31 Day Writing Challenge 2014,  On Pregnancy

Pregnancy Brain

pregnancy-brain-image-2I don’t know if this is a real term or not, but it is certainly a real thing that happens to me when I am pregnant. I get extremely forgetful and clumsy. I forget to do really important things. Like pay my bills. And send in required paperwork to the homeschool co-op.

I break dishes when I am washing them. I drop cups and mugs and forks, and I have to ask my daughter to pick them up for me because it’s kinda hard for me to lean over my big belly.

My pregnancy brain gets me in big trouble, and usually it’s pretty funny.

Haha, I forgot about my prenatal visit this morning. Haha, I forgot about that meeting–oh well. Whoops, I forgot it was your birthday. Happy belated birthday!

Even if I forget something important like a birthday, there is a way to make up for it. People are usually pretty understanding–and they celebrate their birthday for a week or a month anyway.

The fact that I can schedule reminders on my phone is even … well, worse. Because as soon as I type something into my calendar on my phone, it immediately leaves my brain. If I happen to miss a reminder alert on my phone (let’s say it’s because I turned it to silent mode during homeschool chapel, like I did today) then I have no chance of remembering something important that I have on my calendar.

Today, having pregnancy brain was not cute.

I missed having dinner with my girlfriends at one of my favorite restaurants. It was a dinner to celebrate my friend’s progress on her doctorate dissertation.

I was the person who said, “Yes, yes, Thursday is good, let’s do it! It’s on my calendar guys!” And then I didn’t even show up. They waited for me for 30 minutes and then texted and said, “Are you coming?”

I was really upset when I finally got the text. Andy was gone with two of the kids, and I had the other two, and I could’t go. I was already late and I had no babysitter. How lame is it to have to text back, “I totally forgot! I’m so sorry! Pregnancy Brain!”

It really got to me. I forgot about something that I really wanted to do. Opportunities to get away from the kids and hang out with my friends are so rare! I love being with my kids, but I also need time without them. At least once in a while, right?

It wasn’t a responsibility or requirement that I mindlessly dismissed. I forgot about a special time to celebrate with my friends. To enjoy a nice dinner. And I let my friends down in a super rude way. I forgot about our plans. I felt so bad, and it swept over me like a huge wave of failure.

For the first time this pregnancy (at least I think it was the first time…I can’t really remember) I broke down in tears this evening. I tried to hold it in. But my daughter saw how upset I was, and she said, “Mom, maybe you need to go lie down on your bed for a little while,” which is what I tell her to do when she is really upset. “OK, honey, you are right,” I responded.

So I lay on my bed and I let myself cry. It was the kind of cry that makes your throat hurt.

I didn’t want to upset the baby in my belly, and I didn’t want to dwell in self-pity. But tonight I let myself cry, just for a few minutes.

Because when we are pregnant, we need to cry sometimes. We are forgetful, exhausted, overwhelmed, clumsy, large, and emotional. We need our friends. We need a moment to ourselves. And we need forgiveness.

When I got up from my bed, my 2-year-old came over to me and said, “Mommy, hug?” And she gave me a sweet hug and a kiss. Somehow, the smell of her hair and the softness of her cheek made it easier to let go of my disappointment and give myself a little bit of grace.


Chelsea Rotunno is the author of Goodnight to My Thoughts of You, a novel about life as a Christian teen searching for true love.

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