I’ve heard a lot about it, but I haven’t really been a believer in “pregnancy brain” until now. Unfortunately, the signs are too hard to ignore any longer. There have been a few too many occurrences lately, and I must admit…I have the dreaded pregnancy brain. It began early last week when I wrote, “Please take Truman to breakfast as often as possible.” on his sign in sheet at daycare. It should have said, “Please take Truman to the potty as often as possible.” but I was talking to his teacher about his yogurt and banana breakfast while writing and it just slipped in there. I chalked that one up to an honest mistake, that kind of thing happens to everybody right? Well, a few days later I wrote the wrong child’s name down on his sheet. This may be acceptable of I HAD more than one child, but I don’t! I wrote down the name of another child in Truman’s class. It was then that I began to realize I was in trouble.
But the real kicker, the incident that has made me succumb to the diagnosis, happened this Sunday morning at our breakfast restaurant. We finished eating and I needed to pee. As I walked down the little hallway toward the restrooms, I automatically knew that the ladies’ room was the second door on the right, since I had been in this room a billion times before. I pushed open the door and entered the stall, taking a brief moment to wonder about the restaurant only having one stall in a women’s bathroom. I thought, That is unusual, I never paid attention to that before. I figured I must have been the first person in there that morning because the seat was up, probably left that way after cleaning the night before. I put the seat down and proceeded to relieve my bladder. As I was finishing I heard the door open and someone walked in. I saw tennis shoes under the wall next to me and was instantly confused. Was there another stall after all? How did I miss that? Wait, why do I hear pee-pee noises but this lady is still facing the wall…Oh. My. God. I am in the men’s room. How did I not see the urinal when I came in? What do I do now? Walk out while this man is peeing? I can’t! We may both die of embarrassment! Ok, I’ll wait it out. He’ll finish and leave, I’ll slip out and no one will ever know. I patiently sat on the toilet waiting. Mr. Urinal finishes peeing but is still standing in the middle of the bathroom! I just knew he was playing with his phone. It is deathly quiet in the bathroom and I’m praying that he just walks out so I can sneak away, but the minutes tick by and I can feel my face getting hotter. What if he’s waiting for the stall? Just as I am about to burst through the door and run away, the door opens and another man comes in! Great! Now there are two men in here and I’m trapped in the stall dying a slow death of humiliation. I decide to just go for it, fairly confident that both men have their private areas covered at that moment. I open the stall door to see the first guy walking out and a very old, hunched over little man standing at the urinal. Thankfully his penis was still in his pants, and I immediately started apologizing. “Oh, I got the wrong bathroom! I’m so sorry!” He looked surprised and then giggled as I darted through the door. My face burning, I made it back to our booth and told Mike, “We have to go right now. I went into the men’s room by mistake!” He of course thought that was the funniest thing ever and I swear he took his sweet time getting out of there. I don’t know how I did it, and the only conclusion I can come to is pregnancy brain. It is real. I have it, and I hope it goes away. I don’t know how many more embarrassing situations I can live through.
If you are anything like me, you excitedly checked online every single week of your pregnancy to see what to expect for yourself and your baby. Sometimes there would be nice information about the baby’s size (even though they use fruits and vegetables for comparison…who decided on that?) and other times the site would tell you what you may be feeling. All of it is written very nicely, sugar coating the real truths of what pregnancy is actually like. My forty weeks really never seems to be on track with the baby websites though… (Nothing I am going to say should be taken as medical advice, or an exact interpretation of what you will go through. It is just my pregnancy experience. Yours may be roses and rainbows and you may never pee your pants.)
It has been two days since my Truman boy wanted milkies. To some, this would seem no big deal. To others it may seem long overdue. To Moms who are big into breastfeeding like I am, well, you’re probably the only people who will understand how bittersweet this is for me. My breastfeeding relationship with Truman has been rewarding, challenging, sometimes painful, and a huge magical band aid with the ability to heal sickness, sadness, injury, exhaustion, and hurt feelings. I can’t imagine our first 20 months together without it. From that first night in the hospital when we both cried in the dark, unsure if we were doing this thing the right way, to the morning cuddles just days ago when he furrowed his brow, pointed at my breast and threw his binky across the room. He scooted his little warm body closer to mine and nursed while I dozed. It lasted for about five minutes, when he decided that holding still was just too hard with all of the things in the world just waiting out there to be explored. And I wondered then if it would be the last time. And it was. And that is great.
My goal in the beginning was to nurse Truman until he decided that he was done. I hoped to make it to the two year mark, (Which is a big accomplishment and recommended by the World Health Organization) but with all of the personality changes that have been unfolding recently, I doubted that we would. Truman is an “overnight” child. His changes are immediate and permanent, and on his own time. The change from sleeping in our bed to his own space was made by him. One day he sobbed and howled being put in his porta-crib, (even though it was in our room) the very next day he wanted nothing to do with snuggling between us. He began sleeping in his porta crib every night. The same thing happened moving to the crib in his own bedroom. And crawling. And walking. Zero interest, to a complete pro over night. It never mattered when I was ready. So, it shouldn’t surprise me that he didn’t wait for me to be ready to end our breastfeeding relationship. It doesn’t really matter anyway, it has always been about him. A large part of me is ready. Being pregnant makes nursing a toddler tough. I felt sick, hot, tired and touched out for the first few months. Now, my belly is hard to maneuver around and a writhing boy with kicking feet and grabby hands (not to mention the toys that always seem to accompany him) is hard to contain, and can be painful. I love the idea of having a little break before starting all over again with a new baby. But I will still miss this part of “us.” I pray my cuddles and kisses can heal boo-boos as easily as milkies could. I hope that lullabies and rocking chairs can soothe him back to sleep in the middle of the night. I have to be diligent about his immune system being boosted by healthy foods now that it won’t get that extra help from the “liquid gold.” The hardest part is knowing that he probably won’t remember how special this time was for us, and I will remember it for the rest of my life. One more step out of Baby and in to Big Boy.