This is 100% my own theory based on my own (still relatively short) experience with pregnancy. So, with that disclaimer – take it or leave it on my theory.
Let’s start with “What is Pregnancy Brain” WebMD has an entire article on it, but the jist of it is – pregnant women struggle to continue to function at full use – “momnesia”
I never understood how real it was until I was pregnant – nor how early it starts. I always assumed it was a 3rd trimester thing and because you feel so weird and out of sorts. Nope, it definitely started late 1st trimester for me and has only gotten more noticeable as I move through the 2nd trimester.
So here’s the theory: Momnesia is because there is a cycle or two of the brain always processing the pregnancy.
My brain continuously cycles anywhere from 3-6 different things at the same time. I don’t necessarily control these cycles. On a “normal” day it’s something like this:
- Novel element I am trying to figure out
- What do I need for breakfast/lunch/dinner today
- What if… What if… What if… (anxiety cycle)
- What I am doing in front of me
- Planning something for the future – ie answering “how to get that promotion” or “how to schedule that party” or “Setting appointment for the dentist”
On a bad day, one of those cycles might be replaced by asthma “Am I breathing right now” repetitions (very annoying). On a Good day I manage 6 cycles instead, but even 6 stretches my brain. Even “relaxing” – assume at least 3 of these are running at any given time. I don’t necessarily get to say which cycles prioritize. Turning off a cycle like noveling (yes, it’s a verb in my world) or anxiety or breathing… harder than it sounds.
So. During pregnancy at least one cycle IS taken up with either symptoms or the “when is my next appointment” or “what the hell am I going to need day one of baby?” or “what the hell I am thinking wanting to bring a child into this world?” This last loves my anxiety cycle too, and if it’s on a roundelay between the two… let’s call those “bad days”
So trying to juggle things like food and what’s in front of me sometimes get booted by “I need to buy a crib. Shit. How do I find a crib that will be good. Oh god, how do I figure out what cribs are safe? What actually is likely versus the ‘one kid died and everyone reacted’ stuff? Do I need to know? Do cribs come in colors? What color crib should we get? White? Brown? Black? What if my kid hates it?”