Pregnancy Brain, Hormone-Induced Meltdowns and OMG! Those Dreams...
Here's how to cope!
We’ve been talking about the changes of pregnancy. And boy oh boy, are there plenty of them. The hardest to deal with are the emotional changes of pregnancy. Trust me, even the most emotionally stable and typically composed woman has been known to break down crying for something like, oh I don’t know, running out of mayonnaise. Not your typical life trauma, but those extra hormones can be a real doosey.
I distinctly remember crying like a newborn, when on one visit to the doctor’s office, my regular physician forgot to send over a referral. I had called earlier in the day to remind them to send it over and the receptionist said she would. The nurse at the office where I was assured me that it was no biggie, and that she would gladly call over to the other office and it would be in the system in no time. But that wasn’t soothing enough for my raging hormones. “But they said they would send it over,” I tearfully kept repeating. “Why would they say they would and then not send it?,” I balled. The nurse tried over and over to console me. But I was, what they call, a hot mess.
You see what I mean about this hormone business.
Raging hormones can also act up with angry bouts, being extremely repulsed and annoyed by your partner’s mere breathing, and absolutely zero patience. For anything. (One warning: The zero patience thing may particularly play up around unruly children at the supermarket or Babies R Us, but don’t take your annoyance with kids as any indication of your own mothering skills.) Other women report crying over diaper commercials, cute baby clothes, and missed parking spaces. There were times when, at first I knew why I started crying, but then I forgot what the reason was.
Wait, there’s more. The pregnancy madness comes with a nice chaser of pregnancy brain. Sure you’re smart dear, and always will be. But during pregnancy there will be many times when you will both need reassurance and likely need to reassure others of this fact. That’s because research shows that women in their second to third trimester have a significant decline in memory, known amongst other moms-to-be as “pregnancy brain.”
This basically means utter forgetfulness and lack of logical thinking. Ask anybody who knows me about how during my second pregnancy, I would just forget what I was saying right in the middle of my own sentence. If and when this happens to you, take solace in knowing that other women have experienced the same thing.
Oh, and one more thing about your mind. Nobody knows why, but during pregnancy you will dream some of the most outlandish, completely ridiculous, vivid dreams. Has this happened to you yet? I had dreams about romantic interludes with a boss that I hated and being butt naked in the train station with a cow chasing me. WTH? Then you may have the more typical dreams about falling, drowning, swimming, or delving into caves, which most dream experts say have to do with increased feelings of vulnerability. According to dream readers, deep swimming or going into caves is related to going deep inside oneself to prepare for birth, and dreaming of animals is about bonding with your baby in an instinctive or animal-like way. You can take it or leave it.
My advice is to avoid late night news (mega depressing before bedtime) and overloading on those CSI programs. If you can, keep a dream journal. If nothing else it will be good for a hearty laugh down the road.
And just for the record, please don’t believe anyone who tells you that pregnancy was the most emotionally fulfilling and stable time of her life. I guarantee you she is lying--with love.