Life happens: Pregnancy brain for dummies

By Aprill Brandon
Jan. 16, 2014 at midnight
Updated Jan. 15, 2014 at 7:16 p.m.

Want to know the seven most terrifying words in the English language?

"It doesn't matter; you won't remember this anyway."

Wait ... six ... seven ... eight ... (sigh).

Want to know the eight most terrifying ... OK, well, whatever, you get the point.

Yes, dear reader, yours truly is currently living through her own version of the movie "Memento."

(If you haven't seen the movie, it's basically about a guy who, because of a brain injury, cannot create new memories, meaning he forgets all his short-term memories within a few minutes.

So he's always leaving notes and photos everywhere to remind him of important information. Or, as every male college student I met in 2001 referred to it, "The greatest movie of all time. Not even kidding, dude. Wanna get stoned and discuss it for the next five hours?").

Ever since I got knocked up, my brain has become strictly for show. Now, granted, I was warned about this phenomenon, which has been dubbed the cutesy name of "pregnancy brain" (probably by someone who thinks pink is an acceptable color), but none of those warnings prepared me for this.

It started out slow. Little things like washing my hair with conditioner first, followed by shampoo. Watching a TV episode with no clue that I had already watched it the night before until someone pointed it out. Forgetting the names of common everyday objects and frequently saying things like, "You know, the thing with the thing. It was beside the other thing."

Minor inconveniences, yes. But nothing I couldn't handle.

However, it wasn't until the following conversation with my husband a few nights ago that I realized the extent of the issue:

Ryan: "Blah, blah, blah ..." (one of the blahs triggering some nagging inkling that I had forgotten something important).

Me: "Wait. Aren't I mad at you about something?"

Ryan: "No."

Me: "Yeah. ... I'm pretty sure I am. Why am I mad at you?"

Ryan: "If you don't remember, there is no way I'm telling you."

Me: "Come on. Why am I mad at you? You said something. About ... something. I can't seem to remember."

Ryan: "Hahahahahahaha ..."

Me: "..."

Ryan: "Babe?"

Me: "..."

Ryan: "Sweetie ...?"

Me: "I'm not talking to you. I'm mad at you for not telling me why I'm mad at you. And I'm gonna stay mad at you until you tell me why I was mad at you."

Ryan: "I'm not even sure how to respond to that."

Me: "..."

Ryan: "Fine. You really want to know why you were mad?"

Me: "..."

Ryan: "(Sigh) ... You were mad because I pointed out that none of the elves seemed upset when Santa died in 'The Santa Clause.' They didn't even mourn or have a funeral or ask how he died; they just immediately accepted Tim Allen as their new boss. And you said I forever ruined the movie for you."

Me: "Oh yeah. Thanks a lot, jerk. Way to ruin a modern classic. Seriously though, that's messed up that not even one of them cried."

Ryan: "Right?"

Me: "Well, I guess I'm not mad anymore."

Ryan: "It doesn't matter. You won't remember any of this anyway."

Me: "[Bad word.]"

But you know what? It's all gonna be OK. In fact, I'm going to have the last laugh. Because, as I recently discovered, those filmmakers were on to something - which is why our house is now littered with scraps of paper with things like the following scribbled on them:

"I am mad at Ryan for saying I laugh like a muppet."

"Mad again. Ryan said he is proud of the fact he made me so mad that I had to write it down."

So be forewarned, babe. I'll never again forget why I'm mad at you. Well, that is, as long as I can find a pen quickly enough to write it down before I forget. Speaking of which, where did that pen go? It was right here. I swear.

[Very bad word.]

What was I writing about again?

Aprill Brandon is a columnist for the Advocate. Her column runs every two weeks in the Your Life section. Comment on this story at



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