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In Agony - Did Anyone Else Binge Drink Before They Knew?

(107 Posts)
tsmith02162013 Sun 24-Feb-13 08:07:05

I am absolutely out of my mind with grief and need advice from real moms. The doctors I have spoken to have been so dismissive of my concerns, but everything I have read (and ever fiber in my body) tells me that something is WRONG.

I did not know I was pregnant. At what we now know to be four weeks (exactly) into the pregnancy, I drank two bottles of wine BY MYSELF in one night, over 5 or 6 hours. I was not sick at all, and I had no problems the next day. So, I drank more the next day- 3 drinks. And then I drank again the next day- 4 drinks.

I realized I was supposed to start my period the day after that, and to just put my mind at ease, I took a pregnancy test, which was POSITIVE.

My doctors say that they don't have enough data on binge drinking in early pregnancy, but they think I am probably fine. I just want to know if there is ANYONE who has had as much to drink as I did at 4 weeks pregnant and then went on to have a healthy child. I am SO SCARED of having caused permanent brain damage to the baby, and I am seriously considering abortion because I feel like this is a hopeless situation.

Haberdashery Sun 24-Feb-13 16:51:12

I had two bottles of red wine and about forty cigarettes three days before getting a positive test result (New Year's Eve, I don't normally drink that much). I honestly thought there was no chance of being pregnant as I'd been trying for over two years. Child now six and perfect, and most definitely not suffering from FAS.

ruledbyheart Sun 24-Feb-13 17:06:31

Ok I will get flamed for this but a week before I found out I was pregnant with DC1 (years ago) I had been out on a 24hr drink and drug bender (cocaine), Obviously once I found out I completely stopped and have never touched drugs again since.

But for the whole of the pregnancy I was terrified of the damage I could have caused to my baby, didn't even tell the midwife as thought they'd take my baby away so it was something I had to keep completely to myself.
DC1 was born on his due date at an average weight and was and still is 100% healthy.

My point being your baby is more than likely absolutely fine and wont suffer any ill effects from your binge.

lucybrad Sun 24-Feb-13 17:06:32

I drank all over xmas, every night for about two weeks what with birthdays xmas and new year. Im worried but there is little i can do about it now, so have put it too the back of my mind.

Kiriwawa Sun 24-Feb-13 17:07:09

DisAstrophe - I had a planned pregnancy (conceived by IUI) and had not had a drink in months, taken loads of vitamins, folic acid etc in the months leading up to conception and DS is being assessed for autism and LDs. So please don't attribute your DD's problems to your drinking before you knew you'd conceived - no link has ever been found x

lynniep Sun 24-Feb-13 17:14:27

God yes. I drank tons and smoked like a chimney too. I found out I was pg quite early (about 4 weeks) and just stopped both. There wasn't much option really (v. awkward as I'd invited some friends to stay with us as we were living in Oz at the time and they'd come to party. I had to feign illness). DS1 was fine.

LeBFG Sun 24-Feb-13 17:18:17

OP - your googling results don't mean anything. Plenty of people say 'I did x during pg and my son/daughter has y' - but this is just anecode. The paper details lots of animal studies and very few good studies on humans. And the results they found in the human studies only showed some statistical differences (if the results are to be believed at all) in IQ etc. This is NOT the same a FAS or anything close....and it can't say whether any one baby will have been affected - himans are not statistics. As a PP said, it's only one study. At some point it's best just to ignore these things, make the right choices from now on and, above all, relax and enjoy your pregnancy.

Signet2012 Sun 24-Feb-13 17:25:48

I was 6 weeks pregnant when I found out.
In that time I had
1. Went to a wedding, got trashed on vodka and shots of sambuca.
2. Went on a works Christmas party drank far too much vodka and drank some rather vile green shots.
3. Drank two bottles of Rosé in a week- the first time I liked wine in my life

I don't even usually drink but had a few events which was unusual but I enjoyed it.

Up until Boxing Day when I got my bfp. I had done a test as dp asked me to as I was two days late but mainly because he had a hunch.

Dd is 5.5 months and fine.

I was like you, horrified and felt sick thinking about it had Also had cigarettes on the night out too!!! Don't even smoke!!!

I just didn't ever drink again and still haven't (ebf)

LittleBearPad Sun 24-Feb-13 17:31:47

I was on holiday when I found out I was pregnant half way through (4 weeks). The first week involved cocktails and wine every night plus a few drinks at lunchtime on a few days. The second was sober. But my DD is fine. Honestly it will be ok. I understand that FAS is the result of significant sustained drinking throughout pregnancy.

GoldenGreen Sun 24-Feb-13 17:35:25

I agree with all who say you should not worry as the likelihood is things are fine. Many mothers have done just the same.

But for others who are maybe ttc, there are some misunderstandings on this thread about the embryo's development that are not helpful. The bloodstreams of the mother and baby never mix, but oxygen and nutrients are supplied from the mother to the foetus very early on - it isn't self sufficient until the placenta is fully formed. In fact the first few weeks are the most crucial time for development.

catlady1 Sun 24-Feb-13 17:37:16

As others have said, at 4 weeks the placenta hasn't developed yet and so you and the baby aren't sharing a bloodstream as you would be later on. Also, said "baby" is just a ball of cells the size of a poppy seed - it doesn't yet have a brain to be damaged. Of course certain things can still have an adverse effect at this early stage but the embryo is so fragile that if that was the case, it would likely lead to miscarriage rather than long-term problems. Alcohol affects everyone differently (hence why there's no guideline for a "safe" limit for alcohol consumption during pregnancy), but FAS tends to be a result of regular heavy drinking throughout pregnancy rather than a couple of episodes in the very very early stages.

That being said, I did drink quite a lot before I found out I was pregnant (I found out about as early as it is possible to find out, thankfully, I was a few days shy of four weeks), and I've been quizzing every midwife and doctor I've seen about what kind of damage I might have done. They've all told me basically what I said above, or that loads and loads of pregnant women are worried about the same thing but their babies are just as healthy as those of non-drinkers, and FAS in practice is only really seen in children of alcoholics or serious binge drinkers. And also that what's done is done - there's nothing anyone can do about it now.

Please don't do anything rash, and please try not to beat yourself up too much. Even for the healthiest mothers who take their vitamins every day and don't drink, smoke, or ever lift their arms over their heads, there's still a chance that their babies might be born with disabilities, and it's also true that lots and lots of children of raging alcoholics and drug addicts are born perfectly healthy.

expatinscotland Sun 24-Feb-13 17:42:42

I did this a couple of days before I was due on. I went on a works night out and drank so many voddy cocktails I puked. She was fine.

Fairyloo Sun 24-Feb-13 17:46:46

I drank way more and took loads of cocaine (don't judge) and mine are fine. Far too early for damage.

Problems occur when you are drinking dependently through your pregnancy

ErikNorseman Sun 24-Feb-13 17:48:41

You use the word mom and cite US research - are you American? There is a far more hard line attitude to drinking in pregnancy in the US without justification IMO. There are two schools of thought on FAS that I am aware of. One that it is caused by sustained heavy drinking throughout pregnancy, another that there is a crucial time in brain development around 10-12 weeks during which time a single binge can cause FAS. I'm not convinced by the second but even if it is true, the very very early stages are low risk because the embryo isn't being nourished by the placenta so an alcohol (or drugs, or fags) binge is very unlikely to affect it.

Fwiw I drank over Christmas, new year before finding out I was pregnant. My DS is a healthy, bright NT 4 year old. Please try to relax, and put thoughts of termination out of your mind. If your anxiety doesn't decrease please consider calling your doctor for a chat, counselling might be useful.

munchkinmaster Sun 24-Feb-13 20:45:40

I have only read the paper quickly but:
-it's not in a peer reviewed journal (so no quality control - I could write an essay to support whatever I want to make a point about and stick on net)
- it cites one study with humans so there may be 100 other studies it chooses to ignore which found the opposite. It's not a review of all the evidence.
- it only describes the original research so I can't get a full understanding of it. Without knowing if they controlled for other factors (particularly drinking after bfp) or how many participants I've no idea how good the study is.
- they did no testing of the kids just asked teachers so not reliable

I strongly suspect the original research would have had a less black and white conclusion

munchkinmaster Sun 24-Feb-13 20:48:46

Oh and for what it's worth I drank in that first month

tsmith02162013 Sun 24-Feb-13 20:51:30

We were not actively trying to conceive, but we were certainly not being careful enough. THAT is why I am feel so guilty. I really want a child but cannot live with the guilt of having done this to my child.

I should have acted like an adult. I should not have been drinking. But I did, and now I can't live with either choice. Having a baby that is damaged because of my recklessness, or having an abortion.

Has anyone else been through this? I drank A LOT. Is there really any hope? My doctor thinks that there is a "chance" that we could be fine, and my husband thinks that should be enough. I just want to know more. Has anyone else had that much to drink and gone on to have the child? What happened?

Haberdashery Sun 24-Feb-13 20:54:11


Haberdashery Sun 24-Feb-13 20:54:42

Because it sounds like several people (including me) have drunk that much and their children were absolutely fine.

5madthings Sun 24-Feb-13 20:55:50

Yep i drank loads.

I was at uni when i got preg with ds1 and i didnt test until i was about 8wks preg had my head firmly in the sand anyway i had drunk loads on more than one occasion..

Ds1 is now 13, perfectly healthy, top set student predicted top grades for gcse's.

ErikNorseman Sun 24-Feb-13 21:09:30

You might want to read the umpteen replies you already have hmm

dinkystinky Sun 24-Feb-13 21:19:15

Read the replies Tsmith - there is every chance your baby will be fine. The stress and needless anxiety you are putting yourself and your baby through has to stop as what's done is done - all you can do now you know you are pregnant is concentrate on giving yourself and your baby the best you can do through a happy healthy pregnancy.

Chubfuddler Sun 24-Feb-13 21:19:43

There's more than a chance your baby will be fine. There is no reason why your baby wouldn't be fine. If there is a problem the chances of it being due to drinking alcohol as a one off in very very early pregnancy are pretty remote.

Loads and loads of women have gotten hammered shortly before finding out they were pregnant. It happens all the time.

MirandaWest Sun 24-Feb-13 21:22:59

I drank a pretty excessive amount for me between conception and positive test with DS - went on work do and was pretty sick afterwards. He is fine smile

With DD there was much alcohol involved in her conception and then a few days afterwards (she was conceived just before Christmas).

MirandaWest Sun 24-Feb-13 21:23:29

She is fine too btw

EMS23 Sun 24-Feb-13 21:26:49

I'm sorry for you that you're so scared but if you were my friend in real life, I'd take you by the shoulders and give you a bloody good shake and tell you to calm the fuck down.

You haven't done anything to your child and frankly, to abort for this reason would be ridiculous and a waste of a life you created and you want.

Your DH and your doctor have reassured you. Listen to them, they are the important ones, not some stupid story you've read on Google.

Having children is a lifetime of worry and guilt. You will make many choices for your child. Right now, you need to choose to let this go.

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