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accidentally drinking a LOT in the first few weeks...

(31 Posts)
kkwi82 Tue 08-May-12 20:33:03

I was supposed to be unable to have kids. Apparently. So I was very surprised when I discovered I was pregnant. Moreover, I'm about 10 or 11 weeks, so I've been pregnant for a while without knowing.

I would have been utterly and totally delighted if it wasn't for the fact that I'm now terrified that I've done irreperable damage through alcohol.

I've not been drunk over the last few months, but I've definitely consumed alcohol every day. And quite a lot, too. My alcohol tolerance is very high and always has been. I'm a writer, so I keep odd hours and often lose track of day and night, so I can end up having the odd whiskey at weird hours most days, and a bottle of wine a couple of days a week. Obviously, not any more! But there is no escaping from the reality that I have unwittingly put the child at incredible risk.

I have an appointment booked for Monday for a pre-check at an abortion clinic (that's the only way I can get a scan quickly), but I reeeeeeeeeally don't want to terminate the pregnancy. On the other hand, I couldn't live with myself if I brought a child into the world with irreperable damage. Additionally, my husband has said that he couldn't live with me if our child was born with FAS due to my negligence, so it's a tricky situation all round confused

I've been trying to research FAS, but am finding loads of conflicting data. My GP simply said "there's no way of knowing". I'm wondering whether anyone here has any useful experiences that they could share that might be a bit more helpful?

readyforno2 Tue 08-May-12 20:58:54

I was around the se stage as you when I found out I was pregnant with my ds (who turned 5 on Saturday) and he is absolutely fine. I had some very wild nights before finding out about him after having around 7 false negatives. Whatever the outcome you cannot blame yourself for something you had no knowledge of..
On top of my experience I also have a friend who didn't find out she was pregnant till she was in her third trimester. She was 18 and making the very most of it. Try not to worry yourself and beware of google, good luck

PickleSarnie Tue 08-May-12 20:59:33

A lot of babies would never have been conceived if it wasn't for vast amounts of booze. They don't share your bloodstream for the first few weeks either.

Im a bit shocked by your husbands attitude though. How on earth is it your negligence? I'm assuming that he was 50% responsible for getting you pregnant in the first place?

readyforno2 Tue 08-May-12 21:00:35

Sorry, should have said that it's very unfair what your dh is saying, the worst thing for you right now is stress. Please try not to worry. And big congratulations!!

HamblesHandbag Tue 08-May-12 21:03:43

Oh luv, I really empathise: I found out I was pregnant at 17 weeks and had been drinking plenty right up until the day before shock

Stopped immediately, but then the guilt and worry kicks in sad

As far as I've been told and read, FAS is caused by excessive drinking throughout the pregnancy (and I'm holding on to this), not just at the beginning, but I'm no expert.

When I've spoken to my registrar, his attitude was non-judgmental and he said basically, what's done is done. We now have to focus on a healthy pregnancy from this point.

I know it's hard, but before HPTs this must have happened to lots of women, no?

I WILL worry until baby arrives safely (32 weeks now), but I didn't know I was pregnant and there's nothing more I can do about it.

ledkr Tue 08-May-12 21:08:33

I was blind drunk before i found out.I told the mw who was unconcerned.
Dd is now a year old and is fine. There is nothing you can do to change it now just stay healthy and take care.

ReelAroundTheFountain Tue 08-May-12 21:14:28

The thing is, it is now done isn't it? The drinking cannot be undrunk. As others have said the baby will almost certainly be fine, I too drank (and smoked a bit) before finding out I was pregnant and all was ok.

I would be much more concerned by your husband's response. FAS would not be detectable at a scan anyway but you need to both be ready to deal with whatever this pregnancy brings you. I assume he did not use any form of contraception?

lucyellensmumnamechange Tue 08-May-12 21:14:32

I had my DD when i was 19, i went to the doctors for a pregnancy test and was told i wasn't pregnant. Now, i was 19 and split from the father. So i went out "celebrating" my non pregnancy with my friends and probably drunk the best part of a bottle of pernod hmm, i obviously continued to drink until i found out I was pregnant at 20 weeks shock

My beautiful, healthy, intelligent DD is 21 now smile

lucyellensmumnamechange Tue 08-May-12 21:16:35

Im not saying there are no risks, and of course you must speak to your doctor and have tests, but whats done is done and you must not beat yourself up over this. I didn't find out i was pregnant with DD2 until i was about 10 weeks either (i have very irregular periods) and was drinking, albiet not that heavily (because i ws soooo sick) until this time.

randomimposter Tue 08-May-12 21:17:44

I think it's extremely unlikely your drinking will have had any negative effect on your baby. There are soooo many examples of early drinking in pregnancies that I know. I was pretty drunk a few times before I realised I was pregnant with DS (now nearly 4) as he was unplanned and unexpected. He is absolutely fine

Your husband's comments are very unhelpful and unsupportive sad I'm sorry.

Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy.

chocoroo Tue 08-May-12 21:28:04

I was absolutely wasted once and drank at least the amounts you talk about until I found out (admittedly at 5 weeks). I also checked with the Dr and midwife like ledkr <waves> and they didn't even bat an eyelid.

DD is 15 months and showing no signs of having anything wrong with her whatsoever.

Your DH sounds like he needs a bit of a shake though. We'll put it down to shock for now but do remind him of how babies are made...

bonzo77 Tue 08-May-12 21:29:27

what a berk your husband is. If he cannot live with you if your baby has FAS due to your negligence, how can he live with himself for not taking responsibility for contraception.... Oh, because he thought you couldn't have kids. Well, derrr, you thought you couldn't have kids either. Oh, and when the baby is born and is absolutely fine, suddenly he can live with you, because something that you had no control over didn't happen. What a massive twat. Of course he will now blame you for anything that goes wrong with the pregnancy or your baby. Not sure I could live with that.

bonzo77 Tue 08-May-12 21:29:53

sorry, off on one then, but very very angry on your behalf

Enfyshedd Tue 08-May-12 21:39:01

DP's ex apparently put down the first 2 months of morning sickness while pregnant with DSS2 to being hungover every morning - I'm told she drinks vodka by the half pint glass.

DSS2 is nearly 6 and apart from being mad as a hatter, seems to be developing like any normal little boy (and thriving since he moved to a decent school last year as I was starting to be a little concerned, but that's another matter).

Congratulations on your good news thanks, but sorry to hear how unsupportive your DH is being. I agree with chocoroo's comment on giving him a little shake and a reminder of how babies aren't just dropped down the chimney by the stork.

alwaysanauntie Tue 08-May-12 22:10:16

Just to try and reassure you, I used to be a secondary school teacher and have only ever come across 1 child with FAS in 4 different schools (all 1500+ pupils), his mother was an alcoholic & drank herself to death when he was a baby. If drinking in early pregnancy was that bad I'm sure there would be many more children in schools with problems so try not to panic (i also drank a fair bit before I found out I was pg at 8 weeks, baby due next week so will let you know if she turns out normal! grin )

ChocolateIsAFoodGroup Tue 08-May-12 22:31:24

FAS and FASD are (despite what we are told by ill-informed medics) very, very rare: 0.2% of 1,000 live births for FAS and approx 1% of 1,000 live births for FASD (when I say common, I mean as far as the individual risk to you, it is actually the most common form of mental retardation, but that is a public health issue for the population as a whole - it does not denote the individual risk, as I said, to you).

When the condition was first described in 1973, it was noted as present among one-third of children born to alcoholics. The term 'alcoholic' was used to describe women drinking up to ten drinks a day, every day, throughout pregnancy. Please note that up to 2/3rds of the children escaped with no side-effects whatsoever! I am very, very grrr on your behalf that you have not been given better medical advice, based on facts.

Incidentally, I am currently writing a book on pregnancy/parenting and am just this minute at the chapter on FAS/FASD! I would be very happy to private EM you, and send you a copy of the chapter as it currently stands!

kkwi82 Wed 09-May-12 09:53:25

Thanks everyone!! I'm still feeling far from relaxed, but you're right: what's done is done, and it's best to look to the future rather than the past - and the future will be a brighter place with an extra bit of joy in the house smile

And YES, my husband is, er, struggling a little with adjusting to the idea of his infertile wife suddenly expecting a baby. To put it mildly. But that's mostly because he's scared, and the alcohol thing just adds an extra level of worry for him. I think he wants reassurance that all will be well before he lets himself become emmotionally invested. Until then we're in the land of defence mechanisms. I do kinda wish I could give him a day of pregnancy hormones though... that would sort him out.

And thanks so much for your balanced responses. I came across so much doom, gloom and outright hysteria when I was trying to find information elsewhere. The rhetoric concerning smoking was mostly about encouraging and supporting mothers-to-be, whilst the alcohol pages read like a horror story. Sounds like your chapter is long overdue, ChocolateIsAFoodGroup

clickingtock Wed 09-May-12 15:20:19

Good luck OP. What wonderful news for you and quite nice really to have been slightly oblivious during the fragile first trimester. Like other posters here I feel certain your baby will be absolutely fine. As will your DH - well done for having compassion for his shocked state of mind while managing your own pg hormones. You are a born parent!!! grin

mrswee Wed 09-May-12 21:58:11

Congratulations KKWI82, what wonderful unexpected news!

I just wanted to say that I have a friend who (rather worringly at the time) drank several pints of beer a week on a normal week all the way through her pregnancy and was actually rather tipsy/pretty drunk at 3 differnt weddings during this time as well including having spirits at the weddings and the odd night cap of whisky during her pregnancy. She wasn't alcoholic but clearly drank a lot more than reconmeded and I don't condone what she did as she clearly knew she was pregnant but as it turns out she has a perfectly healthy, lovely sensitive and intelligent 7 year old boy now... (and thankfully decided not to have another child.)
I'm not going to take example from her myself but I hope it reassures you that you are unlikely to have done damage like FAS and you have stopped now anyway which is more than my friend did.

good luck with everything!

ChocolateIsAFoodGroup Wed 09-May-12 22:07:36

KKWI82 try reading 'The Panic-Free Pregnancy' - completely enlightening on this and many other questions you will have during pregnancy! I think it's only published in the US, but sure the almighty Amazon will help you track down a copy!

mrswee Wed 09-May-12 22:24:28

That sounds like a great book, I am not so bad this time around but I could have done with that the first time!

oikopolis Wed 09-May-12 22:36:26

i've read that some initial evidence seems to be pointing to the "danger zone" re: drinking being in the early-to-mid 2nd trimester. i've seen 16ish weeks being thrown around as a roundabout date.

you are most likely fine. really.

congratulations on your pregnancy, what a lovely surprise smile DH will come round. and if he doesn't, well, that's life and it carries on regardless.

Spac12 Thu 16-Jan-14 05:57:25

Hi how did it all turn out . I am currently in the same situation had found out at 7 weeks but had been heavily daily drinking. I am horrified and lost. I have so much regret and unsure if I should keep the baby. I stopped immediately and never usually drink but was going through a rough patch when my mother passed away . I want this baby but I couldn't live with myself if I had harmed them , are there any mums out there who have been in this situation and how did it all turn out. We are in a stable situation both work fulltime, own our home etc. This is otherwise a very wanted surprise . I am in my 20s and otherwise fit and healthy . I also work in a daycare

Rutheyrocks Mon 16-Jan-17 07:53:08

The reasurrance here is working wonders for me.. I drank on and off until 18 weeks, not heavily, but a lot more than the recommended safe limit and early on (which I've worked out to be at 5 weeks) i drank a whole bottle of wine in one evening. I feel sick with worry... and my other half is more worried about t

Rutheyrocks Mon 16-Jan-17 08:00:46

(Oops.. !) effect of my constant anxiety on the baby than the actual alcohol I consumed, but don't know how to control it other than constantly scan the internet for examples of woman who drank a fair amount and their kids turned out fine later on. I need to find a way to 'know' that as far as my drinking is concerned, it will have no effeact, otherwise I know i'Il be blaming any behavioural issues on myself, whether caused by alcohol or not!! I know my guilt won't stop on having a healthy little baby. I need to read this book mentioned above!

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