I thought my third child was the flu. I guessed it might be something else when I still didn’t have any energy after three weeks. Three kids came along in four years, well four years, one month, and seven days. My memories are hazy, but I can still do math.
I was in a fog for several months after my first child, Garry, was born. I went to aerobics classes and the fog lifted a bit. Then, we moved across state lines and I had baby number two. Both sets of grandparents lived in New York State and we wanted to see them at least as often as we did before. Travelling from New Hampshire took three times longer once we had a baby. That just wasn’t ok.
It wasn’t the flu. I was pregnant again when my second child was just four months old. I had a few brief weeks without the fog and then it never went away after that. It went beyond forgetting what day of the week it was. I’d go in a room and not know why I was there. I started joking that no one would know when I was old because I already behaved that way at age 30. It felt like I went straight from having one child to having three, like I hit the mom accelerator too fast and skipped a gear. I just didn’t get there by having twins.
After my daughter, the youngest, started walking, I had a chilling conversation with my mom. I’m sure I forgot something, got upset or frustrated, and then went to my mother for advice. “Mom,” I pleaded, “When will I get my memory back? How old do the kids have to be?”
There was one brief moment of hopeful silence, and then my mother laughed and laughed and laughed.