Archive for the 'Blast From Past' Category

Introducing the Blast-from-the-Past Pregnancy Journal

Monday, October 15th, 2007

I have read in many places that a common side-effect, if you will, of pregancy is forgetfulness. Here’s a Q&A on a mommy website that addresses the issue:

Why have I felt so absentminded since I’ve been pregnant?
Many pregnant women say their short-term memory isn’t up to par during pregnancy, particularly during their first and third trimesters.

It certainly seems to make sense: In your first trimester, you may be distracted by thoughts about this new adventure you’re beginning or worries about your baby’s health, as well as exhausted and nauseated from the hormonal changes you’re undergoing. During your third trimester, you may be overwhelmed or just plain distracted by the huge life changes you’re about to experience and again exhausted if you’re having trouble getting a good night’s sleep.

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.

One study found that pregnant women did experience a decline in memory, but only in the third trimester. Interestingly, in a different study, pregnant women rated themselves as having performed worse than they would have before pregnancy, even though they tested just as well as a group that wasn’t pregnant. So if you think you’re flakier than usual while you’re pregnant, it may just be your perception.

My OWN Doctor’s take on the subject is that pregnancy forgetfulness is a result of the hormones and is nature’s way of softening the edge (at least in hindsight) on some of the less pleasant aspects of pregnancy.

Nothing wrong with forgetting the downside.

And generally, I agree with this view.

I found that, after Emma was born, the details of the pregnancy, and how I felt at what stages, kind of faded from view. That was well enough from my perspective, but it is hard to explain to expecting women who come to a pregnancy-veteran for advice that you can’t answer their question about how it was for you because you just can’t remember.

Anyway, the forgetting aspect is one of the things that makes me so glad that I kept a pregnancy journal throughout those days carrying Emma.

August Journal 013

And now that I’m pregnant again – and once again have those kinds of issues on the mind – I figure this is as fine a time as any to share some of the highlights from that journal.

So I’ll be doing that – over the coming weeks. It’s already interesting to see where some of the ways I’m feeling about the new baby (and about pregnancy, generally) are the same as, and different from, they were during the first go-round.

Generally speaking, this time, there is a virtual absence of anxiety about the many unknown changes (physical, emotional, household- and work-related) that the birth of a first baby brings. There’s also a dull sense of dread mixed with determined stoicism, though, at how the physical part will get more challenging before it gets better – although I no longer have any fears about the actual birthing process.

Beyond that, my current tale is just one of hormones. Lots of hormones. Lots of emotion and more tears at trivial stories than usual. Pregnant women should not be allowed to watch Hallmark Commercials or to listen to an interview on the radio in which Benedictine Nun, Sister Joan Chittister, recounts some of her poignant childhood memories.