in my head simply jumps off the wheel all together. In fact, I'm not sure he's ever planning to come back.
The mad-lib phenomena (where my brain randomly inserts the totally wrong word or action into a string of thoughts) has gone from occasional to everyday. The other day, my sister and I were in the car, getting ready to drive somewhere, but we needed the address. I looked her straight in the face and said "I'd better call Scott for directions.", then reached into my wallet, pulled out my insurance card and handed it to her. Yeah, brain, that makes a whole lot of sense. My insurance card seems to be an ongoing joke in preggy brain. I've tried to pay for coffee with it too.
Other times my brain just withholds information (like a jerk). Stuff I totally know just disappears all together. Talk about frustrating. My favorite example of this wasn't me, but one of my best friends during her second pregnancy. We were talking one afternoon and she couldn't remember her first kid's name. She says with the straightest face ever, "You know, the little boy that lives here." I almost died laughing.
I've been curious about how and why my brain is behaving this way, so today I looked on the Googles for some more information. It turns out that the existence of "pregnant brain" is under hot debate. Some doctors argue that your brain is not all affected by pregnancy on a physical level, while others point out that pregnant women are soaked in a cocktail of hormones and natural chemicals that can certainly affect how quickly or accurately the mind operates.
I totally buy that argument, because there have been moments during this process where I've felt some pretty familiar feelings - heightened tactile sensations, euphoria, deep trance-like thoughts, the munchies. I'm pretty sure the last time I felt all that it was caued by natural chemicals too. (Ahem.)
Even if those hormones aren't zapping your brain directly, they can cause you to lose sleep, stress out, and get emotional, all things that don't help your thought process operate at top efficiency. Not to mention that the ongoing physical discomfort and bizzare transformations of pregnancy are pretty distracting. Seriously, you try not to notice when someone is tickling your intestines.
Whether or not there is a physical explanation, most articles seemed to agree that your mental state shifts one way or another, even if only by re-prioritizing what is worthy of your ever-shortening attention span. Math? Who needs it. You need to make room for categorizing every small, strange noise your baby makes. So maybe it's just a matter of your brain cleaning house, dusting off crusty connections, tossing out "extra" information, and pointing your focus toward little Babykins as best it can.
Or, is it Babykins himself? Could he be down there like a miniature mastermind, recalibrating your brain patterns to make sure you focus on HIM and only HIM? If so, I'd like to picture him down there with a fluffy little cat, bellowing in evil triumph.
Wherever it is coming from, it's here. This morning I almost brushed my teeth with neosporin.