Sunday, August 17, 2008

Baby brain: one thing at a time

We have finally moved all our stuff to our new home! What a delight. Of course, the place is now crowded with dusty misplaced furniture, drawers, mountains upon mountains of cardboard boxes that need to be unpacked, and other random stuff, but at least now I know we're going to get more comfortable as days go by and we have the opportunity to do some good hard work in our new home. I'm also looking forward to the end of the Sabbatical year, when we can finally work on our little piece of land and take proper care of our garden.

On Friday, after we moved the last of our belongings and were about to take off to spend Shabbat with my in-laws, my husband (who was busy fixing a leaking sink) asked me to find his shaving machine. While I was looking for it and wondering where I might have put it, he asked me to get a pair of clean socks for him, and some plastic bags.

I just stood there, the wheels of my brain madly rolling, trying to repeat to myself, shaving machine-socks-plastic bags ... and then I blurted out to my poor husband, "Please don't do this to me! I can't think of two things at once!"

Later when I thought about it I realized that, in fact, I never had a problem to think of several things at once, but have lost this capability. I was always very organized, but lately I started forgetting birthdays and appointments. I write things down but then forget to check my lists. And sometimes I can't enjoy more than a few pages of good educational material, because the intellectual effort is just too much for me. I also gradually stopped listening to radio programs and even news ("Huh? War in Georgia? What are you talking about?") and greatly limited the number of websites and blogs I visit daily, because I feel it overloads my brain. It's not like I feel less intelligent - I simply feel there is less room in my brain.

It's true that I'm busy with my new marriage, our home, and preparations for the arrival of a new baby; it's true that I'm more tired than usual - but it's more than that. I really feel as though my brain switched to a different mode.

My sister-in-law says she experienced something very similar during all her pregnancies and also for a while after she gave birth, and other ladies I talked to reported symptoms such as "feeling stupid" and "being unable to think". So I began wondering, maybe I'm experiencing a well-known pregnancy symptom I didn't know about?

I did an internet search and couldn't find anything definite, except that I'm not the only one struggling with "baby brain" symptoms. Some suggest it has to do with sleep deprivation, which wouldn't make sense for me right now - I don't work outside the home, so beside getting my normal night's sleep, I can also take a nap during the day if I feel I need it.

Like several times lately, I invite you to share your experience again, ladies. Have any of you experienced, while pregnant and/or soon after giving birth, symptoms such as extreme forgetfulness, inability to think about more than one thing at a time, and a general feeling of mental overload? Thanks for taking the time to tell!

Blessings to everyone, and wishes of a wonderful week from your friend,

Mrs. T

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your new home!!
Sorry, I've no advice to offer on 'baby brain', as I've never experienced anything of the sort. I was preoccupied with all sorts of other thoughts during my 5 pregnancies....but never felt unable to think, or 'stupid'.

It kinda contradicts the general stereotype of women as multi-taskers, though, doesn't it? I hope it's not a common thing....imagine if a women has a few kids, she could spend 5-10 years in 'stupid mode'....scary!
Tammy

Mrs. Anna T said...

Tammy,

I'm not sure I would experience this with every pregnancy; maybe during next pregnancies, it could get better. Or worse. I don't know.

But of course, the loss of some of my multitasking capabilities is nothing compared to the joy and blessing of having a baby.

Even if I spend most of my adult life forgetting birthdays, it will still be a million times worth it! :-)

Erica said...

Hi Anna,
Long time reader, first time commenter. I love your blog and congratulations on your marriage and pregnancy :)

My friend had a similar thing with her first pregnancy. I asked her what her birthday was and she a) couldn't remember it and b) didn't seem to care. A few months after the birth she was very surprised when I told her this story!

God Bless,
Erica

Kristal said...

Anna,
I have been reading your blog for sometime now....you are such a blessing. I have been married 15 years and wish I could have been more like you in my early married life.
YES pregnancy brain is a real thing. I remember it happening to me very well with both of my babies. My dear sil is expecting now and we will be on the phone and she will be in the middle of telling me something and just stop and say "what was it I was saying or I totally just forgot what I was going to tell you"
It will get better and you will become close to your old self shortly after the birth but as you know life will NEVER be the same again now that you are a mother:)
And we all know that is a wonderful, wonderful thing!!!

Thursday's Child said...

I read somewhere (during my first pregnancy, I think) that a pregnant woman has so much on her mind with the pregnancy, etc. that it becomes more difficult for her to remember other things in an organized manner. Hormones could come into play as well, but I think it's usually attributed to having so much else to think about at the time.

Gothelittle Rose said...

Baby brain is completely normal and understandable. After all, you're MAKING A PERSON. That's tough work. Even though you don't feel like you're doing much, your body is working overtime and it needs resources!

Don't worry about it, put your feet up when you can, and don't get your hair cut. Never get your hair cut when you're pregnant. Trimmed is ok, if your hairdresser already knows what to do with it.

I've got onset of morning sick, 24 hour, so I'm a bit cynical today... but yeah, baby brain started for me at conception and is still in full swing. You've got enough hormones in you to kill a man. Now is a good time to learn to knit or finish that particularly long-running video game. You know, the one that requires you to level up for five hours between plot points? FFX got me through my first pregnancy (baby loved it when I put the vibrating controller on my stomach during battle, and as a newborn he loved to feel it against his feet) and I've got FF:CC for this one.

TheRetroHousewife said...

Yup I went through it. I was a complete ditz, I couldnt process information and yes it did last after the baby was born for a bit but I think that after she was born it was more from lack of sleep.

Jaime said...

yes!

I had a hard time remembering things. It still goes on after the kids are born, but it's gotten much less as they get older. I'm still not as sharp as I was before kids, but fewer people seem to notice!

Sarah-Kate* said...

First time commenter, as well. :-)

I have two children, and I did it with both-- especially my first one! Placenta Brain is what we call it. :-) I am a VERY highly organized person-- I couldn't even remember where I parked! My husband would tease me of my forgetfulness, BECAUSE I am SOOO organized and complete opposite of my Placenta Brain. :-) For me, it was just during pregnancy.

It's fun, isn't it? (NOT!) :-) I LOVE being a mama-- being pregnant is another story. I am just not one of those women (like my sister) who LOVE being pregnant! :-) But, I know I am no where being done with my family size. :-)

Thia said...

Pregnancy Brain is very real and sometimes very scary. My edd is in a few days and the last few weeks have gotten so bad that I don't dare drive farther than a mile or two from the house and not to do shopping (I'd forget half the things on my "list" even). I go to the midwife's and that's it. I do most of my communicating online b/c having a conversation means having to form coherent thoughts too quickly.
It is also impacting my family and they can't wait until I have the baby so that I can get back to normal. It is downright frustrating.

Sarah R said...

I admit, I am guilty of this. The episode I remember most was when I was doing laundry and the dog was hungry.
So I fed the dog detergent, and threw dog food in the washing machine. WHAT.A.MESS.
Luckily, the dog didn't eat the detergent I served her, but my poor husband had a heck of a time getting the kibbles out of the agitator. He says if we get pregnant again, we will NOT keep the dog feed in the laundry room!

Tamsen said...

Absolutely yes, pregnancy brain is real.. with my first baby, I once argued my husband over which direction was left versus right. With this baby, I can't seem to think about anything. I promise, your mind will start to work again when your little one is a few months old :)

Amber said...

Hello!

I have had pregnancy brain with all 3 of my pregnancies, some worse then others. I had a good friend tell me that for every pregnancy you lose 1/2 a brain. :D She was joking, in part. hehe....trust me it gets better, you will soon be able to multi task againm no problem!
Amber

Mrs. Amy Brigham said...

I, too, have always had "baby brain" when pregnant and sadly have to report it hasn't quite gone away yet. I'm a bit of a scatterbrain, what can I say. ;o) In fact, I've always known I was pregnant all four times, before I could possibly have a pregnancy test, because my spelling would become very off, and usually I am fairly good at spelling. Instead of "railroad" I would wind up typing "roadrail." Just before I found out I was expecting Peapod, I made that very spelling mistake in an instant message with a friend and she told me I better go get a pregnancy test. :P

Mrs. R said...

I am also a newlywed (8 months)and pregnant (due in February). I think I'm having baby brain too. My husband is currently gone with the Army, and he's always calling and asking me to do things that I forget! I tell him, "Don't ask me for things when I'm not near paper to write it down!" When I go back to school in a couple of weeks it will be terrible! I'm just going to buy a really good planner and hope I can keep up with everything.

ROSIE said...

I have had four children and experienced pregnancy brain to greater or lesser degrees with each one. I really do think that the fact our bodies are putting SO much energy into making a little person is a major reason behind the syndrome!! :)

I would encourage you, even though you are not working outside the home, to take more time to rest or do restful things each day. So many pregnant women go crazy trying to get so much done before the baby comes, and then when it is finally time to give birth, they are already chronically tired. Birth itself does take energy and it is ideal to enter it in a rested state!

"Baby Brain" did disappear fairly quickly for me after each birth, only to be replaced with a different syndrome when my children reached the stage of crawling around and putting things in their mouths: "Not being able to speak a complete sentence without interrupting" syndrome! :)

It's ALL wonderful...

Blessings,
Rosie

Hearth said...

Oh yes! I had baby brain with both of my pregnancies. You get the brain back after you recover from childbirth and sleep deprivation.

I always felt like it was sort of a mental brown-out... all the processing power was going to baby.

I remember at least once a week the first time I'd make coffee ALL OVER THE COUNTER because I'd forget to empty the carafe... you get used to it.

The up side (to me at any rate) was the feeling of blissed-out peace that would start creeping in as my pregnancies progressed. I would just be concentrated on the inner self and baby and that was what it was all about.

May you continue to have a lovely pregnancy!

Mika said...

This is pregnancy #5 and sometimes I feel like I've never recovered from my first bout of "baby brain". It is a very real thing, I think those lucky ladies who didn't have it happen to them, even a little bit, are the exception more than the rule. I have much the same issue as you though, I can't handle 2 or more people talking to me at once without forgetting what BOTH are talking about. And we'll not talk about how much aimless wandering I do throughout the house trying to remember what I was doing!

Heather said...

Anna~ Congratulations on your new home I am sure it will all come together soon.

As for the baby brain I had it with all three of my kids as did all of my friends. All of the things that you described, plus a few more. I am sorry to say that it gets worse the further you get into the pregnancy, but it does go away about 3-6 months after having baby.

I think it is another way of your body changing with the pregnancy and even though it goes away you are never the same. Food tastes different, things smell different, I am sure you have already experienced some of these things but some are things that are changed until your next pregnancy and then will change again.

God Bless
Heather

Anonymous said...

Yep, I had this both pregnancies - thought everyone did! My aunt warned me that it wouldn't get better after the birth of dd1 and I have to say that, to a large extent, my brain power didn't improve. Am just as scatty now as during my first pregnancy. But it's been worth sacrificing a few million brain cells for our two wonderful blessings :-))

What's a sabbatical year?

Michelle Potter said...

Anna, I've had trouble remembering things though I don't know if it's pregnancy-related or not. It's hard for me to remember if it only happens when I'm pregnant or not, LOL.

What I do is write things down and post them where I can't help but see it. I usually put them on my computer homepage, so when I sit down to take a break and check my start page to see what blogs have updated, I see that -- oh, hey, I was supposed to do such-and-such. You could also tape it over the kitchen sink, or over a mirror that you use often.

lady jane said...

Sweet Anna, in my heart I'm leading you to a soft and cosy chair. Beside you is a glass of cool water. Take a sip. Now close your eyes and reflect on the One Who has placed this wee babe in your womb. Quietly relish in His leading and love. Let His presence wash over you. While you rest (in mind and body) a few of us will silently tend to your homekeeping and prepare a lovely meal for you and your beloved, taking our leave as quietly as we entered.

Oh, that we could do that for you.

Less is sufficient. Do only what is necessary. The basics. This flurry of 'confusion' will subside and you'll once again experience your quick mind and response. But for now, God has you in a place of quiet reflection. Embrace it.

Bless you dearly.

Jane

Catherine R. said...

I too have pregnancy brain. I misspell common words and have trouble staying organized. I am 7 months pregnant right now.

I am jealous that you are able to sleep well. Starting around 6 months I have had major problems falling asleep and staying asleep. I stay at home too. I hope this does not happen to you!

Aimee Kieffer, aka "Momzoo" said...

LOL...I aways called it placenta brain!!! It went away about 6 weeks after the baby came!

Try having placenta brain with 5 kids underfoot...lol...needless to say when I am pregnant the whole house gets pregnant too!! (meaning that I just can't care for things the way I would normally, but that is ok, anything for the special little blessing!)

Just treat it with some humor and relax the standards you set for youself!

**HUGS**

~v said...

Anna,
Oh yes, I remember "baby brain" very well! When I would get frustrated I'd explain that clearly, the baby had taken my brain and I was still in the process of growing a new one! I also got very clumsy, glasses would slip right from my fingers and I would have to walk slowly due to mis-steps. Probably water retention? Towards the end of pregnancy, a hormone is released (don't remember the name) that actually loosens ligaments and tendons in preparation for the birth that can make you even MORE clumsy. Go slow...take it easy! ~v

Tracy said...

YES!!! With my first pregnancy, my husband attended a doctor appointment with me which he didn't always do. After the exam, we sat in the doctor's office, and went over the next month to come, and he(the Dr.) asked if we had any questions. I asked a few normal mommy-to-be things and then my husband said very softly, "Um, She seems to forget everything lately. I'm not upset or anything, but is this normal?" I practically burst out laughing for I hadn't even noticed! I'm usually very good at having multiple things going on at once. The doctor smiled and explained to my husband that this was God's gift to women. He said that if we were to remember every change, ache, and pain that our bodies went through to have a baby that we'd never have anymore. My husband nodded his head and that was that!

So, I think what you are experiencing is VERY normal.

Luvs2BMommy said...

LOL! Anna, I had this with both of my pregnancies and I had it for a bit afterwards. I called it baby brain too (I also said in frustration that the baby was eating my brain :) I think your body is doing some incredibly serious work and that is all it can handle. My youngest is 11 months and I STILL misplace things. I once put the remote in the refrigerator when I went to get a drink (pregnant with first) and then spent an hour looking for it. I got hungry again and then found it LOL.

I have found relief when I eat lots of nuts (whole, raw nuts specifically almonds, walnuts and pecans with some sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds) I eat them most mornings in my oatmeal. I probably don't have to tell you about the whole omega three thing, and oatmeal helps with your milk. Also, avocados are amazing for this. I make a fruit pudding with them (4 avocados, 1 lemon, 1 lemon juiced, 2 cups dates and some banans and other fruits thrown in to taste, pear juice is good too) and I eat it throughout the week with my babies and my brain functions much better.

Welcome to Motherhood...your brain will never be the same again LOL!

Many Blessings :)
Ace

Millie said...

"Baby brain" is what convinced me that I had had enough children and it was time to finalize things.

I was on my way to the store, stopped at a stop sign, and for a few minutes I couldn't remember even why I was in the car, let alone what I needed at the store. I thought, "That's IT! I want my brain back!" and felt good and peaceful about it, so I knew I was done.

I'm hoping my brain comes back again one day... :)

EllaJac said...

ABSOLUTELY! I've had three, and while the first was the most noticeable, I definitely experienced a decline in mental capicity, of some sort. It doesn't seem to return to the pre-baby capicity, either. I joked that I "lost half my IQ when pregnant, and only regained half of that back afterwards.." I recall, when my first was a baby, getting rid of an old laptop. I was going through the hard drive, deleting college papers and the like. Some if it AMAZED me. I couldn't believe that *I* wrote such eloquent, amazing paragraphs! I was really something. *sigh* :)

Just wait, when you're big and can't bend over, that's when your fingers quit working and you'll drop everything onto the floor...

Erin_Coda said...

Dear Anna,

I don't have children, but my sister has three, and definitely can vouch for "baby brain!" Before becoming a stay-home mom, she was the event coordinator for a restaurant chain-- a position that required a lot of attention to detail, as you can imagine. Yet she too succumbed to "baby brain". Or, as she put it, "I only have two brain cells left and the baby is using one of them."

After the baby was born, every bit of her attention to detail came back-- though understandably, her priorities changed greatly.

Congratulations on your pregnancy--even though we've never met, you are in my prayers for a healthy pregnancy, successful delivery, and healthy little one.

Anonymous said...

"Pregnancy brain" happened to me as well. I have a 7 yo daughter and a 5 month old son. I am only now starting to get my ability to concentrate back after my son's birth. ~Erica W.

Bethany Hudson said...

Anna, I have experienced exactly what you're talking about!(forgetfulness, loss of the ability to multi-task, etc) I'm usually great at mental agility stuff and remembering endless lists of tasks and things, but when I'm pregnant, forget it! Actually, I started having that about a month and a half ago again, and my husband and I KNEW I was pregnant! Sadly, (I hate to put a downer in your comments) we miscarried around 6 weeks, so our little one is now in the care of the Lord, but it does go to show that the symptom is definitely legitimate.
~Bethany

adam said...

I'm not a lady but I can say I have had times in my life where I was more focused on a few specific things that has obvious implication in general that I was more forgetful in other area's. This was espcailly during times that were tough. Our thoughts affect our brain more then the other way around. I'm sure you are more focused on your pregency and G-d willing your first child (as rightfully so it is important to you) and that has made you less focused on other issues. It sounds like you are going through a lot with your pregnency and moving and so your focus is a little more narrow then at times and at this time that may be necceary. I would hope we don't label it as some "disorder".

Liz said...

Hello! I am a frequent reader, but rarely comment on blogs. I am also pregnant, due the end of January. I am right there with you. I will think of a few things I need to add to my to do list or grocery list, and before I have a pen and paper in hand it has slipped my mind.

My sister-in-law experiences the same thing during her pregnancies. I think it is just one more way pregnancy affects your body. My husband laughs because I'll be in the middle of a story or thought, and poof it is gone, never to return for completion.

We've decided to just laugh off these moments, instead of thinking that I've lost my brain or become stupid. :)

Best wishes on your pregnancy and new home...we also just moved, it is hard to unpack and get organized with a pregnancy brain!

Samara said...

I didn't experience this- I felt exceptionally healthy and alert all through pregnancy and the first year breastfeeding. My allergies and asthma disappeared temporarily as well. However, I'm one of those women who actually feel better than usual when their bodies are flooded with hormones- during my monthly cycle, for example, I feel wonderful and need less sleep than usual. But when full-time nursing ended, I did experience a sort of "crash" and was tired & feeling "off" a lot. Maybe it's just one way that women respond to hormones?

Anonymous said...

Anna,

This is completely normal and is hormonal. You just feel like you are wandering around, and there's this fog in your brain separating you from the information you want to remember or access.

This is a notorious hallmark of pregnancy. I had a friend who accidentally flushed her cell phone, a friend who "lost" her house keys (she found them in the freezer!), and a friend who gave her cat baby food and didn't realize until she stuck the spoon in the baby food to feed her little one that it was actually cat food!

So no worries, you're normal...and the fog will dissipate soon after you have your baby, especially since you are going to stay at home and will have the opportunity to get as much rest as possible.

Hope your remaining weeks of pregnancy go smoothly!

Mrs. Maybrook said...

I experienced baby brain after the birth. Sometimes I couldn't think of even the simplest words. One day I was talking to a friend about her pet, and I couldn't even think of the word "dog." I think it was probably sleep deprivation and having a lot on my mind. Since you are sleeping well, maybe your mind is just occupied with baby, baby, baby.....

Take care!

Lady M said...

ROFLOL - Oh Anna! It makes me feel so much better to hear other women talk about the same thing my brain is currently doing. It is worse for me than usual right now as I am on limited bed rest due to mild preeclamsia and I have ALL this reading time available to me. And yet, anything that actually requires my brain to process deep thoughts...is not really getting read right now. Sigh. I need to make it at least 5 more weeks to get to "term" at this point. But, thankfully, the children's lessons are still easy enough that I do not have to "think" to get the homeschooling done (they are 9 & 7). I feel like I am in a fog sometimes! And yes, I can multi-task with the best of them under normal circumstances! Know that you are not alone (sometimes, people do not even realize it happens to them unless pointed out by others, heehee).

Laura said...

I have heard that is completely normal, although I didn't experience it myself. I also didn't feel the need to nest like some women do. I think a lot of it had to do with being so young (18) when I was pregnant.

Anonymous said...

The baby is taking energy and vitamins/minerals/proteins/chemicals from you. You are now a creation factory of sorts. It affects everything. The body puts your baby first. So its normal to feel a bit fuddled.

Secondly, I found that all other things in life, especially a job, became unimportant to me. All I could think about was holding this new baby, preparing for it, looking for baby things, nesting the home. I didn't want to think about anything else. I enjoyed, wanted, to think about baby, and apart from my husband, I was one track minded !

After the baby was born, began a cycle of sleep deprivation that left me as a walking zombie most days, except for the basics of being responsible to look after the baby and household. And even now, I don't know if I could be a fast thinker in a job anymore. My values have changed. I'm not interested in competing or promotions. All I would think about is my baby at home. So I choose not to work now unless I run my own business from home and am passionate about something (Prov 31)

But when I'm blogging or chatting on-line, I can see my thoughts on "paper" and realise I haven't lost it. I'm intelligent in what I choose to be intelligent in, in what I enjoy.

As for remembering several things at once, it seems the world at large is not good at this in a general sense. That's why we have TO DO lists and organisers on our phones, computers, blackberries, and reminder tones on everything - so don't feel so bad :-)

The only reason I believe shaver/socks/pastic bag threw you is because you were looking at a bunch of anonymous boxes! That would drive anyone insane!

PS: I did return to work after the first baby of a pure necessity, and only briefly, but I did find I was totally back to normal if I focussed on what I was doing and put myself back into "work mode" :-)

I hope I haven't babbled too long :-) Enjoy this exciting time !

Very sincerely
Cristina

Anonymous said...

I'm long past that stage of my life, but I do remember going through those same things. It returns when you go through menopause which I oftened referred to as "mental-pause"! I am finally through it and it has gotten better. I think it has something to do with the hormones being out of balance.

Neuropoet said...

I definitely experience something like this with my pregnancies - even the ones that I miscarry - it's like there's a subliminal part of my brain in constant thought and the rest of my brain tends to feel "overloaded" if I try to do too much at once. Almost like I'm being forced to slow down. For me it ends at the end of pregnancy - though when there's a tiny baby in the house sleep-deprivation causes something similar too! :) I figure it must have something to do with hormones since it's happened in both pregnancies I miscarry and the pregnancies of my two boys...

~Jenny

Anonymous said...

My friends and I call this "mommy brain" I have had it since I was pregnant with my first. I don't have it all the time , but certain times, I will just have a blank out, like I just have no idea what I am doing. Nothing serious mind you, just something like, wandering to one room and forgetting what I was going to the other room for or mid sentance forget the word for some common everyday object and call it a "thingamajig" because I cannot remember the word.......stuff like that. Now that I have two kids and a house to manage I have alot to keep track of, I think of it as a sort of traffic jam in my brain...

Kate said...

I vote for the massive hormones = baby brain.

Just try to relax dear Anna--it will all work out.

I threw an almost full 12oz. can of Sprite at my dear husband when I was pregnant. Fortunately my aim was bad!

I was appalled at my self-- and put in an emergency call to my doctor. He assured me, and my husband, that I was dealing with a Lot of body/hormonal changes.

He advised more rest...and more kisses!

Love,

Kate.

Margaret said...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-488233/Ditziness-sobbing-lack-spatial-awareness--yes-pregnant-womens-brains-DO-shrink.html

This is a funny article that I can very much relate to.

When I am pregnant or nursing, my brain takes an extended vacation.

Concentration is difficult - taxes, checkbook balancing and bill paying take twice as long as they should. Simple math is ridiculously difficult. I cannot focus on recipes and double up on an ingredient or omit ingredients entirely.

I am absent minded: I go into rooms and cannot remember what I went in there for. I forget to lock doors and put stamps on envelopes. I put open jars of mayonnaise or jam in the cupboard but then put dry unopened canned goods in the refrigerator. In the shower I forget if I shaved a leg so I end up shaving one leg twice and the other not at all. I forget birthdays and anniversaries.

I 'space out': My husband will be talking to me and I'll have to ask him to start over because everything he just said didn't make sense to me. Sometimes he finds me just sitting and staring off into space. When he'd ask what I was thinking or doing, I honestly don't know.

Easily emotionally/mentally exhausted: I become worn out from shopping, running errands, meeting new people - any new sensory input is very taxing. If I try to keep going despite my exhaustion I will end up a mess - crying, overly emotional, irrational.

I have a significant lack of spatial awareness: clumsy, falling, tripping, knocking over glasses, cups, running into furniture, spilling food on myself. My shins usually sport several small bruises at one time.

My poor husband. He has had to put up with a lot from me!

Kari said...

I have also definitely experienced "baby brain". I am a highly-organized person, and while pregnant with my daughter I also became overloaded very easily! Apparently there are studies that say a woman's brain actually shrinks while she is pregnant!! I don't know about that, but I know that it took about 3 months after my daughter was born (when we were past the sleep deprivation part!) for my coping abilities to go back to normal. Blame it on the hormones!! :)

Serena said...

Oh, yes--baby brain is very real and it's brutal. It's definitely at its worst during pregnancy, but I don't know if you ever fully recover--because you have so much more to do and think about afterward! Don't worry--you don't lose any intelligence, just lucidity...in case you couldn't tell from this comment!

Serena said...

I forgot to preview my last comment--baby brain strikes again--so if the HTML isn't right, I'm sorry!

Betsy said...

I had Pregnancy Brain too and so did many of my friends! We were told it has to do with those same pregnancy hormones. I used to describe it as trying to think through molasses, everything was slow and fuzzy and hard to make connections. I would be driving and know I was going the wrong way but could not decide what to do or think of a new route. I did a lot of calling my husband for help. Sometimes be sitting in church listening and not understanding a thing that was being said. I also would forget things, especially conversations. My husband found it hilarious that I was so lost and confused, because I'm normally rather a quick and deep thinker. Don't worry, it does go away after awhile. But then, it never really is the same again because after your baby is born your mind is always aware and monitoring what is going on with the children, so therefore you have less mental power to spend on your other tasks and activities. I'm convinced that God created women this way to nurture and protect her children as they are too young to know their own dangers. Men, who are not the primary caregivers of babies and children, can't mentally divide their awareness this way. Hence all the jokes about women being stupid and men being unable to multi-task.

Another one of my sayings about child-rearing is that fathers challenge and push children to make them tough so they survive adulthood. Mothers however, restrain and protect children so they survive until they reach adulthood!

Aelwyn said...

I definitely felt like I lost about 50 IQ points while pregnant and for about a year afterwards.

Julie said...

Oh Anna,

"Baby brain" is just the beginning... it gets better and better! Later you get "Motherhood Amnesia"!

I don't know that "Baby Brain" is a diagnose-able medical condition, but we used to joke about it at the OB-GYN office where I worked. We called it "Placental Steal", as in, the placenta is 'stealing' your blood and nutrients for the baby.

I'm sure the hormones, the tiredness, and the general distraction have a lot to do with it. Throw in moving on top of all that, and it's very understandable!

Then, as your kids get a little older, you are still in a season of life where your focus is very "inward". My boys are 12, 9, and 7, so I'm still in that zone! They require a LOT of me - most of my focus and energy.

My cousin calls it "Motherhood Amnesia" because later in life you can't remember a lot about that era... What were the major world events? (Hmmm, well, I remember 9-11.) Who was your town's mayor? (Really, not a clue.) Popular movies? (Nope. Not going out on many 'date nights'.)

You're not getting dumber, and it's not permanent :0) I think it's just one of God's ways of slowing us down and teaching us patience.

Enjoy it Anna, it passes all too quickly.

Julie

Mrs. Anna T said...

Thanks for all your comments ladies! What an encouragement you are!

Mrs. Anna T said...

Oh and thanks for the link to that article!! How interesting! Maybe THIS is why I crave sardins all the time - need to replace omega-3 that is lost to feed the baby's brain...

dandelionmom said...

I like your term-baby brain--I always called it pregnancy-induced dementia! I think it is a result of a hormone overload that knocks your brain-chemistry off-kilter. Mine always got worse after baby until my body settled back to its original rythyms --I have been in conversations where I was looking at someone and all of a sudden realized it was my turn to talk and I had no idea what they just said! You will be in love with baby brain the first moment you get lost in your little ones eyes! Plan on it being your companion at least 6 weeks into your baby-moon! I think it's a gift that allows to you focus in on the most important things-you can feed your baby and not worry about spider-webs in the closet that need swiping at the same time!

His Wife and Their Mommy said...

yes I felt the same way with my pregnancies. I also slept the majority of them.. I was so exhausted.

Melissa said...

Yes, "baby brain" or "mommy brain" is a real phenomenon for many women, including myself. I had it to some degree during both of my pregnancies, and especially after the birth of my first child. (In that case, I think sleep deprivation was the main culprit). I would lose my train of thought just about every time I tried to say anything to anyone, and I often would have a word "on the tip of my tongue" without being able to actually think of the word! "Baby brain" gets better, eventually--but it might take a while!

Jan Hatchett said...

I love how you describe "baby brain!" When I was pregnant with our youngest (oldest was adopted), I suffered from the same symptoms. About that time, a study was done which indicated that the baby received his or her intelligence from the mom. Hubby laughed that he was glad that the baby got my brains, but didn't realize that he would just suck them right out of my head! 10 years later, it's still worth a chuckle. It will pass. It will be worth it.
Jan

HisBeloved said...

I am 9 weeks into my second pregnancy and I can't stay focused or remember anything. I was the same way with my daughter. Like you, I never forgot to send a card for a birthday or an anniversary, but now, I feel blessed if I remember family celebrations.

After I had my daughter 7 months ago, everyone told me that it would get better after 6 months, but I didn't make it to 6 months before I was expecting our second child.

Maybe someday I will get my memory back or maybe I will forget that I ever had a memory to begin with!

Michelle said...

LOL - my next blog post will be on this topic LOL...
specifically the time I called my hubby in a panic because I had goat milk to strain and couldn't find all my new half gallon mason jars...I found them clean and in the dishwasher.
Or the time I put some food intended for the freezer in the plate cabinet instead...
Or the time I was going to make crockpot oatmeal (overnight) and had it all set up - and forgot to turn it on. The very next day, I tried making it again and had it turned on...but it was unplugged :/
Or the time I was unloading the dishwasher and put a clean measuring cup away in the fridge...yeah, real logical huh.
All this has been in the last couple weeks!
I guess its better than my first trimester when I spent the majority of it being clutzy and breaking stuff (specifically mason drinking glasses and our corelle dishes.)
I have a good excuse though - I have 2 kids already so I have mommy brain on top of pregnancy brain! LOL and trust me, extra sleep doesn't help.

MarkyMark said...

Anna,

It's late, so reading all the comments will have to wait. I'll simply say this: your body is supporting TWO people, not one, now that your pregnancy is well along. Not only that, your body has to support the continued development of this new life-wow! Your baby is making quite a demand on your energy resources when you think about it. Therefore, you'll have less energy for everything-including thought. Since your brain is one of the body's biggest energy users, and since there's less energy to be used, it only stands to reason that your brain isn't functioning as well. After pregnancy, I'm sure things will improve. That's my take...

MarkyMark

Melian said...

My best friend and I were pregnant with our first babies at the same time. We had heard of baby brain, and staunchly refused to believe it would happen to us...until it did! We used to joke "The baby is sucking out my brain!" I asked my mother how long this phenomenon lasts, and she made me laugh when she said "Well, I've had it since I was pregnant with you, and you are 25 now..."

There may be a scientific explanation, but I tend to think that the purpose has to do with a shift in values and needs. Perhaps it is God's way of helping a mother not to take on too much. Since there are so many tasks that can occupy your time, once you recognize your struggle with "baby brain," it may cause you to slow down a bit more than you think you need to.

My best suggestion for coping with it is to have ONE place where you write down important information. A calendar or white board or the fridge, or a pocket in your purse, whatever. When you are confronted with something important that you need to remember, put that info in that important place IMMEDIATELY! It's not foolproof, but it did help. Plus, my husband could look at the calendar and remind me if I missed something.

Best wishes!