Very Worried, Please Help- Heavy Drinking Before I Knew I Was Pregnant

Tamara - posted on 02/17/2013 ( 11 moms have responded )

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If you have been in my position, PLEASE share your story. I am very scared and don't know what to do.

I was not planning on getting pregnant. Although I am usually just a social drinker, I had a wild weekend in which I (1) drank two bottles of wine BY MYSELF in ONE NIGHT; and (2) continued to drink off and on (beer and wine) the remaining days of the weekend.

On Monday morning, I realized that my period was late by a day. I took a pregnancy test and it was positive.

I have been to my doctor, and it turns out that my big drinking weekend happened when I was four weeks pregnant. Essentially, I was drinking heavily from four weeks to four weeks and two days into the pregnancy.

What can I do?? Has anyone else ever been through this and kept the pregnancy going? Everything I read about fetal alcohol damage is absolutely terrifying. I will never drink again, have no desire to after this. Please, anyone??

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Diana - posted on 03/21/2014

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Oh Tamara, I wish I'd seen this last year. What did you end up deciding? I have a 2 yr 3 mo girl. I was in the same boat. I used to be a severe alcoholic. 2 bottles of wine? Pfft, I'd drink that alone as a pregamer before getting on with the rest of my beer or wine or liquor or whatever. I also was not planning on getting pregnant. I drank disgusting amounts of alcohol before finding out almost a month in and then stopping. My daughter is perfect and is actually advanced. She is huge and healthy and happy and still breastfed and hits very cognitive milestone early. My OB had done her residency at a high risk hospital where she encountered lots of moms addicted to various drugs and she assured me that I didn't need to worry since it was only the first few weeks which put me at ease the remaining 8 months. (Hugs) again I wish I'd seen this sooner.

Tamara - posted on 02/22/2013

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http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?sectio...

I just saw this on Baby Center. A local news team in Texas, I think, did a piece on a woman who had 2 binge drinking incidents before she knew she was pregnant. Her son was born with fetal alcohol syndrome. He is now and adult and cannot have a paying job, due to his level of disability.

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Britney - posted on 06/12/2014

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Hi, Tamara. I know how you feel, I've been there. To be honest, my husband and I have some bad habit's such as eating some junkfood, drinking alcohol, & too lazy to do exercise. I was very worried because i didnt want my baby to get some bad affects because of my bad habits. And then I followed "The Getting Pregnant Plan" from http://aboutgettingpregnant.com . It will work for you as its worked for me so you can move toward a successful, healthy pregnancy. Let me know how you go.

Tamara - posted on 02/23/2013

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And here is yet another study which makes it clear that binge drinking and a high blood alcohol level in early pregnancy WILL result in brain damage, especially in weeks 4 to 6. Remember, I was 4 weeks pregnant exactly (and didn't know it) when I drank 2 bottles of wine by myself in a span of 5 to 6 hours. I have yet to meet ANYONE who drank that much in a single setting when they were 4 to 6 weeks pregnant and still went on to have a child with no brain damage.

Knowing this, how can I NOT have an abortion?

http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/a...


Researchers and clinicians are particularly concerned about women who consume alcohol in a binge like pattern before they realize that they are pregnant (referred to as pregnancy recognition) as well as during early pregnancy. The reason for this concern involves the relationship between the timing of these binge like episodes and the timing of critical periods of fetal brain development. Although heavy alcohol consumption throughout pregnancy leads to a significant risk of brain injury to the developing fetus, the fetus is especially vulnerable to alcohol-induced brain injury during specific stages of brain development, many of which occur early during pregnancy ( Ikonomidou et al. 2000; West 1987) . If a woman binge drinks during such a critical stage, significant harm may be inflicted on the developing fetal brain. The resulting deficits can range from gross structural abnormalities, such as small brain size (i. e. , microencephaly) with significantly altered brain circuitry ( e. g. , shrinkage or even complete absence of the corpuscallosum 1 ) (1 The corpus callosum is a bundle of nerve fibers that connects the right and left hemispheres of the brain.), to the more subtle, but nonetheless significant, loss of specific nerve cells ( i. e. , neurons) in a particular brain region. Not surprisingly, such alterations in the normal development of the structural and neurochemical composition of the brain can have deleterious behavioral consequences ( e. g. , learning or attention deficits) that may not manifest until a later age.

Denise - posted on 02/20/2013

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I am currently expecting my second child and although I haven't drank during this pregnancy because it was well planned, my first pregnancy years ago was not. I was still dorming in college and doing what a college student does best.. drink, party and drink some more. I didn't find out I was pregnant until about 10 weeks and my daughter was born perfectly healthy, she was 9lbs 8oz, 22".... I don't know if it is the same for everyone but as long as you haven't had any more wild nights and don't for the rest of the pregnancy I think the baby should be ok. Don't drive yourself crazy just yet, give it some time and wait until the doctor lets you hear the heartbeat and you see your 1st ultrasound.

Tamara - posted on 02/18/2013

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Has anyone on here been through this situation (drinking way too much before you knew that you were pregnant)? My doctor was not reassuring, and I am seriously considering ending this pregnancy, rather than forcing a child to suffer a life of pain.

Onetraeh - posted on 02/17/2013

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Well it might be ok to get a second opinion from a different doctor or nurse;honestly the only people I've heard of tht had fetal alcohol syndrome r like u said alcoholics who drank throughout their pregnancy.honestly I just feel like it wasn't your fault & God knows your heart & would take care of your baby.plus there's a million things tht r supposedly harmful to your baby & a million reasons for defects;many people have entirely healthy pregnancies,ate tofu their whole lives & run 5 k everyday & their child may have impairments for no reason at all.so u just never know & you'll have ultrasounds & checkups & I'm sure tht most things would become apparent soon enough if anything was wrong.but again the only cases I've seen of crack babies or fetal alcohol was cases where the mum deliberately didn't care so I'm sure you're gonna be fine;hopefully a lady in your position can answer for u too I just have no life it's been a minute since I had a wild weekend haha!but best of luck to u xx
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Tamara - posted on 02/17/2013

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Thanks! I did talk to the doctor about the risks of heavy drinking that early (at 4 weeks and a few days), and she was not very reassuring. She said that women who drink heavily through pregnancy are at high risk for fetal alcohol syndrome and having one or two drinks in the early weeks before you know you are pregnant is fine. But she said that given the amount I had to drink (a lot. . .bottles of wine, not glasses) and the timing (right at 4 weeks since the last period), there is no way of telling what damage occurred.

Any more stories out there? Good or bad, I just want to know what other people have done and how it turned out.

Onetraeh - posted on 02/17/2013

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Awww u must be so worried;I've never myself been in this situation but I do know a couple ladies tht went out for some heavy clubbing u know for the whole weekend & were drinking high balls or liqueurs which r much higher alcohol content than wine or beer!& then found out tht they were pregnant & carried out their pregnancies & their babies r fine;also when u say tht u were 4 weeks pregnant remember tht tht is not the date of conception tht's from the first day of your last period so possibly u were only a couple weeks preggers.anyways wht I would do just to make yourself feel better is to call a nurses line?they r always 24/7 I'm not sure wht city you're in but tht way u could get definitive answers from a professional & perhaps tell them exactly the alcohol content & how much?& just see wht they say;I do think tht the fact you're worried about it is a great sign & try not to make yourself sick about it @ least until u get some answers.I think you'll make a great mum being tht you're already concerned for the welfare of your child & tht's great;I hope everything goes well for u
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