I've talked about guilt. I've talked about how much it hurts to pee after you have a baby (although I still believe there aren't enough words in the english language to adequately describe that). I've talked about feeling fat. Feeling sad. I've talked about being insanely in love with someone who can't even talk yet.
But there is something I haven't mentioned. And it's become a serious concern.
It started when I was pregnant.
(I'd like to imagine that any diagnosis would be more manageable if given by this delicious, purely fictional, medical professional. Just try to disagree with me).
This is a sweet, rather innocuous term for the terrorist takeover of brain cells that begins at conception. Friends lamented that they wished they had kept journals of the ridiculous things I said and did while pregnant. Like asking who the lead singer of the Dave Matthews Band was. Or claiming that the geographical location of Alaska was right by Hawaii. Just like it shows at the bottom of the map. Now, I'm not a MESNA member. But trust me...I'm smarter than that.
I assumed that, like my aversion to turkey & havarti sandwiches (which I used to LOVE by the way), like the nausea and the back pain and the uncontrollable, unpredictable tears, this unfortunate condition had a shelf life of (give or take) 9 months. That with the arrival of that beautiful baby- I would get my brain and body back. Wrong. On all counts. The only thing I'm not doing anymore on a consistent basis is hurling up my Cheerios.
But the baby brain, now affectionally termed "Mommy Brain"...this is the most worrisome. I joke all the time that I only have enough space in my brain for Grace and some random information about speech therapy. I'm starting to think this is true. Evidenced by the fact that I recently used cooking spray instead of Windex to clean my bathroom mirror. That I've spent more than 5 minutes looking for the keys to my already running car. I can't even count the amount of times I've started to ask a question about something and then stopped, mid-query, when I realized how idiotic the question was.
My only explanation is that I've donated a significant portion of my brain cells to Grace. And while I admit, her rapid acquisition of knowledge is pretty awesome (although all birds still say WOOF, unless they have yellow beaks, in which case they quack)..I'd really like my own brain back. It has been so consumed with the task of keeping another human being alive that any non-relevant information gets immediately stored in the back of my brain. You know...that place where you keep the name of your first grade teacher and the date of your parents wedding anniversary. I know enough to keep my hair away from an open flame, but I can't manage to find that safe spot where I put my digital camera until I've accused at least 3 people of stealing it. People used to jokingly refer to me as Andrew's secretary, because give me an important date or piece of information and not only did I remember..but I made sure that he did too. Which, take my word for it, is no easy feat. Now, I have to write things down in multiple locations to have any hope of actually remembering them at any point other than two weeks after they've happened.
I still cry at the drop of the hat. I didn't cry when Grace was born (mainly I think, because it happened too gosh darn fast..I know, poor me), but give me a birth sequence on 16 & Pregnant or a Baby Story..and I'm reduced to a blubbering mess. I have to concentrate really hard to not pee a little when I sneeze. The mere idea of a turkey & harvarti sandwich makes me queasy.
All that? Those are things I can handle.
Brain? Short Term Memory? Filter that keeps me from saying embarrassingly stupid things?
I miss you.
Please come back soon. Or I might start agreeing that birds say woof & penguins quack. And it won't be pretty.
Being able to show photographs like these to future boyfriends...