Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Maternal Brain

Original post date- 12/06 on MySpace

As I sat waiting for my Chinese takeout the other day, the only reading material available was American Scientific Magazine. Awesome! I've got at least a good 6-7 min., these guys are quick. Long after my food was ready, I sat absorbed in an article called "The Maternal Brain." Outings by myself are rare and I wasn't in a hurry to get back. What a wealth of information! (Yeah, Matt. I get it, I'm a nerd. Let's move on...)

The article was about how a woman's brain changes beginning THE DAY she conceives. I won't go into detail about specific areas of the brain or what hormones kickstart it, but it was fascinating. As she practices her foraging (yardsales), nesting (Under-the-Sea themed nursery), and other survival skills necessary to have babies, information that used to be vital (Lyrics to Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) is replaced! I need the music to get it started...

It's a creepy visual, but mommy rats run races to food sources twice as fast as virgin rats. They can find their food AND their babies that have been moved to a different area of the maze faster than it takes the virgin rat to find the food. It gives me a certain satisfaction to know that I could kick Hannah Montana's ass at something.

I also learned that breastfeeding is addictive. That explains my mom. (Mom, after 12 years of "nourishing," your boob job is completely justified!) When a mother is breastfeeding, the brain releases endorphins making it a pleasurable experience. NOT the same kind of pleasurable...nevermind. I always wondered how a new mommy dog could tolerate her leaping litter attaching like leeches. She was high!

I thought I was going nuts when Lexi was about 6 weeks old. My brain wasn't in pristine working order. (It didn't help that we were living in an RV because Hurricane Isable knocked out power for 17 days.) I even got in the car to go somewhere, and after 10 minutes forgot where I was going. I had to turn around and come home and never remembered where I was going. That's when I really got worried. Now I know that it was just my brain sweeping away which alcoholic ingredients go into a Pissed Off Japanese Minnow Farmer to make way for what time she ate last, and when she eats next.

Mommies, I would love to know what knowledge you've sacrificed to provide for your puppies...