Anonymous Mom: I’ve Been Drinking Through My Pregnancy

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shutterstock_66380914Anonymous Mom is a weekly column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity.

At eight months pregnant with my daughter, I was in pain. Women at the grocery store stopped me to congratulate me on twins. One cashier at Target just asked if I had taken fertility drugs or did twins run in my family. My feet were so swollen I could barely wear flip flops. My brother kindly nicknamed me Bilbo Baggins. And my back was spasming. When I called my doctor to ask her what I could do to get some sleep, she said, “If you want, drink some wine. No more than one glass every other day. You’re not going to hurt anyone.”

Too embarrassed to buy some of my favorite Apothic Red while I looked like the Hindenburg, I asked a friend to sneak me over some. That night, I ate pasta, drank wine and fell asleep by seven p.m. It was glorious. For the next three weeks, until I went into labor, I had a total of four glasses of wine.

I had spent the majority of nine months worrying about my water intake, my caffeine intake, my calcium, my folic acid, my weight, lunch meat, cheese, mercury in my fish, my cankles, that I was exhausted. When my doctor suggested drinking wine, I felt a huge weight lift from my shoulders. It was precisely the permission I needed to make my own decisions about what was happening to my body.

I am pregnant again. This pregnancy comes on the heels of a miscarriage. As a result, I’ve spent the past nine weeks mired in fear, doubt, worry and tears. On the day I hit the 10-week mark, I made myself a light hot toddy, sat back with a book and took a moment just to enjoy that I had a child in me. No matter how long, no matter what happened, in that moment I was pregnant and I was determined to be joyful and live in that moment. This child is mine. This body is mine and I will not spend the rest of my pregnancy afraid and paranoid.

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