Motherhood is Synonomous with Amnesia

I once read a scientific study that said that women lose brain cells while giving birth. The labor I had with the first child alone should have left me completely brainless. I'm grateful for anything that I have left. That also might explain why we have four children.

My first pregnancy was my worst. To say that it was unpleasant is an understatement. I hugged that porcelain god in the bathroom way more than I care to remember. And the labor. Dear Lord, please forgive me for the cruelty I put that poor intern through while I suffered 17 hours of back labor. I was clearly out of my mind with pain and can't be held responsible for my actions. And I meant every word I uttered through the pregnancy of never having any more children. EVER. And I meant it while screaming them through the labor and delivery. That lasted right up until I looked into the face of my newborn daughter, and I swear the third thing I said was "we'll have more."

Boom! Just like that I forgot about nine months of sheer misery and seventeen hours of the worst pain known to mankind. It was erased from my mind, and I went on to birth three more children. Two of them without any medication at all. That right there can only be attributed to dead brain cells.

When those babies were growing up way too fast, I forgot that I wanted them to be little for as long as possible and attempted to make them grow up sooner by spoon feeding them. I also forgot that spoon feeding ranks right under potty training on the list of things I hate doing with the kids.

Even after a baby had a pooplosion up the back of it's shirts in public, I would still forget to check the diaper bag on occasion to be sure that all the essentials were there, and I would venture forth into imminent disaster because of my memory lapse. I once had to purchase a new outfit for myself, complete with bra, when Micah barfed up formula down the front of my wool sweater at the mall. But I guess packing myself extra clothes never was part of the routine. See how easily I forget?

When the kids pushed me to the edge of my sanity and I invented creative punishments for them, somehow I could never remember that a week without television was a greater punishment for myself than it was for them. Listening to a week's worth of whining and griping and begging probably killed off even more brain cells, which is why I was stupid enough to do it all over again in a few months.

And even now, when my baby is 6 (where DID the time go? Can it really be?) I am still suffering from brain cell loss. Micah is an early riser just like all the other kids have been. Sleeping in means not seeing numbers starting with 6 on my alarm clock. And yet, after fourteen years of parenting early risers, I cannot remember to go to bed at a decent hour. Being perpetually sleep deprived does nothing to help regrow brain cells.

Can brain cells grow back?

9 comments:

Michelle said...

If you figure out how to get them to grow back, let me know. I'm still working on that. Which is why I'm up at 10 and not done with things that NEED to be done yet. *sigh* I'm a moron.

Karen said...

I don't think they ever grow back....though with a decent amount of sleep you do learn to manage the few you have left quite efficiently. Still, you are never the same. All that said, I have never been pregnant. SO...I don't have any experience there.

Kelly said...

Hi Karen, I was steered here by Burghbaby. She says you are teh awesome.

If you find a way to grow the brain cells back, do tell. We only have 1 who is almost 2. Four times the brain cell loss of chasing him? I would forget where I live.

Karen said...

Kelly - welcome! Burgh is really the awesome one. I'm hearing that the brain cells have zero chance of making a comback. Seems we're in trouble.

Viv said...

Medical science can take a flying leap, if brain cells really didn't grow back, I would have lost the ability to function at all by now. I mean yesterday alone I changed 27 diapers, did 9 loads of laundry, fixed 19 meals, and helped with homework...could a person with so few brain cells left really do all that?

nikki said...

I don't think I had very many brain cells to begin with! Now, after 2 kids, you can see me standing at my office door wondering why it won't unlock when pressing my car's key fob.

And I beg to differ. Both you AND the Burgh rock.

utmomof 5 said...

I please let them grow back!!! Maybe after they get married and have kids we get them back while we LAUGH at their parenting :)

Tara said...

What's a brain cell?

(asks the woman with six kids who recently couldn't remember how many scoops of formula she'd just put in the bottle...ie, couldn't focus enough to count to THREE! Sigh.)

Fishsticks and Fireflies said...

Dude. I actually had to count, OUT LOUD to 3 today to make sure I had all my children when I left the store. I sometimes wonder what great and wonderous things I have forgotten because of the number of brain cells that have leached out along with my breastmilk.