Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pregnant Brain Parked the Car

It began easily enough. While Andrew was at a training seminar for a few days, I would hang out and explore Toronto. So how did I find myself searching the streets of the city without any idea where I had left my car? I mean, zero idea as to where this thing could be. I knew it was in a parking garage under a building on Bloor Street. What floor? What helpfully lettered and numbered spot? What building? Which one with a book store?

Angela has helpfully told me that pregnant women lose 7% of their brain cells (or is that capacity?). The midwife backed this up. Countless mothers have confirmed for me that, yes, while pregnant, they too forgot very simple things or lost touch with things they once knew. My mother said that for two full years her accounting co-workers blamed her oversights on Ryan's birth. Now, I can't get these women to reach a consensus as to whether this brain function returns. The midwife said it goes with the placenta - creating possibly the most valid reason for eating that thing that I've heard.

But in the meantime, I'm wandering around Bloor Street imagining the conversation I'm going to have to have with Andrew when he gets out of his conference.

"Yes Andrew, I knew I said I'd pick you up from the hotel right at 4:00.
You see, I've lost the Volvo.
That's right, the Volvo.
It's most likely not stolen. It's just somewhere in some parking garage. Yes, that is the description I gave the police.
No, they don't seem hopeful.
This is not my fault. I don't forget directions. I don't lose my way. I don't lose entire cars. Pregnant brain parked the car."

This would not go well. Pregnant brain has been rather active these past months. Great swaths of my vocabulary are missing. It reminds me of a line from a Billy Collins poem about growing old and memory loss. The words, he said, are not on the tip of your tongue. They have retired to a remote fishing village in the Southern part of the brain where there are no phones. Had Billy Collins been a woman, he would have realized when the words first choose that village for later retirement.

The problem, I believe, is that pregnant brain operates only in the present. The immediate, urgent present. There is no future to prepare for, no past for which to account. There is only now and now must happen NOW! It may be important to note that at the time of parking the car, pregnant brain was immediately and urgently involved with the problem of finding a washroom. Someone was standing on our bladder and there was no time for noticing anything about the place where we abandoned the car in our flight for relief. The cares of tomorrow (and the cars of today) were left to fend for themselves.

I should say, I found the car. I traced down the bookstore only to discover that it had several locations in one building. Stupid bookstore. I did recall that the bookstore I wanted was across from a liquor store (a sure sign of my old brain in action). From there I retraced my steps to find our car securely parked in spot 32 H. Crisis averted.

This morning I shot up from my bed. Thoughts in full panic mode: We haven't had our period in a very long time. What was it? Months?

Ah, pregnant brain. It has been months and we've got months to go.


  1. It's great to read about your ventures in baby storage and soon to be baby feeding/holding/cleaning. It feels too long since I've seen and talked to Andrew so this is great to keep caught up with you guys. I think it's awesome that the first word Jonah will say is "eh!" Say hey to Andrew for me and much congrats to you guys... parenting is quite an adventure!

  2. "the cares of tomorrow (and the cars of today)" — thankfully, pregnant brain has left your writing flair wonderfully intact.

    p.s. i'm home now from bashing around paris. so much beauty, boatloads of cheese — i thought of you often!

  3. I'm with Beth - classic Dana, here. I laughed aloud through the whole thing. (And I'm weighing in on no, it doesn't come least not in the first four months).