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Last Post - Heavy Drinking Before I Knew I Was Pregnant (have to decide today)

(161 Posts)
tsmith02162013 Thu 28-Feb-13 15:01:59

I appreciate the women who responded to my first thread about drinking (heavily) before I knew I was pregnant.

I have to make a decision today as to what I am going to do- keeping going or not. I am hoping to hear from any woman who drank as heavily as I did before she knew she was pregnant and then went on to have the baby.

When I was 28 days (4 weeks) since my last period, I drank two bottles of wine (standard 750 ML size) in one night. The next night, I had 3 drinks (1 beer, 2 glasses of wine), and the night after, I had 4-5 beers.

I was also drinking earlier that month, usually a glass of wine here or there. What really worries me is the binge drinking, the heavy drinking, the night of 2 bottles of wine.

If I can find mums who had a drinking problem like I did, who drank that heavily before they knew, I think it would be enough to settle my mind. My GP and midwife, who I saw since the last thread, were not very reassuring, although we did see a heartbeat.

marywonderful Thu 14-Mar-13 01:04:38

So sorry you are so worried. When you have anxiety it can be easy to get hyper focused on a specific worry. It's a valid worry, but you have made it bigger than it should be. Trust the people in your life to help you put this in perspective.

I'm concerned about how an abortion would effect your anxiety. I could see you hyper focusing on the day, the clinic, the operating table, the doctor, the sounds of the machine. Imagine living that over and over again. I know friends who have aborted and this could really mess with your head - especially if you are sensitive to stress.

cafecito Tue 12-Mar-13 18:30:41

good luck with your pregnancy tsmith - keep up with as much support as you can have in RL, try and have some counselling- maybe CBT if you find it helpful- and try to stop feeding your anxiety smile we can all find horror stories if we look for them. I honestly believe your baby will be healthy and you will be happy. very best wishes to you x

LemonPeculiarJones Tue 12-Mar-13 09:07:39

You don't have to get it closed down, tsmith. I think it's reaching its natural conclusion anyway. It's ok just to leave it.

Good luck with mastering your anxieties. And I really think that your baby will be absolutely FINE!

Take care.

tsmith02162013 Mon 11-Mar-13 22:39:17

One question- if the thread is closed to future comments, will it still be available online? I have found that it helps me calm down when I get stressed about the drinking to come back and read some of the comments on the thread.

tsmith02162013 Mon 11-Mar-13 22:38:35

I believe I have probably said all that I can on this subject, really. Thanks to everyone who responded with helpful information.

glossyflower Mon 11-Mar-13 17:06:35

I think that we should wind this down now. It's not helpful to OP and just feeding the negativity. The answers OP seek are here, you wanted true stories of women drinking alcohol whilst pregnant and overwhelmingly the end results were positive. As for professional medical opinion only OP can seek that herself.
Can this thread be closed to further comments?

Creamtea1 Mon 11-Mar-13 16:37:06

I agree with others that OP needs to step away from Internet research and forums. Also a lot of people have spent time giving advice etc yet the thread is going in circles.

tsmith02162013 Mon 11-Mar-13 16:17:25

Having a number to put on a risk really isn't that helpful either way. Frankly, I was surprised that the doctor was willing to put a number on the risk of drinking alcohol before you know you are pregnant, as my other doctors were completely unwilling to do so.

ExpatAl Mon 11-Mar-13 08:43:59

I don't think a doctor would give you those percentages OP. Perhaps you misunderstood. Wishing you all the best.

cafecito Mon 11-Mar-13 07:26:30

there is still such a thing as a wrongul birth lawsuit - no doctor with any sense will risk their career to reassure you it will be fine.

cafecito Mon 11-Mar-13 07:20:57

But nobody can quantify the risk accurately. no doctor will tell you it will be fine- aa whole host of things could go wrong. It doesn't just depend on what you drink, but at what point in development this is, possiby other genetic factors too. Nobody can tap in 2 x wine to a calculator and give you a .005% risk, or whatever. It will take another decade to see more sigificant study results. But equally 30% and 75% is really just laughably wrong. The current thinking is the spectrum disorder occurs in around 1-3% of pregnancies.

tsmith02162013 Mon 11-Mar-13 03:21:13

I am no longer contemplating terminating the pregnancy, but I would appreciate a real, honest answer from a medical professional that I can trust. I feel like I cannot get the same answer from any doctor, which makes it all that much more difficult to relax.

cafecito Sun 10-Mar-13 23:51:17

sorry FASD is a spectrum disorder

I have to go now, but I want you to keep calm. I wish you all the best with your pregnancy.

If you choose to terminate, you need to be honest with yourself why you would do that. If you don't want this pregnancy, it's your body - go ahead. But if you want a baby then please do not. Can you imagine how much your mind would go over and over and over the issue of the termination, after the termination? your anxiety now tells me that this is a potential problem you would face - or in fact any woman in such a position faces - so you terminate a healthy pregnancy - how do you feel then? be honest with your reasons for termination.

cafecito Sun 10-Mar-13 23:45:51

tsmith- your doctor is talking crass nonsense. I can say this as a medic and as I have done some research specifically into FAS. FAS is a spectrum, but there is no way any doctor would quantify that risk in such a way. That's just ridiculous.

tsmith02162013 Sun 10-Mar-13 23:24:23

I wrote to another doctor asking for a second opinion. This doctor put my chances of the child having fetal alcohol syndrome from drinking during the first 4 to 4.5 weeks after the last cycle at 30%, based on my drinking habits (a glass or two of wine each day, with binge drinking on the weekend. The two bottles of wine in one night was the most I consumed at any one time though).

The doctor said that if I was drinking 12 drinks per day during the first 4 weeks, my chances of having a child with fetal alcohol syndrome would be 75%.

I feel like I am getting such conflicting information, which is what makes it hard to keep calm.

discotequewreck Sun 10-Mar-13 20:51:46

OP, I am a nurse. I have nursed many alcoholics. 2 bottles of wine and a beer is not heavy, heavy drinking. You are being too hard on yourself and stuck in negative thought patterns because of anxiety.

I had a spell of anxiety when I was doing my exams and your posts remind me of how I got fixated on a 'worry', to the point of obsession. I convinced myself I had HIV because I had had unprotected sex once on holiday a few years earlier.

I suppose yes it was possible but hugely unlikely. I trawled the internet for symptoms and convinced myself every niggle I had was a sign of HIV. I couldn't sleep, I went to the doctor several times with fear I had fungal infections.

You will be okay OP, you are just struggling with anxiety and obsessive thoughts. I remember wanting to find as many people I could who had had unprotected sex and were fine.

Sometimes this is linked to feelings of worthlessness or low self esteem. Do you think it was bad or wrong to drink two bottles of wine? You sound like you are punishing yourself. I did, for having unprotected sex, it's almost as if I thought I deserved punishment for such behaviour.

But we are all human. We drink too much, make mistakes. Two bottles of wine and a beer is not this awful heavy drinking or punishable behaviour you think it is. Most people can easily drink that on a merry night, relaxing, having fun.

I hope your anxiety eases OP, you sound a nice, caring person and you will be fine.

ladymia Sun 10-Mar-13 19:37:55

Have you started your prenatal care yet? Taking folic acid etc etc. Your 12 week scan should be coming up soon? Hopefully that will make the pregnancy more real to you and you will be able to get a bit excited about it.

AmberLeaf Sun 10-Mar-13 19:12:48

Feeling sick is a good sign of a healthy pregnancy!

All sounds well.

All the best tsmith.

tsmith02162013 Sun 10-Mar-13 19:08:20

I have beene quite sick (physically) over the last week, which has probably made it that much more difficult for me to relax and move on. I am going back to the GP because this feels much more like flu (with no fever, thankfully).

I am going to have to stop chatting about this question of drinking before I knew I was pregnant, but I guess I just wanted to have a full supply of stories (good and bad, in some cases), to get me through the next few months.

To be perfectly frank, if I could have just one day when I felt like myself (my old self, before I knew I was pregnant), I think it would do me a world of good. But between the initial fear/anxiety and now being physically ill, I have not yet had that moment of "I feel 'normal,' I can handle this."

detoxlatte Sun 10-Mar-13 08:14:21

OP, you are looking for certainties which do not exist. I really do think that you need to step away from Internet chat.

If your decision is made, why do you need to know if there is anyone out in the world who drank before 4 weeks and had a baby impacted by it? If the answer is yes, what are you going to do?

You have been inundated with information about placental growth and shared blood supplies, but you are ignoring it all. Why, why do you seem so determined to self-sabotage? Why are you flagellating yourself like this?

You really need to hold onto the fact that there are no guarantees about anything in life, but the chances seem to be very, very high that everything is fine. Frankly, even if you were teetotal this would be the case. Just relax, and move on.

LoopDeLoops Sun 10-Mar-13 01:47:41

I drank more than you. Easily. Knowing that is not going to help you. To be frank, you are being ridiculous - it is your mind making this into a big issue when one doesn't really exist.

And anyway, is it better to 'risk' having a baby with a (perfectly treatable) cleft palette and possible FAS or to kill that baby? No brainer to me.

cafecito Sun 10-Mar-13 01:38:34

tsmith- you're asking for a response to a question you have posed that can only be answered by the select few who you seek. so if you hear nothing - you still won't be reassured, you will still be seeking. Just step back and see your counsellor. bond with your baby, learn some strategies for anxiety management. No doctor can ever reassure anyone 100%, it would be unethical professionally to do so. You were given a textbook reply to a question of risk in pregnancy, the same reply would be given to everyone.

ExpatAl Sat 09-Mar-13 14:24:20

I would agree with your counsellor. Online chatting is fine if you're not basing a very important decision on the random musings of anonymous people.

ExpatAl Sat 09-Mar-13 14:17:51

OP, my feeling is that if the anon messager really wanted to inform and help you he/she would have offered to answer any question etc. I think you can dismiss it as malicious.
I am against drinking in pregnancy but have never heard of of anyone drinking until 4 weeks who has had problems apart from feeling pretty rough! OP, most people have no idea until 4/5/6 weeks so just imagine what they all get up to! My sister was drinking brandy/champagne cocktails at my hen party and boy that was a boozy long weekend - puts your 2 bottles of wine in the shade. She found out later she was just over 5 weeks then and my nephew is tall, gorgeous and very very bright.

catlady1 Sat 09-Mar-13 14:06:08

The doctor can't tell you for certain that nothing will go wrong with your pregnancy - no doctor can tell any woman that nothing will go wrong with her pregnancy. It's just the way it is, there are no guarantees and if doctors went around making promises like that they would end up in a lot of trouble.

Drinking until four weeks pregnant and having a healthy baby is not just down to "luck" any more than not drinking at all and having a healthy baby is - the overwhelming odds are that baby will be fine in both situations. And drinking two bottles of wine once or twice is not a drinking problem, lots and lots of women habitually drink more than that, as has been testified to on this thread and the one before it.

I have never heard of anyone who drank until four weeks of pregnancy and then stopped, even alcoholics and seriously heavy drinkers, who went on to have a child with FAS. The person who messaged you probably made up the story to scare you in all likelihood, although even if she didn't, four weeks pregnant and eight weeks pregnant are very different stages.

Please, please try to stop worrying. By all means educate yourself, but you need to trust and accept the things you are reading, or what's the point? Continue with your counselling and be kind to yourself, your husband and your precious baby!

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