Pregnancy-Induced News Apathy Mushy brains, swollen feet and other reasons I'm not interested in Congress
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Pregnancy-Induced News Apathy

In my current state, I'd much rather discuss the finer points of baby slings than the implications of the TX-22 race now that DeLay has pulled out. Tomaz Levstek /iStockphoto hide caption

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Tomaz Levstek /iStockphoto

When I took on this task of blogging for Mixed Signals for two weeks, I was told to go ahead and write about whatever interested me. I'm sure the fine editors who gave me this opportunity thought I'd spend a lot of time talking about Congress, the rise and fall of Tom DeLay, the 2006 elections or other things political. Well, I have not done that and here is my defense: I am pregnant.

Now, I know that sounds like a cop-out. (Just as I know that somewhere in the "do not say out loud" list in my husband's brain, there is a sentence that goes something like this: "being pregnant is the biggest excuse ever for demanding a man-servant.")

But it's the truth. My brain seems to be disengaging from my body -- or perhaps it's the other way around. And there seems to be some evidence to back this up. This story ponders the question of prenatal forgetfulness. Some scientific studies on the issue are rounded up here. This piece from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation literally calls the phenomenon "placenta brain."

I also find that while pondering this truth about myself, I may have wandered into an area some might call sexual discrimination. The argument goes like this: if women have mushy brains during the last trimester of pregnancy, should they be treated as such? Should they be hired? Fired? Given different tasks?

So let me clarify that it's not that I can't write about the news, I'm just not as interested in it right now. I'd much rather discuss the finer points of baby slings and child development than the implications of the TX-22 race now that DeLay has pulled out.

Perhaps other readers can back me up on this? Have you encountered this phenomenon? Am I essentially being sexist?

Boy, are my feet swollen.