Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Now Where Did I Put That Nuclear Warhead?

I think of myself as a fairly reliable person. I don't generally forget appointments or flake on people, though I do tend to run 5-10 minutes late, an inherited trait I blame on my mother (Hi Mom, are you reading the blog these days?). However, pregnancy mush brain has descended upon me with a vengeance. In the last few weeks, I have forgotten several appointments. I either wrote down the wrong time or never wrote them on my calender at all.

In this morning's example, I wrote the right time for my midwife appointment in my notes then transferred the wrong time to my computer calender. It's technologically complicated screwing up!

I forgot the combination to my lock at the gym, a lock I've used several times a week for the last year and a half. I tried combinations for an hour, even writing them down on a piece of paper, sitting in my bathing suit with a towel wrapped around me, before I finally gave up and had them cut the lock off. Then I bought a programmable lock with only 4 digits - fewer numbers to forget!

I forgot the end of the e-course I was enrolled in, which means that I never got to read the last few posts. (I remembered at 6 a.m. the following day and am hoping that the course teacher will cut me slack, given that she's pregnant too!)

Who knows what else I've forgotten, and not yet remembered that I've forgotten?

This certain level of spaciness leaves me with a floating feeling, like I'm not quite tethered to my normal life. I'm not particularly upset with myself; it just seems like another unavoidable pregnancy side effect, like being tired or having sciatica.

I'm not just dropping things figuratively; it's literal too. Yesterday, in one of those stunning chains of poorly-timed events, I dropped a glass bowl, which bounced on the slate countertop and then shattered on the slate floor, scattering glass shards all over the lower level of the house. Which meant that I had to send Elan upstairs just before Mikhail had a phone interview, so Elan was screaming and I was starving and my back hurt (the aforementioned sciatica) and I had to clean up the glass which of course was EVERYWHERE but I was that kind of pregnant-hungry where you're lightheaded and all you can think about is eating. And so I brought Elan his milk, read him a story, put him in "quiet time," sent Mikhail over to the neighbor's house so that there wouldn't be 3-year-old screaming in the background of his call, and then I could finally sit down on a barstool in the middle of the shattered glass and eat my tuna fish sandwich.

It was a really good sandwich.

This prenatal forgetfulness is common. A pregnant friend of mine confessed she forgot her 20-week ultrasound. That made me feel better. According to BabyCenter, no one knows why women tend to be more forgetful during pregnancy, or even if they actually do suffer real short-term memory loss, as opposed to just having the perception that they're flakier. Certainly growing a human being inside your body can distract you from life's everyday tasks (trying to remember that third item you needed at the grocery store as someone karate-chops your cervix from the inside). It's good training for parenthood, as you attempt to have a coherent conversation with someone from the credit card company while your child freaks out because he wants to watch Super Why and Curious George is on the TV.

I liked this advice from BabyCenter:
"Forgetfulness may be your cue to simplify your life. Easier said than done, of course. But you don't absolutely have to wallpaper that room you've been meaning to get to for a while now. Or clean all your closets just because a new baby is arriving. This sort of self-imposed stress, part of the feverish nesting that women often get into before a birth, can lead you to forget things."

I think BabyCenter is peeking at my to-do-before-baby-arrives list.

My current absent-mindedness forces me to not sweat the small stuff. Mikhail reassures me that I'm not going to forget our child, and that is the most important thing. Which child? I ask. But it's true - I won't forget them. The one out of the womb is too loud to forget, and the one inside the womb has taken to some major kicking and hiccups in the past few days, disabusing me of the notion that he/she is a mellow, sleepy baby.

For what it's worth, I'm keeping a careful eye on my calender. Practicing the art of forgiving myself for mistakes small and large. And by all means, if there's something you know I shouldn't forget, please remind me.

By the way, today is Mikhail and my 7th wedding anniversary. I remembered as soon as I woke up.

No comments:

Post a Comment