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‘Pregnancy Brain’

One of the side-effects of this whole book writing/editing/publishing/publicizing process has been the effect on my brain: I feel like I’m always forgetting things.  The paralysis and perceived uselessness of my mind, especially considering how hard it feels like it’s working, has been shocking, to the point where I’ve been casting about for months, trying to find an analogy for what’s happening inside my head.  And, in true testament to my mental uselessness, I’ve only just come up with one now: pregnancy brain.

According to my sources (including the brilliant television show Modern Family), when a woman is pregnant, especially in the third trimester, she begins to lose her grip a bit, forgetting important details and losing track of small items and generally blanking on how to perform simple everyday tasks.  When I first hear that, I thought it was a little ridiculous to have a name for the syndrome, but that it was fair enough to be a bit dotty when you’re growing another person inside you (shudder).

But now I live in fear of pregnancy (even more than I did before), because I’ve discovered just how susceptible my brain is to being overwhelmed.  I’ve been referring to my book as a sort of progeny for a while now – calling the pub date my ‘book birthday’ and talking about how this is the first thing I’ve ever really given birth to – but it wasn’t until recently that I began to refer to my ‘book-pregnancy brain’ (much to my young boyfriend’s and best guy friend’s mutual chagrin).

I have three calendars: phone, computer, and an online ‘Teuxdeux‘ list.  I check and double-check social engagements and writing deadlines and work commitments against all three of these calendars, and yet I still miss things.  I also check info a hundred times against emails and text messages and any other written correspondence that might confirm or deny – and yet I still missed one of my classmates in my list of awesome writing supporters on the acknowledgments page of my book (and I fear I’ll discover more unintentional absences in the coming months).  Livia Gainham has very graciously forgiven this idiotic moment, but I am less inclined to brush it off so easily; of all the ‘whoopsie’ situations I could have caused, unintentionally hurting a good friend’s feelings was pretty much my worst nightmare, and today it came true.

Still, despite my best efforts (and despite having ‘given birth’ already!), the book-pregnancy brain persists.  So it seems all I can do is try to ride it out, write everything down three or four times, and beg patience and forgiveness from friends and family.

Luckily, I’m surrounded by people whose capacity for patience and forgiveness well exceed my own.

Published inThe Process


  1. I started reading your book today on the way into work, it’s sitting on my desk and I’m greatly anticipating the return commute so I can continue reading.
    I really enjoy your writing style.
    Baby brain is funny stuff, I used to go to the shops and forget what it was I wanted to buy when I got there! I could totally see how your book baby could give you baby brain too!!

    • Anne Anne

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the book! And I appreciate your generosity in extending the baby brain excuse to my book – it would be entirely within your rights as a mom to restrict it only to real pregnancies!

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