A friend of mine is expecting her third baby, and recently told me about her habit of hormonal weeping while pregnant. One of the things that sets her off into an inexplicable bout of sobbing is Extreme Home Makeovers.
I had to laugh. 'Baby brain' affected another friend of mine, who worked in a fish and chip shop while pregnant. A customer handed her five bucks, but her addled brain couldn't calculate the change. So the customer tried to convince her that he was owed ten dollars' change from a fiver, as the other customers giggled. My friend knew there was something wrong with this theory, but couldn't quite put her finger on it - so burst into tears in the middle of the shop.
My brushes with baby brain have been many. I had tough pregnancies (bad morning sickness and depression), but there were also fleeting moments of floating about with a gormless sense of wellbeing which was actually pretty pleasant. In one costly incident I was out driving, listening to my new 'Power Ballads' CD and singing along with all the 80s-inspired passion I could muster. I mistook a 'passing land ends now' sign for a 'passing lane ends in 200 metres' sign, and did a really crappy overtaking manoevre - past an off duty cop, who very promptly radioed his mates to intercept my shenanigans. And they did. All the hormonal sobbing in the world could not dissuade the officer who stopped me from giving me a (heartily deserved) $150 fine.
I've seen different theories about baby brain: that it's caused by physiological changes in pregnant women's brains, or that it happens simply because growing a baby makes you tired. It's the sort of thing - like PMS - that could be used to question a woman's competence. Is that justified? Who else has experienced baby brain, and what are your theories?