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Anyone adopted a child with fetal alcohol syndrome?

(29 Posts)
goatbeard Wed 22-Nov-17 13:43:33

Every time there is a thread on here about drinking during pregnancy there are always loads of replies saying how they drank alcohol and their child is fine. I try not to read them because I get so wound up.

Having a child with FAS and knowing how much it affects not only the child’s life, but everyone else around them, makes it really frustrating to see people playing down drinking in pregnancy!

If people knew the reality of living with it everyday I’m sure a lot less people would take the risk sad

hidinginthenightgarden Wed 22-Nov-17 16:02:32

I find it infuriating. DD was exposed to alcohol, smoking and drugs. She is too young to know the full effects but the effects of smoking are very obvious. She has very narrow airways and has had a ventilator from being a tiny baby because just being out in the cold can effect her chest and breathing.
Seeing people take risks makes me feel sick.

Kr1st1na Wed 22-Nov-17 16:19:15

Goatbeard - do you have a child affected by FAS?

Do you want to say more about it ?

goatbeard Wed 22-Nov-17 20:17:47

We adopted a child with FAS, everyday is a struggle as dd is quite badly affected by it but we love having her obviously. It just upsets me seeing the old “I drank and mine are fine”. Especially when they are still babies, in most cases FAS isn’t diagnosed until years later.

Argh just needed a rant really. I need to stay off the “am I ok having a glass of wine twice a week when pregnant” threads angry

fasparent Wed 22-Nov-17 20:53:56

Our DD has Full FAS diagnosed at 6weeks weighed in at 1lb 12oz is now an Adult and in work she drives and has her own house, Not easy was home educated , No support or knowledge in her day had too do all ourselves but outcome was positive , of course she still has FAS but lives a normal life. All children are effected differently , We also have a son with FAS outcome is the same.
Too much negativity around FAS FASD , Professionals should focus on the positive's and strategy's. PM me if you need too compare notes or ask anything.

JustHappy3 Wed 22-Nov-17 21:41:19

I get where you are coming from. I feel the same frustration. But i think for our own sanity you are right - we do need to step away from those people/those threads. Save your emotional energy for your kids not for strangers.
I'm off to see pregnant relative for a celebration and i know i'll be upset if she has a celebratory drink in front of me. But i've decided to stfu unless i'm actually asked to pour the drink.
You're emotional because of the anguish you feel for your child. Look after yourself.

thomassmuggit Thu 23-Nov-17 10:18:55

A glass of wine once or twice during pregnancy is not going to cause FAS.

I accept it's hard parenting a child with FAS, and that you may feel all sorts of emotions. But directing those emotions at other people, in a normal, well looked after, pregnancy, is not appropriate. It's not doing you any good.

Yes, most people are ok having a small glass of wine twice a week. Getting so annoyed with that is not healthy. For you.

I doubt your child's birth mum had a couple of units per week.

Unless you think all pregnant women are no more than incubators, who should take no risks at all in pregnancy, I would suggest you stop judging what other women do. In adoption, we have to accept that we didn't get to decide the start our children had, and that that start was worse than we would have wished. We feel big emotions about that. But it's not ok to target those emotions at other pregnant women, risk assessing their own pregnancy.

JustHappy3 Thu 23-Nov-17 11:57:55

I think of it as each child in the womb having a 100% potential. And every drink moves that child away from that. I think it's up to people to make that choice - but only if they have the full facts in front of them.
I drank in pregnancy (about 4-6 glasses in total over 9 months) because i thought it was safe. With the knowledge i've picked up from fasd for ad i now wish i hadn't.
The latest research from Zucculo (sp?) Et al which was horrendously twisted by the media said not to drink anything.

thomassmuggit Thu 23-Nov-17 12:01:53

But Just Happy, the science doesn't support that- every drink damaging a child. It's just not a linear relationship like that.

I think that if you start thinking like that about other women's pregnancies, and their bodies, then why stop at alcohol? And then why let pregnant women be free at all? In fact, let's stop all women of childbearing age doing anything risky- drinking alcohol, eating brie, drinking coffee, sleeping on their backs, walking to work- all those fumes, etc etc.

I don't think judging other women for drinking small amounts is a way to sanity, whether your child has FAS, or not.

goatbeard Thu 23-Nov-17 13:08:58

thomas this really isn’t the thread to start trying to justifying drinking during pregnancy.

I came on here to talk about my frustrations with other people that understand, now you are just coming out with the same things we’re trying to avoid!

bellasuewow Thu 23-Nov-17 15:26:28

I don’t agree with you Thomas. If women want to smoke weed and even do much harder drugs when pregnant I don’t agree with that at all but chances are they will probably do minimal damage to their baby. Alcohol is far more dangerous than any other drug to a developing foetus and should be avoided completely. The op is right.

thomassmuggit Thu 23-Nov-17 16:38:45

Even if one drink was the most heinous thing a woman could do while pregnant, and the evidence really isn't there, obsessing about it, and refusing to allow a woman to make those choices, by lecturing, or refusing to pour said drink, is unhealthy.

I think the OP's level of 'getting wound up' is unhealthy for her. Probably more unhealthy for her than one small glass of wine is to a developing fetus.

goatbeard Thu 23-Nov-17 20:40:44

you sound ridiculous

2old2beamum Thu 23-Nov-17 21:07:20

bellasuewow as a midwife and an adoptive parent of a beautiful boy whose mother was a crack cocaine addict plus other illegal drugs is deafblind cerebral palsy. He was doomed since conception, you as goatbeard said you are ridiculous!
goatbeard you are so right good luck.

CertainHalfDesertedStreets Thu 23-Nov-17 22:14:41

flowers for you goatbeard and others affected by FAS.

Thomas I usually agree with you 100 percent and I probably do here from a feminist perspective. But I think goatbeard would like a non-judgemental place to be massively judgemental in which, as an adopter, I TOTALLY get and I'm sure you do too. It's really shitty living with the consequences of someone else's poor decision making as we all know to some extent.

Can we cut each other a bit of slack?

bostonkremekrazy Thu 23-Nov-17 22:33:34

We have adopted several children with FAS, diagnosed before their 1st birthdays.
we don't know how their futures will unfold....but we are here every step of the way and a much needed cuppa at the end of every day! brew

fasparent Sat 25-Nov-17 11:47:10

Thomas agree there is no direct science, but is akin too playing Russian Roulette , effects some mothers.
The Placenta feed's the growing baby slowly like a drip Alcohol can be retained in the placenta for a great deal of time consequently one tipple by mum would last a few hours for baby could be a couple of days and more.
So best too abstain , this is the simplest way of explaining it, it effects some but not others.

familylifeiseverything Sat 25-Nov-17 14:40:42

I cannot believe some of the things I am reading on this thread. How can someone come on here and try to justify alcohol during pregnancy (no matter how little).

I feel for you goat having people like this talking on here like this. My cousin drank all way the through her pregnancy and I could not believe it. Her boy is functioning but he was premature and was an absolute horror as a kid and still is as an adult. Angry and difficult child 🙄

Pregnancy is a mere 9 months so it really is not much to ask to stay away from the drink while you are growing another little human being who cannot choose what they drink or eat.

So mad when I see rubbish written like this 🤬

mincepieforsanta Sat 25-Nov-17 18:32:44

I think the lack of evidence goes the other way, there is no evidence to say that any amount of alcohol is safe. And as fasparent has said it is not predictable how much a child will be affected, in twins one could have fas and one not.

But I think justhappy's advice is really good - save the emotional energy. I must remind myself to do that more!

Allington Mon 27-Nov-17 11:44:27

At the age of 10 DD is being assessed and probably has ARND - her time at school has been exceptionally difficult sad

Given her birth mother's drinking during pregnancy and then chaotic lifestyle for the 2 or so years before DD was removed, we are lucky that the damage seems to be limited to executive functioning. I think she dodged several 'bullets', but of course not all of them.

So no, I don't want to engage here in some sort of theoretical nit-picking over what is or isn't safe, ethical blah blah. Because for DD it isn't theory, it's her life that's been negatively affected.

EastDulwichWife Wed 29-Nov-17 16:06:06

I think you might be misinterpreting those threads OP, which is understandable given your child has FAS.

I have never seen a thread with people boasting about the quantity they drink/drank whilst pregnant and it being fine. Every thread I've seen on MN has been a woman posting tha,t before she knew she was pregnant, she drank, and would like some reassurance. In those cases, it is not appropriate to tell someone they've likely harmed their child, etc. People are gathered in solidarity to make that woman feel supported and reassured, which really ought to be the point of the site.

I have chosen not to drink whilst pregnant.

CertainHalfDesertedStreets Wed 29-Nov-17 17:53:45

The op is saying that she finds that reassurance difficult to read. Which, as you have said, is entirely understandable.

mincepieforsanta Wed 29-Nov-17 20:29:33

I didn't think OP was talking about those threads. Someone who discovers they are pregnant and knows they have drunk too much, taken over the counter medicines which are not recommended or anything else and who is devastated is going to appreciate being told to try not to worry. I thought OP was upset about people who have knowingly taken risks while pregnant and breastfeeding.

thomassmuggit Thu 30-Nov-17 21:23:59

I think getting emotional over those threads is like getting emotional over hearing a normal couple having a row in pregnancy, because your child was damaged by DV. The cortisol etc caused by DV is pregnancy is damaging. But there's a world of difference between what happened to our kids in utereo, and what happens in a 'normal' pregnancy.

One drink will not give a child FAS. A child in the womb does not 'start with 100% potential'. These are fallacies. If you have birth children, i doubt you didn't do anything in that pregnancy that is a risk, there are so many risks.

I empathise that FAS is devastating. People posting on here about an occasional unit of alcohol in pregnancy do not end up with children with FAS. They just don't. Or children that fall short of a '100% potential', that's just not a thing.

thomassmuggit Thu 30-Nov-17 21:28:22

FAS is complex, much more complex than a linear relationship between "one drink = 1% potential lost." It's multifactorial- genetic predisposition etc, as well as 'what made that mother drink that drink, when, where and how many' that adds to it.

Getting angry and largely good mothers, risk assessing something for their pregnancy, I can't see how that's helpful, however sad you are about your child's FAS.

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