Pregnancy Brain exists. I used to imagine it was simply a result of tiredness, feeling unwell, and spending too much time daydreaming about the baby, but I've lived to realise how wrong I was. It's more than that. It's real, and it's stupefying. In the last few days alone, I could have benefited from the following list of advice:

  • If a recipe does not call for peeled, chopped tomato, there is no need to go to the shop and buy several tins of it, sit them on the bench with all the other ingredients, and afterwards panic because you have several tins of peeled, chopped tomato left over at the end of the cooking*.
  • Grasp the juice. Grasp it. Do not let it fall to the floor, splashing spectacularly all over your face, hair, clothes, legs and kitchen.
  • If you are chopping chillies, and your nose gets itchy, don't rub it.
  • If you are chopping chillies, and your nose gets itchy, and you rub it, don't try to wash the burning sensation away using detergent, thereby spreading the hurt all over your face.
  • If you are chopping chillies, and your nose gets itchy, and you rub it, and you are trying to wash the burning sensation away using detergent, thereby spreading the hurt all over your face, don't breathe in through your nose.

I could have benefited from that list. Instead, Mr Bea benefited from my fine, comic display.

But Pregnancy Brain doesn't always cause the sort of lighthearted slapstick that leaves you holding an icepack to your burning, bubble-blowing face whilst your amused husband finishes dinner. Sometimes it results in real hurt. So to all those fertile, pregnant women who were temporarily too stupid to figure out the appropriate way to treat an infertile friend, let me say I now understand! It's still true you were being a fuckwit, but it totally was the hormones after all! Nevertheless, perhaps we would all benefit from one extra piece of advice:

  • Infertility sucks. Don't be an arse to your infertile friend.

Remember: it's all fun and games until someone has to cry their eyes out**.

*Peeled, chopped tomato recipes gratefully accepted.

**If I'm ever an arse, please point it out, yeah? I'm a little dim at the moment.


Ellen K. said...

I've never been PG but firmly believe in PG brain and plan to use it as an excuse, often, based on my experiences with mere Provera and 50 mg Clomid. : )

megan said...

here's another tip that i learned last night. if a recipe calls for cooked rice, make sure that you cook the rice BEFORE you're ready to assemble the dish (tortilla pie -- yum) and put it into the oven.

it's real. so real. and embarassing at work. my boss used to believe i was a genius and now? ... not so much :)

Sarah said...

oh so very, sadly, true.

The Town Criers said...

I actually have a solution here! And this comes from a scarily similar experience involving jalapenos and rubbing my eye--chop wearing disposable gloves. And then...toss them...after you wash the knife. Like those medical latex ones? My BIL is my supplier of chili gloves.

Samantha said...

Gloves, gloves for chopping the chillies...

mary ellen said...

So true. Sorry about the chili incident. That must have been awful.

Lut C. said...

But what was the dish?

Portia P said...

Based on my experience dabbling with PG hormones, I can relate to the PG brain stuff. Can't imagine how it must be for real....

Re: the chillis - I always use catering gloves OR hold the chilli on the board with a fork in one hand whilst I chop with the other.

Make lots of tomato sauce for pasta! It's my favourite!

Wish your eyes better xx

Rachel Inbar said...

Not only does it exist, it takes a while to recover... I actually read a scholarly article about it recently... Women scored lower on tests that involved memory and... I don't remember what else (too bad I'm serious...)

Sorry about the chili :-(

Bumble said...

LOL, yes, I can relate... Also, you may start wearing bibs, or dishtowels around your neck while eating to avoid the inevitable "spillage"... So glad everything is going well with you!! x

Changing Expectations said...

Living with the PG brain. Work is not so excited with this latest development.

Geohde said...


I'd suggest living on take-out, but that's probably a long way from ideal. Maybe Mr Bea could cook?


Jess said...


I've been saying to people for MONTHS that I'm not getting any smarter through this all. Baby, pregnancy....I'm a ball of stupid.

A big, fat ball of stupid.

Vee said...

prqOuch! that sounds painful.
I agree Mr Bea should do more cooking.

I wasn't pregnant for long but still managed to brush my teeth with handwash, it is strange thing really.

Mel said...

Someone needs to buy you some gloves Bea. Just remember
Chilli - Gloves

As for the tomatoes. Lasagna, spag bog, chicken cacciatori, chilli con carne (remember the gloves)
Thats all I can think of right now

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha, yes i get this one, still got it actually! Anyone who says its just an excuse needs a swift smack in the gob :)

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