I am not alone when saying that during pregnancy I felt like I was playing both parts of Dumb and Dumber. The journey is real. Cognitive problems like trouble focusing and remembering things, confusion, reading difficulties, and forgetfulness were common place for me, especially this last time around. This phenomenon has been rightfully called “baby brain” or my favorite, “momensia”. I like the latter because mine has stretched from pregnancy into the toddler years! I figure since I will always be a mom I can use it forever. Seriously, there have been days that I have to look down to see if my shoes match or I’ve completed forgotten to do something, like take my kid to a doctor’s appointment. I am well beyond walking into a room and forgetting why I was there. If I don’t take a list at the grocery store I am not only all over the place backtracking, but I’m sure to have to go back at least twice for everything I forgot. I am not kidding, things just drop right out of my head. Sometimes they come back (usually at 3:00am) while other things vacate my brain completely.
But it gets better, no, not the forgetfulness, the story. Whoever said having young kids at an older age will “keep you young” has clearly never had kids at an older age. They don’t keep you young. They suck the life right out of you and make you feel twice your age. Prior to my last pregnancy in the summer of 2015, I had lost weight through diet and exercise and gotten back to where I wanted to be before son #2 which wasn’t far from my high school weight. I cut my hair off into a splendid, easy care pixie, and I had taken up playing tennis and was now on a team and getting better and better.
I felt fantastic and my boys were 11 and four (translation: somewhat independent). Mark decided I didn’t need to work anymore; he would rather me become a full-time wife and mom. Jack-freakin’-pot! I was more than happy to be his beck and call girl. 🙂 Life was good to say the least. The only not-so-great part was that I was entering menopause complete with night sweats that left me drenched, hot flashes during the day, and a menstrual cycle that was all over the place. I could go months without and then BAM! at the complete wrong time it would start. It was a part of life I would just have to get through and after all I really didn’t have a good reason to complain about anything there in the good life.
Da da da dumb. Yes, well, that fairytale came to a screeching halt in February 2016 and real life hit. I felt awful. I mean really awful. Mark joked that maybe I was pregnant, we both got a good belly laugh at that one. The days wore on and I still felt horrible so finally I took a pregnancy test to exclude that as a reason for feeling like crap. Hmmm, that’s weird. So I took two more. Who knew three pregnancy tests could all provide a false positive result? Queen of Denial, I called my OB/GYN and asked if there was something that happened during perimenopause that threw your hormones so out of whack they gave a false positive. The nurse laughed (out-loud) and told me to come in. Sure enough there was that little peanut big as life. I cried. I hadn’t wanted another child but now I was more concerned with the pain I would suffer when I miscarried which I was certain was going to happen. I didn’t think I had any good eggs left. Let’s be honest here, I’d been carrying that one around for nearly fifty years how good could it be? Time passed and the egg grew, and grew, and grew. As it did, I got more and more forgetful but I knew it was “baby brain” and it would pass. Ha! Still waiting on that.
That sweet “suga baby” came out at 8lbs, 12oz and absolutely perfect. As I said, he’s a toddler now and I’m back in menopause getting drenched at night, sleep is touch and go with him and the sweats, I have hot flashes during the day, and I never know when that period thing is going to show up. C’est la vie.
So, as if momnesia isn’t enough there’s also brain fog associated with menopause. Awesome. I am now an overachiever. I’m surprised I remember my name at this point. Sometimes I refer to the boys as the big one, the middle one, and the little blonde one. It is truly frustrating because prior to kids I was well-organized, punctual, detail-oriented, and a neat freak. A lot comes with age. My eyesight started getting bad at 40 and has gone downhill rapidly, I am easily distracted, and I can’t remember anything. Basically I think I’m going blind, have developed ADHD, and I’m worried I have some form of Dementia or Alzheimer’s. Oh, and I thought I was having a heart attack last month but it ended up that my Gallbladder was just severely stoned. Minor surgery fixed that pretty quickly.
So I have momnesia and menopanesia. Basically, I’m working with half of a sleep-deprived brain. Oh, and I’m about 25 pounds over my target weight. It is time for a fairytale, wonderland adjustment. Let’s see, I’m still married to my dream guy, I have three happy, healthy kids, I bought a bunch of calendars and colored pens, have mastered the appointments in my phone, I have my pixie haircut again and it is possible to lose weight.