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So, I hit the sauce pretty hard before I found out I was pregnant, and a couple of times after when I thought I was going to have an abortion. In my defense, I had an IUD at the time and being a mother was the last thing on my agenda, but I couldn't bring myself to abort.
Basically, for the entire first month I was pregnant, I was drinking anywhere between five and ten shots of bourbon nightly. The second month I was pregnant, there were five evenings spread out where I drank about five shots each evening. The third month I was pregnant, I had two shots one evening. And the fourth month I was pregnant, I had a single beer while on a vacation. Presently I am seven months pregnant and due on 12-21-12. (My child may or may not be the Antichrist the Mayans predicted.)
Around the fourth month, an ultrasound turned up what the tech referred to as an "irregular fetal heartbeat," though no other ultrasound or heart monitor has shown any abnormality--and my doctor hasn't looked into it. Baby otherwise exhibits no abnormalities; she moves around a lot (especially at bedtime, which rules), was breech up until last month when she "flipped," and is measuring normally (despite my being underweight, which I've always been).
I've read & heard a lot about women who went out once or twice to the bars before realizing they were pregnant, and women who continued a nightly glass of wine throughout their pregnancies. I even had a coworker--who was a drinking buddy of mine--reassure me that Baby'd be okay, because she herself drank all nine months. However, I wasn't just having a beer with dinner, or even binge-drinking on weekends; I was nightly getting messed-up, often to the point of blacking out.
There isn't a single person on any side of my family, or my fiance's family, who is mentally retarded or even has a learning disability or autism. We both are very fortunate to come from bloodlines with high IQs. I could not imagine living with the guilt of knowing that I did something to reduce my daughter's chances of a high quality-of-life, and it would be shameful to my family.
The fact that I drank so much during my first trimester has been a point of pretty serious worry for me since deciding to keep my baby; as my due date approaches, I'm not worried about birth itself, but I find myself having nightmares about her being born with birth defects.
I can't find much online to read about this, other than the usual "NO AMOUNT IS SAFE; IF YOU DIDN'T KNOW YOU WERE PREGNANT, THE DAMAGE MAY HAVE ALREADY BEEN DONE!" scare tactic sites. If anyone has anything to share--articles, anecdotes--about fetal alcohol syndrome, I would very much like to hear it.
Wow.. well where to begin? Umm.. well no one has the right to judge so I am just giving the informative information I was able to dig up...
According to the March of Dimes--Signs of an FAS baby in utero include growth retardation, cleft palate/lip, miscarriage or early delivery and heart problems. So there may have been a link between the alcohol and your baby heart troubles or not. I am not sure there is anyway to really say for sure.
The problems of FAS can range from mild to severe and there isn't much way to tell the extent of the damage until after the baby is born. I would just suggest that you be open with your doctor so they can look for the specific problems in ultrasounds and following your baby's birth that are often linked to FAS.
As far as the intelligence or development concerns, you can make decisions starting now that can help ensure the best outcome possible in the future. You can't change the past but you can do what you can to help your child develop as properly as she is able. You may want to look into highly recommended pediatricians that can watch for developmental delays. Prepare yourself to take your child to therapists-speech, physical and occupational if she needs it while growing up.
Just remember that children are resilient. There may be problems, but with the help of a caring, skilled medical staff you can do your best to overcome any future hurdles. And then if there are any future pregnancies, I hope that you do decide to not drink. Even if you are considering abortion--just resist until after you actually have the procedure because often we have changes of heart and the damage can be done early.
Wishing you and your baby girl the best of luck.
JaxonJocelyn Gabriel Grayson and due in September!
This is something that you need to discuss with your Dr. You need to be honest and open about your behaviour so they can check you more closely and be prepared if there is anything wrong. The baby is pretty well protected from anything the mother may do until around the 10 week point when the placenta takes over. It what happens after that you have to worry about.
Many Dr's say a serving of beer (8oz), a serving of wine (5 oz), or one shot of liqour (1 to 1.5 oz) is ok a few times a week but alcohol is an issue if you are drinking everyday or drinking to the point where you are drunk.