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Alcohol in pregnancy until 5 weeks, 2 days

(25 Posts)
Prm2150 Wed 07-Jan-15 19:36:43

This is my first time posting on any forum so apologies in advance. I found out I was pregnant at 5 weeks, 3 days. I have irregular periods and had suffered a MC so they weren't on track but the OB did not date the pregnancy differently. Until that time I was traveling for work without my DH. Before I left I had what I thought was a BFN but now think may have been an extremely light BFP. It was my first test and I didn't read it correctly. While out of town I drank nightly, 2-3 glasses of wine a night and the last night 5-6 over 4-5 hours. I am wracked with guilt for doing do; I am an educated professional with a masters degree and honestly did not know why you aren't supposed to drink while pregnant. I can't say I didn't know it was possibility but I wanted to wait to be with my DH to test. I told my OB and he said not to worry. But my baby was born this year Iugr at 4 pounds, 5 oz. she is growing and meeting her milestones but has tiny eyes (I had them measured and they are 2.8 standard deviations below the mean), which I know is associated with alcohol. I have taken her to doctors and explained they eye size and they say not to worry but I know the effects are not necessarily readily apparent. Does anyone have advice/stories of something similar happening from drinking like that early in pregnancy? I am so full of remorse for not having investigated everything and tested more often that I can't concentrate on anything else (I am seeing a counselor for the overwhelming guilt I feel).

MissTwister Wed 07-Jan-15 20:16:31

Hi PRM, it sounds like you have a lot of guilt indeed, but do you know this is a legitimate worry? With the doctors you've seen do they think she has small eye syndrome or are they just on the smallish side?

5 weeks is still pretty early into a pregnancy, I have heard a lot lot worse.

GotToBeInItToWinIt Wed 07-Jan-15 20:23:10

I think drinking that early in pregnancy is very, very common as most people wouldn't know they were pregnant. I was on a very lively hen do the weekend before I found out i was pregnant, with many shots of sambuca consumed blush. Did you drink in your first pregnancy? FAS is associated with heavy, prolonged drinking throughout pregnancy, not a few glasses of wine at the beginning.

Prm2150 Wed 07-Jan-15 20:27:40

This is my first, which I'm sure fuels all the fears. Doctors have not mentioned small eye syndrome but the measurements (eye slits) were less than the 1st percentile. I know nothing can be done now and obviously I'll be more careful if / when there are future pregnancies, but I just didn't know if anyone had insight on problems occurring (or not) from drinking to that point in pregnancy.

Psmith83 Wed 07-Jan-15 20:50:18

Hey OP,
I think you might be beating yourself up a bit. You've had doctors and OB assurance- I'm wondering why you don't believe them? Surely they would not have reassured you if they were concerned. There must be other explanations for the size of her eyes.

GotToBeInItToWinIt Wed 07-Jan-15 20:56:06

Ah sorry I misread. I have small eyes and I know my mum didn't drink at all while she was pregnant (she hasn't had alcohol since she was about 17!). I think your anxiety has maybe latched on to this one thing and escalated. Is your DD healthy in all other respects?

Prm2150 Wed 07-Jan-15 21:15:58

She is healthy and growing well considering she started below the growth curve. The lack of explanation for her IugR (not caught until 36 weeks) coupled with the telltale facial feature that I know is formed early in pregnant is what haunts me. I understand I may be beating myself up so thought hearing others' stories, if anyone has done something similar, might put my mind at ease some.

stinkingbishop Wed 07-Jan-15 21:34:25

This piece in IugR doesn't mention alcohol, even as a minor risk factor.

I volunteer in addiction and we talk about FAS. It's due to drinking much heavier than you in terms of units, and over a longer period, as gottobeinit says. Also it's not just about small eyes - other symptoms include eyes being unusually wide set, folds of skin at the corner, she wouldn't have the 'groove' between her nose and her top lip, small head circumference (I'm guessing the absence of this is why your doctors haven't been worried), a short and sort of sunken nose, a thin upper lip...and that's just the face.

I'm not a doctor, so please listen to yours...but I really don't believe you've damaged your child. Some people just need to have small eyes in order for the average to be what it is! But if you know about standard deviations you probably know that! Shakira, incidentally, is 2.8 standard deviations below average height for a woman!

Prm2150 Wed 07-Jan-15 21:43:56

Thank you. Her head did start in the 3rd percentile (she was symmetric growth restricted) but it has grown to be in the 25th (well above her weight/height percentile). Incidentally she does have an extremely shallow groove between her upper lip and nose (in fact that started me on this whole kick), but I do as well, so I'm hoping that's more genetic than anything else!

stinkingbishop Thu 08-Jan-15 10:40:36

It really is children of alcoholics, not someone who, like most of us, drank 'normally' in the first few weeks...I didn't know till 4 months and had spent all that time travelling round South America and doing exactly what you wouldn't do if you knew, including drinking at holiday levels.

Prm2150 Thu 08-Jan-15 16:47:22

Thanks. It does seem everyone I know knows someone who has a "I didn't find out for months" story and each one of those babies is healthy (at least to the best of my knowledge).... I just still worry so, but I suppose welcome to the rest of my life

TestingTestingWonTooFree Thu 08-Jan-15 18:11:49

I found out at about 8-9 weeks, had been drinking until 6-7 I think. Baby is fine.

Inbl00m Thu 08-Jan-15 20:21:51

Aw OP don't beat yourself up. I've always had irregular periods and didn't have any morning sickness, etc. so didn't find out and drank until 9/10 weeks. Doctors said she'd be fine and DD is fine she is thriving.

Moon84 Thu 08-Jan-15 20:54:47

I've been wondering about the same thing as well. I got a bfp on TUesday (before that I had a very faint line on the Sunday but didn't think it could be true!)
Prior to this I had a couple of glasses of wine on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, then a night in the pub a couple of days after where I drank 5 pints of cider and smoked all night. I feel absolutely awful about this. I only came off the pill end of November and although I knew there was a small chance I could be pregnant I stupidly just didn't think I would be.
Has anyone had similar experiences, or know anyone, and know what the affects might be? I've seen loads of pages on the internet that say the chances are very small that the baby will be affected as it's before implantation occurs, but I can't help thinking that this is a really crucial time when all of the cells are forming etc. obviously trying to be as healthy as possible now and haven't drunk or smoked since but I'm not sure if the damage has been done already?

Prm2150 Thu 08-Jan-15 21:06:37

I totally understand being concerned but you're fine - the drinking you described was well before implantation and there is no supply. My concern is continuing to drink for 9 days AFTER implantation ... Very different. I don't even remember what I drank before implantation (I'm sure plenty) because I know from days and days of research and visits with specialists in the field that there can be no ill effects before attachment.

Mrscog Thu 08-Jan-15 21:16:15

Prm2150, you still don't share a blood supply immediately after implantation, it takes a few days from implantion to even start sharing blood across a placenta (I seem to remember between 5-6 weeks). Combined with what everyone else has said, please try and let go of the guilt, as it's almost certainly not the few glasses of wine which caused these problems.

Mrscog Thu 08-Jan-15 21:19:44

Right, I've just checked my facts in my anatomy book from when I trained as a health professional. Implantation occurs at day 7-10, and the cells survive on the uterine lining until day 16-18 when the circulation between the mother and baby begins.

Moon84 Thu 08-Jan-15 21:21:39

Thanks prm2150, and sorry for hijacking your post.

LittlePeasMummy1 Thu 08-Jan-15 22:34:46

Implantation occurs a few days before the missed prior and as soon as it happens, the baby shares your blood supply and therefore also any alcohol.

LittlePeasMummy1 Thu 08-Jan-15 22:35:07

Embryo not baby...

Mrscog Thu 08-Jan-15 23:25:04

No little peas, a blood supply takes longer to form, not much longer, but a bit. The uterus has all the lining (which would normally be shed with your period) the blood vessels form through this but it takes another 7-10 days. Uterine lining isn't vascular blood.

DinosaurTrain Thu 08-Jan-15 23:46:39

Oh I feel for you. Iv beaten myself up over something I did accidentally/unknowingly in pregnancy too and it really took the joy out of parenting as iv been racing to get to every milestone to know if all is ok - it is.

But even if it wasn't - your DD is here now, and what she needs is you being the best you can be for her, she needs to see the delight in your face at having her when you look at her, not the guilt.

Mummy guilt I think is something most of us carry, any diagnosis and most people question if it was their fault, even when it can't possibly be.

LittlePeasMummy1 Sat 10-Jan-15 20:32:31

That would mean that the blood supply doesn't form until potentially into the fourth gestational week. Neural tube defects occur in weeks three and four of gestation, and so if there is no exchange of substances from maternal blood in week three, how does folic acid taken by the mother prevent neural tube defects in the baby? It's a genuine question, I work in teratology and I have been taught that implantation = exchange of nutrients and waste products between mother and embryo.

iniquity Sat 10-Jan-15 22:37:07

You are supposed to take folic acid before conception for about 3 months little pea mommy though apparently it can't be stored. Don't most nutirents come from the yolk sac which is from the embryo so maybe nutrients before conception are equally important.
If you look at a drug with clear cut teratology such as thalidemide. It didn't effect babies until the 35 th day of gestation.
Also at about two weeks after conception cells can be replaced if they go wrong. It is going into the fifth week where potential problems can arise with drugs.
Alcohol is a funny one though as it usually does not cause any problems even when consumed everyday apart from low birth rate at the same time some babies can have severe birth defects.

BlueChampagne Sat 10-Jan-15 23:06:51

Think I was on the last week or two of a wine tasting course with a friend when I conceived DS1. He is thriving, age 7. Good luck OP.

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