I had never expected that my pregnancy would influence my brain this much. Our planning – and yes, we underestimated pregnancy a lot! – was for us to get pregnant (of course) and for me to be writing and still be working. Growing a baby wouldn’t be that hard, right?
At the moment, I could slap my past self and tell her to shut it and be better prepared. But who is ever ready for something they have never done?
Neither was I. We have had two pregnancies; one, I lost around nine weeks, and we got AJ with the second one. The first pregnancy was complicated, and I tested positive around five weeks. And almost immediately, I started to feel like shit.
I got nauseated and didn’t want to eat or drink if I didn’t have to. I lay in bed, sleeping, watching TV, and doing absolutely nothing for whole days. This is, for me, as an ADHD person, not normal. I have my days of spending in bed, relaxing, and watching TV. But not like those days, I slept from 4 pm until dinner time, tried to eat something, and went to bed to sleep until 10 am, if not longer.
Almost around the same time I got sick, I told my husband that I was missing something. It felt off, but what do I know. It was my first pregnancy. Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling, and I started to feel better at one point. Nausea resided, and the tiredness lessened. Not the feeling that I missed something or the foggy brain that came with it all. In the end, I might have been right because we lost the pregnancy. I had called the midwife for an extra ultrasound, as I needed to be sure all was fine. We believed all was fine and walked away with tears streaming down my face.
I have to be honest. I was relieved, in a way, because of the feeling of missing something, of something not being right. It ended almost at the exact moment, knowing it was over—also, the relief of having my own body and mind back, those feelings were huge.
Because (and yes, sorry for the long intro) I got my brain back. I was able to think straight, write, work, watch my computer screen, and most of all, I was able to remember.
The first pregnancy hit me hard; my brain turned to fog. But as they all say, a second one might be different. It was; I was less nauseated. And that was it… My brain still felt like a forest filled with cotton candy. I couldn’t think straight, remember anything or handle a computer screen.
My brain had turned to jelly from the hormones, AGAIN. I hated it, not only that I couldn’t take my ADHD meds which (before the pregnancy) allowed me some rest and structure in my mind. Now it was one big party of hormones, ADHD and Autism. And I sat in the middle of it all while they danced around me, waving their “Fuck You” flags.
I hated it; it was horrible, making me feel useless. Which (I figured out later) was one of the things I can’t handle that well. Mainly when I’ve found my job, which is a massive part of who I am. I am an author, a writer, storyteller, and weird cat mom. The last part might not have been in any trouble with the pregnancy as the cats loved hanging out with me, so that’s one light point in the darkness.
Only not able to do all the other parts, just lay in bed and hope that all would be fine. It sucked. And we underestimated it so freakingly bad!
Those months have taken a lot from me. I had gained a lot of confidence and rhythm in my life; I had been doing something I was proud of.
That all fell away while my brain held the biggest party to which I wasn’t invited. And I can tell you — you might already know — that sucks!
I’ve cried for hours about the loss of my brain, not being able to work and write. It took a lot from me to accept it. I do not think I have entirely done that yet. It’s a process, a process I might not want to repeat.
Not because I do not want a second child, I would love a brother or sister for AJ. But do I want to give him a mother who might (or might not) be down for nine months, feeling like shit, tired, and annoyed with herself? And after that, a mom who’s tired and exhausted because of the newborn. I know how the nine months of pregnancy went, the hormones building up, changes in my body, etc. After that, I got nine months of building down those hormones, and I’m finally done with them.
Making the decision will not be light; we will look at all the aspects of this one—the goods (primarily those) and the heavy ones, the bad days. Because I have AJ to think of, I have to take care of him first.
To be clear, it’s not out of the question for a second child. It is just a question we will ask ourselves later!