You all know that I suffer from Teh Pregnancy Brain. It is absent-mindedness to the nth degree. It is annoying and frustrating and endlessly amusing. But I’ve realized over the last few days that despite this flakiness I also seem to be smarter and sharper during pregnancy (when I am not busy forgetting what I was doing). Hear me out.
When I was pregnant with Sam I held an editing job, wrote for LA Metblogs, kept my own blog, wrote reviews for Creature Corner, did a few freelance reviews, and held a Contributing Editor post at Noneuclidean Cafe. (Edited to add that I also wrote script coverage. Good grief I was busy.) After his birth I gradually stopped doing all of those things except writing this blog. (Some of them I stopped of my own volition and some not, but that is hardly the point.) For the last three years I have felt, at times, quite foggy and uncertain of my own identity. While I have made a great deal of progress as a co-writer with Will, the screenplays we’ve written have not gone anywhere and my enthusiasm has waned. Mostly I have been focused on being a mom, and that is not such a bad thing.
This morning I used “demarcate” in a sentence. In conversation. Less than an hour after I woke up. Correctly. And I did not think anything of it until Will remarked on it.
I’ve spent most of this week working on a short story that I wrote somewhere between eight and ten years ago. I have not looked at it since, and as far as I can remember only Will read it back then. It’s a good story and I think it could be a really good story. Will read it again and he thinks so too. So I’ve been editing the hell out of it. At the same time, I am looking at possible markets for it and for a piece of flash fiction I found that I have no memory of writing. (A very small part of me is afraid it could be someone else’s and I am stealing it, but that is so very unlikely and the story is so very me that I am ignoring my worries.) I’m also still working on my middle grade novel, though I’ve taken a writing break from it this week to work on the other stories.
This is more than I’ve done for myself in ages, and I am doing it with more clarity than I’ve felt in as long as I can remember. I look back at the writing I did when I was pregnant the last time and I think it was quite good, but I don’t remember it viscerally.
Here’s what I want to know: is breastfeeding brain actually worse than pregnancy brain, or was I just so focused on being Sam’s mom that I lost myself a little and a new pregnancy has brought me back into focus?