Pregnancy Dementia

I was beginning to think I was a mutant and not just physically thanks to the morphing of my body from slender and toned to pear and flabby, but because of how quickly my mind has been changing. I’ve never been one to really make to-do lists or set up outlook reminders on my calendars. I’ve never needed those things before. My mind has always been sharp as a blade, fully intact and attuned to everything that is occurring. Don’t get me wrong, wit hasn’t exactly been my forte, but I at least held a lot greater comebacks than what I do now! So, I decided to do some research and check into this anomaly that is apparently known by many as “pregnancy dementia”.

According to WebMD, dementia is the loss of mental functions – such as thinking, memory, and reasoning – that is severe enough to interfere with a person’s daily functioning. It is not a disease, but rather a group of symptoms that can be attributed to other diseases or illnesses. Pregnancy dementia is a non-medical term used to describe the memory loss or lapses associated with a woman’s chemical and hormonal imbalances while pregnant. Obviously being a first time mother this means I’ve never experienced pregnancy dementia before. The first thought to come into my mind at the fact that I can’t seem to remember how to tie my shoe is, “Is this baby making me dumber?” So, I decided to do a little research on this baby blaming, mind draining phenomenon. I actually asked other women, including my customers whom I’ve never met before, if they’ve experienced this and what I got was a resounding, YES!

Pregnancy dementia has many other names, a couple of which include, “pregnancy brain” and “baby dumb”. I’ve read that this can actually last for up to a year after giving birth and I have to admit that scares the patookie out of me! I have 3 freakin’ college degrees for crying out loud and I can’t even remember how to balance my checkbook! Ok, that’s a little extreme, but at the rate Davey is sucking my brain cells out of me I can’t help but worry that something as basic as that will actually vacate my brain. My desk at work used to be clean and organized. Now I have yellow post-it notes all over my monitor as reminder to my notes in my computer system which is a back up to my outlook calendar! I now have a back up to my back up just so that I can remember to do things. And here’s the sad part…..I’m having to eat my words at least where my husband is concerned. He now accuses me of not listening to him anymore, which is something I’ve always accused him of, but truthfully I can’t remember the conversations we’ve had an hour earlier! It’s so embarrassing. Before I leave for work every morning, I find myself walking back up my stairs again (hey at least I’m getting my exercise, right?) just to make sure I have unplugged my straightening iron. I can no longer find my keys, remember to write a check to church every Sunday morning, or even my own father’s birthday! Our friends want my husband and I to join them on Wednesday nights for trivia, but what I won’t admit to them (which they’re going to find out now….wait! is this part of pregnancy dementia in action now????) is that I don’t want to go to trivia because I feel like a total dunce! Sorry, friends! Don’t be upset.

The question that comes to mind when thinking about pregnancy dementia is what exactly causes this? It’s so frustrating especially where my writing is concerned because I feel like I can’t even communicate what I’m thinking or feeling anymore at least not in the written language. I feel like my brain is all over th place and moving in opposite directions, so once again…..WHAT CAUSES THIS????? According to the very limited research that has occurred with pregnancy dementia, it is usually triggered by self-induced stress which can be nothing more than the feverish attempts to get all of my nesting completed before I give birth. So, I suppose I should try to relax a bit more and maybe my pre-pregnancy brain will come back to me.

On the plus side of things, while writing this blog I have found that certain aspects of my pre-pregnancy brain are still in tact. I’m listening to FUSE’s 20 Hottest Hip Hop Videos and I’ve found I still know all the words to Enimem’s “Slim Shady”, Tupac Shakur’s “Changes”, Snoop Dogg’s “What’s My Name”, and L.L. Cool J.’s “Momma Said Knock You Out”. There’s hope, right?

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