Today I locked myself out of my apartment.
It happened exactly the same way as the last time, which was less than a week ago. After dutifully packing my bag full of things a pregnant lady may need for a few hours away from home (snacks, water, sun block, a book, more snacks), I left my keys hanging on the hook by the door. You know, right where I would see them and not forget them.
It's worth noting this never, ever happened to me before I was pregnant. Before Pregnancy (BP), I also never put half and half in the cabinet with the soup and never emptied the dog's water bowl into the trash can.
As it turns out, these feeble-minded acts are, by some, attributed to something called "Pregnancy Brain." All the pregnancy books mention it, though they call it something adorable like "Momnesia" or "Mommy Brain." I call it Temporary.
The truth is, being pregnant takes up every brain cell I've got, and no one is as surprised by that as me. I wake up with ideas for what to pack in my hospital "go bag." My day is filled with newly important tasks like rearranging the baby's clothes in his dresser and compiling lists of who to call/text/email once he arrives (and who can just read about it on Facebook.) Evenings are spent negotiating the newest aches and pains that have settled in by day's end, and what would normally be considered prime sleeping time has become a sort of contest with myself to see how many times I'll get up to pee in the night. My record is six.
I have forgotten what I thought about and what I talked to other adults about before I got pregnant. I know I was damn funny at one point (anyone remember who won Funniest Person in Billings, Montana in 2001?) I used to be able to carry on conversations about theatre and education and I sat on the boards of some kick-ass arts organizations back home in South Carolina. People valued my opinions and experience. It was nice to feel needed by grown-ups.
But now, that lady is on a hiatus. She has traded adorable footwear for the hiking shoes in the back of the closet, because they provide excellent and much needed arch support. She is the slowest one on the stairs heading out of the subway, when she used to take the steps two at a time. And instead of jogging through the park to a killer Scissor Sisters track, she is stopping every few minutes to rest on a bench next to the elderly pigeon feeders.
And it's OK.
It's OK because deep down, I know all of this is temporary. I know that before long, I will return to my former active, funny self, with actual grown-up friends and a grown-up lady purse that will hold my keys in a special pocket. I will interact once again with adults and talk about very important topics like Miley Cyrus' engagement or whatever Ira Glass just said on NPR.
And until that time comes, I'll carry an extra set of keys in my wallet. Because a pregnant lady can only be away from a bathroom for so long.
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