I am an avid reader. Well, I have been since I figured out my eye-sight problem and dove in head first back in 2011. In 2011, I got my first pair of prescription glasses that had to be worn 24/7. Before then I had a few pairs for reading, then bifocals in 2006 but those were a very weak prescription & I didn’t really need them for my dailys. But in 2011 I picked up the Twilight Trilogy and was hooked (I know, shut up, that isn’t the point). Point is, I read through the eye strain until it didn’t seem to hurt so bad. Then I experienced double vision and nearsightedness within months. I had to get a prescription that was way WAY heftier but it allowed me to read EVERYTHING from then on. So I did.
By the end of 2011 I had read 37 books. Then the next year, 2012, 32 books. In 2013 I read 23 books, significantly less since I got pregnant that October. And in 2014, only 6. My reading hasn’t picked back up since the birth of my son. Not by far. but last year, in 2016 I read 23 books total. This was really huge for me since I now have a toddler to care for as well.
And now? It is now 2017. I am 3 months pregnancy with my second child. And I can’t even re-read books I know and love. I keep trying, and changing books, genres, etc. but nothing seems to work. I co-run a book club and am not even 3 chapters in on January’s book – and its over halfway through the month! This is so horrible!
But why???? Why does pregnancy affect my concentration, and my ability to read and finish a book??
I have googled this countless times. I run into things like “pregnancy brain” quite often. Apparently this is not just me. Being pregnant really changes your body, in too many ways to list. Any woman who has experienced it knows. And any man who witnessed it understands. But your brain?? I really hate that your brain is so affected by pregnancy. And, mine is without a doubt.
Reading is one of my favorite ways to entertain myself. I like TV, Movies, Videogames, etc. But reading uses portions of your brain like imagination, and actually transports you there. You YOU are the director. You decide how the scene looks, how the characters look, their clothing, their hair, their voices… you have rough guidelines to follow with description and the more the better… but you still enjoy the pleasure of filling in all of the holes.
But while pregnant, this type of imagining -for me- is impossible. I can’t multitask like that right now and it is totally frustrating. I can read the words and try but I lose the meaning and find myself re-reading portions over and over. That is no fun when usually I lose myself and no longer see the words on the pages because my mind is usually busy picturing a whole world unfold.
I am sad and a little frightened because it seems worse this time than it was with my first pregnancy. I am guessing that being pregnant-exhausted while taking care of my 2 1/2 yr old all day is the culprit…. and so when I get any time to myself, it is not spent with a book. My headaches and sluggishness doesn’t allow it. I may not finish even one book this year….