Did you or would you drink while pregnant?
I’ve just had it hammered into me for so long that it seems like a ridiculous question, like asking “Would you jump out of a plane without a parachute?” or “would you feed your dog a big hunk of baker’s dark chocolate?”
Since middle school they have been telling us over and over again, “no amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy”. So it just becomes part of the collective unconscious – pregnant women don’t drink. The image is incongruous, like a camel drinking a martini. And it’s not just me who thinks that way.
For example: I love champagne. That’s my drink of choice. We had a big bottle of Baby Canadian in our fridge last year and the occasion to drink it wasn’t coming up.
Me: We’ll just save it. *with a grin* Hey, maybe we can pop it to celebrate when we find out that I’m pregnant!
Perfect Husband: *sliding off his wedding ring* Get out of my house.
I had a few glasses of wine over Christmas, before I knew I was pregnant, mind you. It’s ironic because my grandmother kept thinking I was pregnant whenever I went to visit her, and I was talking about this with my parents over a glass of Zinfandel.
Mum: Your Nana doesn’t know something we don’t, does she?
Me: Uhh, considering that I’m drinking a glass of wine right now, clearly if she does, I don’t know either.
I guess the joke was on me.
But I’m beginning to realize that not everyone has had this belief drilled firmly into their heads. Quite a lot of people on the Dooce Community admit to drinking the occasional glass of wine or beer while pregnant. Do I judge them? Not really. I mean, the chance of a glass or two hurting the baby is pretty slim. I haven’t lost much sleep over those glasses of Zinfandel. But knowingly drinking alcohol while pregnant baffles me, because there’s always the risk. The unpredictability of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and the fact that they can’t seem to establish a “safe” zone keeps me away. I felt the same reaction when reading NewScientist’s Bumpology articles. The author has discussed that alcohol can be harmful. How studies showed that fetuses born to mothers who just a glass or two a day during the third trimester are born with a taste preference for alcohol. But she still seems annoyed by the whole “no alcohol” recommendation.
And it is her right.
But I’m like, “Bwa??”
It’s just not on my radar in the slightest. Why would I take the risk? Nor could I manage to do so without having a major blow-out with my husband. YOU suggest to him that I have a glass of wine. See how he takes it.
Those three bottles of Smirnoff Ice in the fridge drive me crazy, especially on hot days. We have friends coming by to put in baseboards for us tomorrow. Maybe I can pawn them off of them.