Losing my mind … literally

By Published On: July 12th, 2011

Written by: Suzanna July 11 2011 I’m not sure who […]

Written by: Suzanna

I’m not sure who the folks are that spend their lives (and our tax money) doing studies that “prove” blindingly obvious truths, but for the first time in my adult life, I appreciate them.

When the Powers That Be spent their time confirming that, yes, exercise can help you lose weight; getting fired or having your pet die sucks; or, my all-time favorite, people put more clothes on when it’s cold, I wasn’t a big fan. I was more like a bemused spectator.

However, I recently came across a study that confirms that the “baby brain” phenomenon is, indeed, a scientifically-verifiable fact—as opposed to a clever excuse used by expectant mamas to shift the guilt of forgetfulness to their unborn progeny. According to researchers, an expectant mother’s brain can shrink by as much as eight percent during the latter part of her pregnancy. It’s ironic really. Just when we’re trying to prepare for taking care of a living, breathing, completely helpless human being, our brains are turning to mush. Mother Nature, you are one sick puppy.

While I admit that it seems strange to suggest that what’s going on in someone’s uterus could affect their brain, forget what you learned in anatomy class. The two are intimately connected. Believe me. I have been a walking case of “baby brain” for weeks now. Before Baby Palmer moved into my uterus, I prided myself on my elephant-like memory. Now, I have an elephant-like midsection and a brain that does well to remember what an elephant is.

It all started with little things like forgetting to turn off the stove burners and going blank on friends’ names. Those things didn’t bother me too much (my friends may feel differently), but lately I’ve noticed that my scatterbrained mind is affecting my work. In my pre-pregnancy world, I would rather have cut off an appendage than miss a deadline. Now, well, let’s just say that I should be arm and legless ten times over by now.

And, I’m sorry to say that missing work deadlines hasn’t been my worst offense. Last week, I topped it all by messing with Big Brother. I have yet to figure out how it happened, but I failed to send in my tax return that was due three months ago. Fortunately, I already have a response worked out: “I’m sorry Scary Mr. IRS Man, I actually have a completely legitimate reason for missing the deadline, thanks to your friends over at The Department of the Glaringly Obvious. I’m pregnant.”

Keep your fingers crossed that it works! If it does, score one for all the baby-brained mamas-to-be. If it doesn’t, at least I won’t remember the repercussions in a few minutes anyway. And, regardless of what happens, at least over the next few weeks when I feel like I am losing my mind, I can remind myself that I am.