One of the first things that my husband said to me when he found out I was pregnant, his goofy grin in tow, was to state that I was going to get dumb. I didn’t appreciate this comment and immediately countered that the “pregnancy brain” state was a chauvinistic myth conjured up by some misogynist with its tenacity attributed to the continued prevalent sexism in society. Pretty soon however, I hoped that this myth were true, because I had started having major moments of amnesia and outright stupidity. Walking to my friend’s place one day, a trip I had completed many times before, I stopped, confused, realising I had utterly forgotten her address. Worse, when my husband and I were talking about why a narrative poem I had written, which we entitled “Fred” in shorthand, might be a difficult piece for most readers, I scoffed at my husband for stating that “Fred” was a four letter word. I then proceeded to count out the letters on my fingers in support of my point, going all the way to “e” until I wished that there really were a hole that could suck you threw the earth and direct to China and preferably a panda sanctuary where at least I could have the company of cute little pandas for a while with whom I didn’t need to talk to and forget my increasing indiscretions.
Pregnancy has also exacerbated my absent mindedness. I have put keys and my wallet in my fridge before (in a mad rush, as I was wont to do, I left a cake in a box in its bag, which also included my keys and my wallet, which was of course the last place I looked) and other like occasional mishaps but now my short term memory is more goldfish than human. Tell me a joke and then tell it to me again and again - I am perfect practice for nervous first time comedians. To battle my memory lapses, I have loaded up on ammunition - a post-it is always near to utilize against the enemy. If I turn my air purifier off (the joys of living in New York, include surviving on air humidifiers and air purifiers in order to breathe soundly) or low for an important phone call, I have to write to myself “you turned me off!” and stick it on top. If I go to get groceries and I don’t have a list, I completely forget why I’m there (although I always seem to find something to buy). One other reason to thank the genius that came up with writing.
Never having a bladder with any sort of stamina, I knew I was in trouble from the beginning. I didn’t notice much of a difference in the first few weeks, probably due to not having a bladder with any work ethic to begin with, but the last couple of weeks of my first trimester have certainly taken the bathroom trips up a notch. Instead of getting up once in the middle of the night, three or four times is my new norm. I can hardly do an hour exercise class without busting by the last few minutes during ab exercises (by which I am supposedly toning down what is going to balloon anyway, but hey, at least I get the endorphins). The repeated nightly trips as well as the 3 am fridge raid does impinge somewhat on my sleep, as does the fact that I do not find it comfortable to sleep on my right side anymore, but the consolation prize, apart from the drooling of course, which is just another bonus to add to the bucket, is the post-lunch pensioner nap. I collapse about 13 30/14 00 daily and when I do wake about an hour or an hour and half later, I emerge a somnambulant who growls and squirms like the rise of the living dead until I finally enter waking reality, albeit enveloped in the nebulous, soporific cloud that is the constant mental climate of the first trimester. No wonder I have no idea where my keys are. They should really make beepers for these things.