So, baby brain.
Is it real? Could something as simple as progesterone cause a woman to become more forgetful? Are heightened tiredness and distraction during pregnancy a more likely cause?
I have no idea, actually.
All I know is that it affects me (and those around me – sorry for all the cold dinners Hubby!) in every pregnancy.
Mostly it’s fairly simple things. A pair of glasses found nestled in the fridge or the wardrobe is a great relief. Until I wonder what that means for the eggs or T-shirt I’d been carrying at the same time.
There was the day that I tried and failed four times to simply put a chicken into the oven for dinner. There are many, many instances of my putting the dinner into the oven, but not actually turning the oven on. There are evenings when we eat quite late in my house.
But the story I tell most people when they ask about baby brain is one from when I was pregnant with Little Man.
At the time, I drove the best car in the world. A 94 Toyota Corolla. I loved that car and still miss it terribly. The only problem it ever had was caused by me. While pregnant I simply could not remember to switch the lights off when I got out! And I’ll be honest, this bothered me. That little beep when I opened the damn door was another reminder that I was losing my mind. Remember, at this stage I couldn’t be sure it would go back to normal after Little Man was born.
So, every time I got into the car I’d drive along thinking “Turn off the lights, turn off the lights, keys out of ignition, turn off the lights”. This was WAY less effective than I hoped it would be. It had a failure rate of nigh on 100%. Not ideal, you’ll agree.
And then one day, I drove to the Spar in Citywest on my lunchbreak. I parked the car, opened the door and… silence. In your face stupid beep! I was a functional human being who was entirely capable of turning off lights after all!
My happiness was short-lived. In the time it took me to get out of the car and close the door, I’d lost my keys.
Looked in handbag.
Resigned self to rooting through overly-large handbag properly.
Wallet onto roof of car.
Two novels onto roof of car.
Two novels onto roof of car.
Emergency novel onto roof of car.
Still no keys!
And then, a good Samaritan came along. “Here missus! Are ya lookin’ for your keys?”
Thank heavens! He can see them, that means I must have dropped them on the ground. I thank him profusely while looking around my feet and under the car.
“Eh, no love, it’s just that… well your engine’s still running.”
It’s hard to tell who was the most embarrassed. The poor man really felt sorry for this incredibly round woman who was clearly an imbecile. I thanked him quickly and we went our separate ways, both I’m sure, thinking of the silly story we’d be telling later on.
And tell the story I did. Repeatedly. Hubby and I rolled it out on a regular basis, to much hilarity.
Until one day, when we told a favourite uncle, Ciarán, what had happened. Like everyone, he laughed and threw his eyes up to heaven and sympathised with my plight. And then he quietly, casually, asked one simple question “So had you actually turned off the lights? Cos if the keys were still in the ignition, it wouldn’t have beeped.”
I looked at Hubby, horror stricken. And I guess we’ll never know!