Baby Brain: Does it Ever Really Go Away?

Does baby brain ever really go away? Sadly this isn’t going to be a post where I offer up an answer to that question. I’m actually asking: does it ever go?!

Long before I was pregnant myself I remember hearing references to baby brain quite often. Pregnant colleagues would do something funny and say, “Oh ignore me, it’s the baby brain!” We would all have a good laugh about it. Then I got pregnant myself and lo and behold – the baby brain appeared! I quickly realised it was no myth, but a very real thing. As someone who has always felt reasonably intelligent and organised it took me by surprise.

I will never forget the day I went to put the bread back in the fridge and the milk back in the cupboard. I didn’t spot the error when I put the bread in the fridge but luckily I noticed something wasn’t quite right before I closed the cupboard door on the milk. (I was pregnant in summer… that could have been quite a smelly cupboard to come home to at night!) Those kind of baby brain induced incidents were quite funny.

While pregnant it can even come in handy at times. Silly mishaps at work or mistimed comments could all be put down to baby brain. It was basically a way to excuse any silly behaviour or daft comments.

You know the Prime Minister of the United States…. Oh dear, silly me! I’m not daft, honestly – I’ve got baby brain!

I never expected it to last post-pregnancy though. I suppose I thought that it would just go as quickly as it had come. Now, 7 months post-pregnancy, it doesn’t seem to have disappeared yet. My husband would definitely agree.

Just last week I went in to the supermarket and, mid way through walking down the shop purposefully on my way to get something, I realised I had no idea what I’d come in for. I tried to rack my brain. What aisle was I heading towards? Just moments before I‘d had a conversation with Hubs in the car and said “right, I’ll only be a second because I’m just going in for THIS.” But what was this? It was like there was a fog in my brain and I knew the answer was hidden somewhere in that fog but I couldn’t quite get to it. In the end I had to give in and call him to ask. It was toothpaste. Toothpaste! How had I forgotten it was toothpaste?

Quite funny I suppose, but a bit of an inconvenience nonetheless. I’ve had a few moments like that recently, and if they’re not baby brain related I’m not sure what my excuse is!

The most annoying thing though is my vocabulary. I seem to find myself regularly forgetting the most simple of words. Words that I know I know. It’s as if I start a sentence and mid way through the word just slips from my mind.

Oh by the way, I went to town today and I saw that thing… the erm… you know that thing… erm... the thingymabob…”

It’s like that episode of Friends where Ross makes Monica feel bad for banging Ben on the head. (Monica… BANG!) He says to her: “We were doing the alphabet song, which he used to be really good at, but suddenly he’s leaving out ‘e’ and ‘f.’ It’s like they just, I don’t know, fell out of his head.

Well that’s how I feel. Only it’s simple everyday words that seem to sporadically fall out of my head, not letters. Did I hit my head and somehow forget about it? (Mummy… BANG!)

I am trying my best to recover my pre-pregnancy brain. I do my brain training app everyday, paying particular attention to the all the language games to keep my vocabulary up. In fact I do pretty well with it. I’ve learnt a whole plethora of new words that way. I could give you a verbose (wordy) enumeration (list) of the perspicacious (clever) new locution (words) I have started to pick up. It’s great – even better than word of the day toilet paper! (There I go again with the Friends references…)

But despite that I still seem to be suffering regularly from the mind fog that leads me to forget the right word at the right time.

“What’s that vegetable we’re having with dinner? The green stuff? Looks a bit like trees….No, the word escapes me!”

One day I hope my brain regenerates itself to it’s pre-baby sharpness. Until then, Hubs will have to humour me, and do my thinking for me when I can’t quite put my finger on something. And good luck to my colleagues when I go back to work in a couple of months! Meetings might take a little bit longer than they used to…

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