There are times these days when I barely recognize myself. Before stillbirth, I was a planner, an organizer, a multitasker with a sharp memory and a to do list. After stillbirth, I can often barely focus on one thing at a time, and for mere minutes at that. I’m consumed by thoughts of what happened, enveloped in a mental fog.
Here are some examples.
I walk into the kitchen to make lunch. Somehow I manage to get that started without setting anything on fire The cats are trailing me, meowing. They want to be fed. Suddenly I remember I needed to return a text. I pick up my phone and spend a minute or two typing. I check a comment on Facebook. I look up how long brown rice is supposed to cook for. I put the phone down. The cats are still staring at me and hanging out by their dishes. I have no idea whether I just fed them or not. (You can’t put any stock in what the cats say. I can’t tell you how many times Zack and I have had this conversation: You fed the cats? But I just fed them!) I feel the opened can of cat food in the fridge. It feels cold so I figure it’s been in there for a while, and I feed them—but I have this nagging feeling they just tricked me into feeding them twice.
I’m leaving to drive somewhere and I catch myself getting into the passenger side.
I get my phone and sit down at the table to make some calls. One of the calls requires my credit card. I go over to my purse to get it and read off the number. I finish the call and walk away to do something else. Later I suddenly remember I’m expecting a return phone call about something. I look for my phone on the charger but it’s not there. I stand befuddled in the kitchen for several minutes. I can’t form even a single thought as to where it might be. I walk around the house for a little bit in a state of confusion. Eventually I am able to retrace my steps: I was making phone calls and had it at the table; oh yeah, then I went to my purse. And there it is, in my purse. Why did I put it in my purse?
I miss my brain. I hope someday I get it back.