Monday, March 29, 2010

How has pregnancy changed you?

I get the distinct pleasure of working from home today since everyone is sick in my department :-) Nice re-entry to work after a week of sick myself.

I am reading about 5000 pages of tedious research (but in my oh so comfortable apartment!) The research topic is motherhood and I've been a little uncomfortable all day. Not physically but mentally. You see, the pregnancy has effected my brain power. I am less able to make the analytic leaps that I am supposed to make. I am more emotional over content but here is the weird one... I am more afraid.

I am afraid of getting things wrong, being wrong, arguing or debates. I am afraid I'm not good enough at my job and I'm afraid people can sense it. I feel like everyone else knows what they are supposed to do and I don't. Sometimes in meetings, people ask me a question and I panic - what does the question mean - I stare at them and have to ask them to repeat the question. This isn't good for a strategic advisor! My head just seems to so full and so empty all at the same time.

Lets put this down to hormones shall we? Maybe this is the estrogen hard at work? Maybe this is just pregnancy anxiety? Rather than dealing with all my daily fears (are they still ok? will we make it? what classes should I be signing up for, what tests haven't I done?) I push the anxiety onto my work instead. With all this anxiety it's clear I need the meditation or relaxation classes sooner rather than later!

Ah anxiety, my old friend. Come in, sit down and meet my new friend ... stupid head.


  1. When I was pregnant and working, I'd spend time secretly checking out websites on nursery furniture, fetal growth, maternity clothes...much more fun than, say, legal research. I worried that everyone knew my mind was anywhere BUT on work. That they could see me faking attention during meetings, when actually I was thinking about the wiggles going on in my belly. Later the focus became my physical discomfort and frequent restroom runs. But I don't think you should sweat it too much. People have to realize that it's hard to ignore the belly swelling just 18 inches or so below your nose. You're not incompetent, sweetie, you're pregnant!

  2. Dear EB -- when I was expecting, we referred to this as "the creature at my brain." (We called Liam The Creature.) Whether it's hormonal, physical, emotional (i.e., distraction), or some combination, I think it is very real and it can be panic inducing at work. (Or it was for me.) See:

    There are undoubtedly better articles/research, but this is the first okay one I found.

    The other thing: the babies will pull essential fatty acids from wherever they can get them (e.g., your brain) and calcium too. Check with your doc and get some fluoride or something for your teeth. After 40 years of no cavities, after Liam was born I went in for routine cleaning and needed 3 fillings and a crown. Doc said: oh yeah, happens all the time, during pregnancy the baby mines the mother's body for nutrition and the teeth always take it hard. Go figure.

    Glad you're feeling better and so excited that you're almost half way there! With love,

  3. Bwahahahaha! Your last line made me laugh! I'm sorry you have pregnancy brain - I know it must be so frustrating to go from this intelligent, confident, capable woman to a bunch of mush, and at the same time I can't wait to join you! :-)

  4. I too laughed at the last line. :)
    But seriously, I noticed I checked out partially for awhile mentally. Like around the same number of weeks you are, then I noticed I sort of checked back in on my own around 27 or so weeks. For one thing, my anxiety level about the pregnancy dropped way off and I suddenly found myself in organizational mode. I've actually found myself to be quite mentally productive lately, although I lack the physical ability to execute! My point? This too shall pass.... :)

  5. Gosh, I remember that. I'm a college professor and I'd be in mid sentence of a lecture and just POOF gone. Would have no clue where I was, where I was going, where I'd been. My students just stared at me (they didn't know b/c I wasn't securely into the preg yet to reveal it before the semester was over. My greatest fear was that I would have this rip roaring fart in the middle of a quiet classroom. I did seem to have bad gas in the early days of preg. Thank goodness that never happened.