I had heard of pregnancy brain, a fog or cloudiness that overtakes pregnant women and temporarily renders them forgetful. I had experienced an ever-so-slight case of it myself but nothing too extreme. I would walk into a room and forget what I was going for or look for my keys only to find them in my hand. I had seen some pretty severe cases of pregnancy fog but was happy to have (mostly) maintained my cognition. I was not expecting what happened after delivery when I started to experience what can only be called new working mom brain. Boy, did I get a bad case of it!
Hubby and I had fallen into a predictable routine during the work week. He would drop Micah off in the morning, and I would pick up in the evening. We shared the responsibility of washing and preparing bottles for the next day. One particular morning, I volunteered to drop Micah off at school so hubby could work on a project for his job. I prepared and packed up his bag with all the bottles and extra clothing he would need for the day. I was happy to see his teacher when I dropped Micah at Kids ‘R’ Kids that morning. We had a long chat about his sleep schedule, and we brainstormed ways to help him sleep better while he was at preschool. I stopped and had a conversation with the owner of the school about a family event that was coming up. As I got in the car, I was happy to see that I was still running ahead of schedule. I arrived at work (early!) and shared the details of my morning. What a power mom I was turning into! Not only had I gotten my newborn son dressed and out of the house, but I did it with time to spare. I was feeling pretty good about myself. What a great way to start the day!
Midmorning, I was sitting in a meeting when an overhead announcement prompted me to a phone call. It was the director of Kids ‘R’ Kids. Everything was okay; Micah wasn’t hurt. However, he hadn’t been able to eat all morning. It seems that there was no nipple on his first bottle. Or his second. Or the third or fourth. All I could hear in my head was that sad trombone sound from cartoons-- wah wah wah waah. Deflated, I rescheduled my meeting and jumped back in the car to go rescue my hungry baby. I drove 45 minutes to my house, grabbed the bottle pieces, and drove the rest of the way to Kids ‘R’ Kids. When I arrived, his teachers told me they had given him cereal early and put extra milk in it. I was so happy he was in the care of clearheaded individuals. They shared some stories of other new mom blunders. I wasn’t the only one with an extended case of brain fog. One new mom brought her baby in with a dirty diaper and offered to change it before heading to work. When she was ready to leave, she couldn’t find her keys. It took them 20 minutes to realize that they were zipped up inside the infant’s sleeper!
I wish I could tell you that the brain fog eventually cleared, but that would be anticlimactic and just not true. A few days later, I reached in my purse for my wallet, only to find a travel case of wipes—no wallet in sight. Sometime after that, I poured an entire bottle of breast milk down the drain right after pumping (OUCH!!) I’ve come to realize it’s all par for the course. Some would say it’s all in a week’s work, and this working mom would agree.