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FAS? I need to lay this to rest once and for all

(13 Posts)
needtono Mon 26-Sep-11 15:09:21

Have name changed.

My DD has a communication delay, she's on the threshold for some ASD traits but didn't get an ASD dx.

While ttc DH and I went through a very stressful situation and I had a party lifestyle anyway. I had been ttc, knew I was drinking too much generally, but after two years had given up any hope of pg. As I said, we'd come through a bad situation and were using alcohol to let off steam. I found out I was pg after that, Christmas, New Year, a holiday abroad and my birthday - I found out I'd been pg for over 3 months. (periods had not stopped and I had no symptoms at all.)

I have been torturing myself with the thought that DD's issues are due to my drinking while pg. When I asked the dr at the booking in appt she said 'oh well, as long as you haven't been drinking a bottle of wine a night.' When I said 'actually, some nights I have' she laughed nervously and said 'Oh, I mean a bottle of vodka.'

I have never asked a HCP if DD's issues are my fault because I couldn't bear it if the answer was 'yes'. I honestly think I would be suicidal if I knew I was to blame. But I can't put it down, can't let it go. I don't know what to do.

Could I have caused this? Should I go back to the Pead and say 'actually, here is some more information?'

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 26-Sep-11 15:44:53

How much a week, on average did you drink?

Honestly, you probably did drink more than most people but it takes quite a substantial level to cause FAS, and even alcoholics with severe drinking problems generally give birth to okay babies.

And FAS is usually diagnosed as FAS, not 'autistic traits'.

There ARE things that you could have done differently to may have not ended up with a child with a disability. You could have had sex a month later. You could have had an abortion. You could have hidden in a sterile room with no risk of petrol fumes or other environmental toxins. You could have refused all vaccinations etc etc.

You are responsible for your child's disability, by the very fact that you had them and they are yours, but it doesn't make it your fault, or what you or they deserve. It is just the way it is, and if you look backwards you are wasting energy that your child needs for the planning of their future.

Even if you HAD caused it (extremely unlikely of course) then that doesn't give you the excuse to leave them without a mother when then need that most of all.

Becaroooo Mon 26-Sep-11 15:58:44

I think it extremely unlikely tbh and AFAIK FAS kids have very distinguishing facial characteristics and patterns of ill health that a HCP would notice and flag up.

I know that I torture myself that ds1's issues are my fault....and I dont drink, dont smoke, didnt eat anything I shouldnt have, didnt even take a paracetamol throughout the whole pg....he stopped growing inside me at approx 32 weeks and no one knows why. Its hard to accept that I will never know but I am trying and helping ds1 try to acheive his potential is the best thing I can do for him.

needtono Mon 26-Sep-11 17:16:37

Thank you both for your posts.

Starlight I definitely drank more than the 'one or two glasses of wine' a week that people normally mention when they talk about this kind of thing. I remember being very drunk indeed at a Christmas party, champagne on my birthday, bottle of wine plus port on Christmas day - I would cateogorise it as heavy social drinking, in that I have never drunk every day, but on an 'occasion' I will drink a lot, and as I said there were many occasions over that three month period.

Are you saying that if it was FAS it would be picked up as FAS even though I haven't ever given them a reason to suspect FAS?

Becaroooo Mon 26-Sep-11 19:42:20

IMO, yes.

FAS kids have lots of physical and mental problems....its not "just" GDD or missing milestones.

They are very prone to certain infections, would have raised liver enzymes (and would have from birth) and all sorts of other problems. They are also often blind and deaf.

I knew a girl who drank ALOT throughout her pg...and I mean falling down drunk at 7 months pg. Her son was (and is) fine. I think I am right in saying that FAS is normally found in the children of long term alcohol abusers (made worse by other substance abuse too) sad

I think the key word here is "alcohol abuse".

You did not abuse alcohol every day for months/years. You got a bit drunk/quite drunk a few times over a 3 month period. Very, very different thing IMO.

If you are really really worried about this and have a good relationship with your HV or GP then ask them for their opinion. Or, if you dont want to do that you can get a private opinion from a paed if you can/will pay.

Best wishes to you.

needtono Mon 26-Sep-11 19:52:10

I can't ask HV or GP. I can't ask anyone in case they say 'yes'. Because then what would I do?

And if, as posters have said here, the prevailing opinion is that it isn't FAS then my next question is 'did I cause the communication / ASD-type issues?'. I just want to break this cycle, find some peace with myself and focus on my DD sad. But at the same time I don't want people to just tell me what I want to hear (not suggesting posters have done that though).

ArthurPewty Mon 26-Sep-11 20:33:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArthurPewty Mon 26-Sep-11 20:37:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 26-Sep-11 20:42:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Becaroooo Tue 27-Sep-11 09:58:59

needto Its something that any parent with a child with SNs has to deal with at some point, I'm afraid.

If you want a dx (do you?) then you have to accept the dx and deal with the consequences of that dx for your dd.

Its tough, but the SN boards on here are invaluable (or have been to me!) and they will certainly NOT tell you "what you want to hear"!!! smile

feynman Tue 27-Sep-11 13:53:56

I blame myself all the time. I was drinking before I knew I was preganant. I had a horrendous ear infection and took antibiotics and anti-inflamatories too. I am very overweight and probably didn't eat very healthily. I also have immune system problems and have spent the last 4 years blaming myself.
However, I guess in many ways I am probably quite normal lol. Yes my son has difficulties but then lots of children do whose parents are alcholics/on drugs/really not looking after theirselves. Also there are lots of very healthy people whi go on to have babies with difficulties. At some point you must realise that you will never know the answer to that question because no-one can ever tell you one way or the other.
Whether or not it was anything to do with what you did/didn't do is irrelevant.
Ask yourself this. Did you intentionally do something to harm your baby?
If the answer to that question is no then it is not your fault!

needtono Tue 27-Sep-11 18:00:14

Thanks everyone for your posts. Stewie that is a really good link, thank you, much more informative than anything I'd googled.

Moomoomie Tue 27-Sep-11 18:37:41

I think even if you went to the paed and said all you have written, i am not sure you would get a diagnosis od FASD. Paeds are very reluctant to diagnose it.
My adopted dd shows many, many FASD traits. Her birth mother was an alcoholic and iv drug abuser.
Even with all this information our paed is very reluctant to diagnose.
Children do not have to show facial features, FASD is more on a specrum of severity.
Do not beat yourself up about this, but obtain as much support for you both as you can.

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