Pregnancy Brain

Monday, October 22, 2007

Andrea and I are currently expecting our third child and are again experiencing the wonders of the first trimester. You know, that blissful period of time when your wife says common everyday phrases but they now end with a reference about vomiting, such as, "Mmmmmm, look at that turtle cheesecake.....I think I'm going to throw up", or "The guy in the car next to us is eating a Fillet O' Fish.....I'm gonna to hurl", or "Ew, the creepy guy on Survivor just took his shorts off....I'm going to be sick". Wait, I said the last one, but you get the point.

During her first pregnancy, Andrea read a time honored book called "What to Expect When You're Expecting" that explained all of the magical, beautiful, and painful experiences that awaited her.

(Side Note on "What To Expect": I actually think that book is a sham. It never makes a definitive statement. There are nearly 300 pages of wishy washy passages like, "Some women experience severe morning sickness while others enjoy nearly perfect health to begin their pregnancies. Remember, every body responds differently to pregnancy." It should be titled, "What You May or May Not Expect When You Perhaps Become Pregnant, Or Not". They should have just written in large, bold font on page 1, "Every Pregnancy Is Different!", and then filled the remaining 300+ pages with practical, helpful tidbits like "1,487 Smells To Avoid" and "500 Ways to Enjoy a Day Passed Out on the Couch". Does anybody know a publisher? I think I'm on to something here.

Also, wouldn't it be funny if they had a progressive series of the "What To Expect" books for each of your pregnancies. I had a lot of fun with the titles, which could be:

Child I: What to Expect When You're Expecting
Child II: It'll Probably Go A Lot Faster Than The First One
Child III: Now You're Outnumbered, Knuckleheads
Child IV: There Is An 87% Probability That You Thought You Were Done With Three Kids, So Let's Make The Most Of The Other 13%
Child V: You're Mormon, Aren't You?
Child VI: Since Child I and Child II Can Babysit, Why Not?)

Anyway, getting back to the point, there is a lot of material available about the changes a woman's body experiences when she is pregnant. This time around, however, Andrea has made me aware of a condition known as "Pregnancy Brain" that women often suffer when they are expecting. The theory is that since so much of the blood flow is redirected to the uterus, there is precious little blood left for the brain. This lack of blood flow to the noggin prevents pregnant women from being able to use their full mental capacity and causes them to be generally forgetful. However, the part of the brain that reminds the expectant mother that the smell of carpet makes her want to throw up somehow manages to continue to function on all cylinders.

I thought that Andrea was just pulling my leg and was devising a foolproof way of covering herself in case she forgets anything until May. If she forgets to pay the phone bill, she can just play the Pregnancy Brain card and get a free pass. Her memory continues to be much better than mine since I am the one who keeps asking her questions like, "Which night is Whitney's soccer practice?" and "Is tonight garbage night?", so I decided to Google "Pregnancy Brain" and was surprised to get 22,700 links. Many of the entries were from sites that I had never heard of, like, but there was one legit site,, that came up and it said the following:

"Many pregnant women say their short-term memory isn't up to par during pregnancy, particularly during their first and third trimesters....Research on pregnancy and memory is limited, so no one knows for sure what's really going on. While some studies have found evidence of verbal and memory deficits during pregnancy, others have shown that pregnant women actually do just as well in cognitive tests as women who aren't pregnant."

Gee, thanks, that clears everything up. Let me guess, the writers of "What To Expect" were the contributing authors to who gave us that definitive, all encompassing insight into Pregnancy Brain. Whether Pregnancy Brain exists or not is debatable, wouldn't it be fun if we could all play a Pregnancy Brain card and just get a free pass for missing a deadline or forgetting something important? Which brings us to this week's question for your comments:

If you could purposefully "forget" to do something, play a Pregnancy Brain card, and suffer no consequences for the oversight, what would it be?

Mine would be forgetting that we agreed that we do not need cable TV and then accidentally purchasing a package that would give us ESPN and Discovery Channel. I'm typing this blog entry all by myself on a Monday night (my exhausted pregnant wife fell asleep at 9:39) while Peyton Manning and the Colts take on the Jaguars with Maurice Jones-Drew, who is on my Fantasy Football team. There has been a tiny, though vital, piece of my soul that has been missing ever since MNF was moved from ABC to ESPN.


Natalie said...

This post was hilarious! I guess I have a lot of things to look forward to when the time comes, or maybe not. Ha ha ha. The smell of carpet makes her sick? That can't be good! I didn't think it had a smell!

6:00 AM

I'll have to think up a really good thing to blame on my pregnancy brain, but I can assure you it really does exist! I started my fall semester at 7 months and took Italian again, which I never had any problem with. But being pregnant, whenever my teacher would ask me a question it would take me FOREVER to be able to process what she had said and then to come up with the right answer. And many times things just didn't click until AFTER Max was born. I would get so frustrated in class I would be holding back tears. It was horrible. I would not wish pregnancy brain on anyone.

7:51 AM
andrea said...

Honey, when you retire in 15 years, maybe you should just become a professional blogger. I see potential here.

I had come up with THE BEST entry for your contest, but I can't remember it right now. (Pregnancy brain.) If it comes back to me, I'll comment again.

10:02 AM
Shelley said...

I would like to forget that we have no money for a maid and hire one anyway. (I was going to say forget that I had a calling, but since this is my bishop's blog...) :)

11:10 AM
T-Boar said...

I would like to forget that I never post on people's blogs and then do it anyway...woops!

p.s. Eres el hombre

1:27 PM
Mom said...

I would like to forget that I decided to go to work 20 years ago and discontinue attending on a daily basis.

Your post was a scream - the book cover and the comment about the smell of carpet making Andrea feel sick made me laugh out loud. The "sick" them made me think of a little song Cindy sings when she's cleaning up after a child has thrown up, and it cracks me up. She sings "It's not throw-up, it's just paint..."

Thanks for taking the time to entertain your loyal audience.

9:55 PM
andrea said...

Ooh. Ooh. I remembered mine. I'd "forget" how tired I am every day so I could stay up late playing singstar, hot-tubbing, and/or beating you at scrabble. I don't like being a party-pooper and going to bed every night by 10:30.

5:01 AM
Shelley said...

Did Andrea say she wanted to stay up for "hottubbing"?!?!?! Andrea, you are such a sellout!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

8:00 PM
andrea said...

This comment brought to you by Atlantic Spas. ha ha

10:34 AM

I would forget the Nepotism that takes place on this Blog

- Not someone related to Andrew

3:35 PM
sandy reader said...

There must be more than 500 ways to amuse yourself while lying on the couch. For starters: finding funny animal figures in the patterns on the ceiling.

1:04 PM
Ang said...

I would forget that I'm supposed to be cleaning my house. I would just let the laundry pile up and the dishes sit in the sink and the markers roll all over the kitchen floor with the caps off and the popscicle wrappers stay stuck to the counter and the toilet seat (well, you know) and the toothpaste globules get rock hard and impossible to scrape out of the sink and so on and so on until one day my kids can't take it anymore and they say, "We'd better start cleaning this place!" Yes . . . that's my dream

12:05 PM
Ang said...

In re-reading my previous comment, the questionable punctuation makes it seem like we have popscicle wrappers stuck to our toilet seats. Things aren't THAT bad at the Hallstrom house :-). Just to clarify.

8:43 AM
Amy said...

Ang, I seriously thought you had popsicle wrappers stuck to your toilet seats...and then you said "(well, you know)" like that was a normal situation we all face when cleaning. I'm just laughing out loud right now! That was great.

Andrew, my favorite part of your entry was the series of "What to Expect." Especially since you're on the Knuckleheads book.

If I could blame pregnancy brain on anything, I would forget that ice cream and little Halloween chocolate bars don't make a healthy diet.

9:13 AM
andrea said...

Ang, I'm with Amy. I thought you had popsicle wrappers stuck to your toilet seats, too. And I remember when Jonas taped a twinkie to the cupboard, so I figured anything was possible with your kids. :)

5:46 AM
Julie said...

Congratulations Andrew and Andrea! I'm sorry you're so sick. When I was pregnant with Russell I had a going away party/baby shower from my friends in Houston. I had raved about this sandwich roll this one lady made for a Relief Society luncheon. She made me an entire log all for myself. You cut the crust off the bread and put different spreads on an entire loaf and yummmm it tastes good unless you're in your first trimester of pregnancy. I nearly threw up (or...hurled, or....what was that one Andrew taught me when he was fresh off his mission and I didn't get it quite right - "toss your cookies?" I think I said "throw your cookies" and he laughed so hard. I need to get my regurgitation vocabulary down.

I love you guys! I love you my Dashiel Hammett, Bishop Dashiel. Are you retiring in 15 years? How old are you? To me you'll always be 4. That adorable face, blunt haircut. So, you have each flavor of children. Are you hoping for a boy or a girl? Did you know your mom dreamt once that she gave birth to a litter of kittens? I dreamt that I gave birth to a leeetle tiny germ. A green germ. I put it on a window sill, but then a breeze came along and it blew away....! I was so sad! I loved my little green germ. I was the mother! XOXO

10:27 PM
Julie said...

OK. This is especially for Angie. This goes at the end of the 1st paragraph:


10:30 PM
andrea said...

For some HILARIOUS Pregnancy Brain and Mommy Brain stories, copy and paste this link. Gave me several belly laughs:

5:04 AM
Sandy said...

I haven't checked your blog in a while, so I ALMOST missed this one -- classic post, by the way!

We felt the SAME way about "What to Expect" - it didn't really give much usable information. It was like a "choose your own adventure" pregnancy book. I also was given the companion book, "What to EAT when you're expecting" which is basically 101 ways to re-formulate previously delicious foods into non-sugar, non-white-floured, non-processed, mostly non-flavored food stuffs, while simultaneously making you feel that you'll give birth to a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle if you succumb to temptation and eat a non-bran muffin.

Anyway -- I STILL have pregnancy brain, a full 2 years and 4 months since my last pregnancy ended! Yikes. One of the first signs of pregnancy (to my husband, anyway) for me is that I drop things. A lot. I don't know if I forget I'm holding things, or if my hands stop working correctly or what. Its become a family joke to find out which casserole dish will bite the dust during the new pregnancy. Hopefully by the fourth time around, someone will think to actually replace the other stuff I broke in the previous 3. But I won't replace them myself, because I won't remember to.

7:28 AM