Monday, May 28, 2012

Baby brain and new projects

It's true what they say about baby brain. I didn't have it in pregnancy, but now... oh boy. Something about the raging hormones and the sleep deprivation I suppose. Sometimes it is hard to simply string together words into coherent sentences. When I called my family doctor last week to get Heiko registered as a new patient, I actually gave her the wrong last name for him (I reversed the hyphenation). I don't even know my son's name! I have no idea what month it is! HALP!

I have been reflecting on this lately since I am scheduled to go to an academic conference in July. It should be great, BIRS is amazeballs, and the math should be right up my alley (I'm even listed as a reference in the "objectives" section here). Things happen at Banff: questions asked, problems solved, connections made. But, but! I can't think!! CANNOT THINK!  I haven't thought about math in months, and I'm worried that I'll be too wrapped up in the where and what of Heiko to concentrate or even really participate in the workshop. Someone asked me for the title of my PhD and I really, really had to think hard about it.

So the decision on this matter is pending. In the meantime, I'm hoping to start some new projects to stimulate my little brain. I know, I know, isn't having a six-week old baby project enough? Well yes, it is, but also no, it isn't. I'm going a little crazy, especially as P is trying to get out more to do his own work. So here are some things I am thinking about doing:

- actually learning how to take/make good photos (emphasis on the "make": unfortunately I think this may have to do more with figuring out the post-processing... something I don't really do).

- reading some books that aren't about babies, recommendations warmly welcomed

- getting back to running and yoga  (I have already been back to running and a little bit of yoga... topics for a later post)

- [......this blog......] This is a bit of a question mark. I'm hoping to find a new loose theme or focus for this blog, that doesn't revolve 100% around Heiko (even when it feels like my life does!). Remember my keep-a-sketchbook resolution? Well, I never even cracked it open. Somehow it is easier for me to make this blog into my sketchbook of sorts. So I guess I'm saying "watch this space," even if it just means more regular recordings of the items above. Plus Heiko news, of course!
Here he is, reflecting on stripes.


  1. "Things happen at Banff: questions asked, problems solved, connections made."
    Damn right. AND someone else cooks for you.

    "So the decision on this matter is pending"
    Huh? Seriously? What if you get used to thinking without sleep in a month? What if everyone understands and accepts that you are a new mother, and you are still getting used to it?

    1. Right, good point: the cooking is good.

      But, baby brain is only one of the reasons the decision is pending. There are a whole bunch of other Heiko-related reasons why it may not be a good choice. For example, some days H wants to eat every hour. And his eating may take five minutes, or it may take 45, which means a lot of pumping for me (pumping is about as fun as it sounds). Plus the idea of air travel with an infant is stressful, though I know it is something we'll have to deal with sooner or later. And finally, conferences stress me out, even when they are in splendid settings. Stress is bad for everyone, but Heiko may have a particularly hard time if the stress impacts my milk supply. So, it is complicated, and yes, the decision is pending.

      Plus, do you really think that "everyone" is going to understand? I don't.

      Maybe what I should have written above is that I feel like my whole world has been busted open, and I'm not sure I can emotionally handle returning to my old math life just yet, or possibly ever.

    2. On second consideration (can you tell that I fired that off without a lot of thought?), your pendingness makes complete sense. I must have been in a really powerful "DO EVERYTHING"-place when I wrote that :-)

  2. I read Spacesuit by Nicholas de Monchaux in my first few months of breastfeeding. It is an architectural/media history of the spacesuit that the AMericans designed for walking on the moon. It was great for this purpose: profound cultural/historical observations in manageable chunks, with lots of pictures.