family, life

Mommy Brain: How pregnancy has changed me

I’m nearly 37 weeks pregnant… we’ll hit that in 2 days, at which point I’ll be full-term with my and Brian’s first child, a boy.

I am so fascinated at how my mindset and attitude have changed over the course of this pregnancy. Hormones have hijacked my brain, the “Mommy Brain” that everyone talks about. In Reframing ‘Mommy Brain’ from the NYT:

Most experts believe that pregnant women’s brain changes are an example of neuroplasticity, the process in which the brain changes throughout life by reorganizing connections in response to the stimulation of new experiences, and neurogenesis, the process of growth that allows for new learning. A 2016 study in Nature Neuroscience found that even two years after pregnancy, women had gray matter brain changes in regions involved in social cognition or the ability to empathically understand what is going on in the mind of another person, to put yourself in their shoes.

I’ve been able to stay somewhat on an even keel, thanks to my wonderful OB allowing me to stay on my anxiety medication throughout my pregnancy. But a lot of the typical experiences have hit hard.

One example: the nesting instinct, which pairs well with my project manager past. The baby’s nursery is ready, save for some artwork. All that’s left to do is put together the Pack ‘n Play for our master bedroom and the baby swing for our living room.

Other ways I laugh at myself as hormones take over: I’m constantly obsessing over baby products and what’s best for our baby boy. I’ve curated our Amazon registry time and time again. And again. And again.

What’s been most humbling though, is in this last month of pregnancy, I’ve had to come to grips with my limitations as a very pregnant woman. Not only is baby boy estimated to be large, but my amniotic fluid is higher than normal, so I’m carrying an extra-big load. And it’s August. In Alabama. So I can’t get around or do things the way I’m used to. My husband has been so helpful and supportive.

I do feel like I’ve been let into a secret club, though. Being in my mid-30s, many friends already have little ones, and so many of them have shared their birth experiences, product recommendations, and encouraging words.

Now all that’s left to do is get as much rest as possible, keep my feet elevated, and prepare for the arrival of our baby boy, which we’re planning on for September 4.

Here’s to the next phase of life with a new title: Mommy.

 

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