One Woman’s View – and Why I Disagree

My sister-in-law today brought to my attention this article.  Amongst the writer’s comments are:

I understand the consequences of drinking too much while pregnant and I’m of course not promoting that, I am however, saying that if I choose to sip on an alcoholic beverage with my expanding belly, it’s my prerogative.

and:

I don’t believe having a little bit of any of these things is going to change the outcome of my baby. And I appreciate being able to do it without the glare from judging eyes.

This kind of infuriated me, because I know of the amount of work and research that people around the globe are putting in to bring to attention the dangers of drinking during pregnancy.  I almost felt sorry for this woman, simply because it appears she is uneducated in exactly what drinking alcohol during pregnancy can do to your unborn child.

If you don’t already know, I work for an FASD education and prevention organisation on a casual basis, so my viewpoint here isn’t exactly a completely uneducated one (although I still have plenty more to learn).    I responded to the woman’s article by way of a comment but I felt the need to elaborate a little more and thought I’d do it here, since this is my little place in cyberspace.

I felt the writer’s viewpoint was only on how she was being viewed socially.  Of course, this is part of the bigger picture, but the more important aspect is the health of your unborn child.  Currently there is no known safe amount of alcohol that can be consumed in pregnancy.  The reason we don’t know a specific amount is because, as in any normal non-pregnant body, alcohol effects vary depending on our genetics, our build, our weight and height, as well as a few other various factors.

What we do know is that alcohol can have devastating effects on a developing fetus, particularly within the first trimester.  I encourage you all to watch this video, presented by Prof. Kathy Sulik:

FASDLEGAL_KathySulik from Institute of Health Economics on Vimeo.

As you can see, there is more to worry about than simply being judged by others for making the decision to drink alcohol in your pregnancy.

The “My body, my choice” is normally my opinion too – until it comes to consuming alcohol in pregnancy.  Sure, do what you like to your own body, but when you are carrying a child (and have made the decision to continue carrying that child to term), the consequences of drinking alcohol go far beyond your prerogatives; you are essentially interfering with someone else’s life – someone you are supposed to love unconditionally and to whom you would presumably want to provide the best start in life – their future well-being, their prospective hopes for equal treatment within society as well as their schooling and employment abilities.  FASDs are a serious matter.  They can vary from very obvious facial deformities to behavioural, cognitive, neurological, social and emotional issues.

What the author needs to realise is that FASDs are very real disorders that destroy lives – and they are completely preventable.  I personally think, in general, a woman is extremely selfish if they make a conscious decision to not abstain from consuming alcohol for a mere 9 months.  Women with alcohol dependency issues are a different matter – there’s an underlying problem there that needs to be addressed and that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms – but for women able to control their drinking, there is no excuse for putting another life on the line in order to enjoy a glass of wine once a week.  Abstain while pregnant, enjoy your pregnancy, and recognise that you haven’t contributed to what has become a growing epidemic in today’s society.

Some Resources:

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10 Weeks to Go!

I cannot believe how swiftly this pregnancy has gone!!!

In some ways it’s been really good because when I was pregnant with Lily, all I thought about was when was she coming and what would happen and blah blah blah; this time around, I’m so busy with other things as well as raising Lily that I haven’t really had much of a chance to think about it (evident in the fact that I only *just* started cleaning out Emmett’s room a few days ago, whereas I’d had Lily’s room ready to go for MONTHS before she was due to arrive).

The sad thing about it is that I haven’t really ‘savoured’ the moment – I haven’t taken as many belly photos as I did with Lily, I haven’t really had a chance to sit down and consider how I feel about having a second baby, I haven’t considered even what other clothes we need at this point for him.  It’s just been so rushed and fast that there’s still a lot of loose ends to tie up, whereas with Lily I had everything ready to go well in advance.

I guess that’s just the way it goes when you have a (very) young child already – you’re too preoccupied with making sure she’s not eating anything she’s not supposed to, eating everything she’s meant to, dressed, fed, has slept at least half the night and gets enough sunshine to think much about Bubba #2.

It’s going to be interesting, that’s for certain.  I’m a bit anxious about how I’m going to handle it after Michael goes back to work (he’s only taking a couple of weeks off after Emmett arrives), but I guess, like anything, you find a way.

Thank god newborns nap a lot!

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Stop! Reunion Time!

This year is 10 years since I left high school.  I can’t get over it really – I can’t believe it’s been 10 years, that just seems unreal to me.  I mean, it feels like a lifetime ago and only yesterday at the same time.  Very surreal.

So I told myself at the start of the year that if there was to be a reunion, I’d go but not be involved in organising it.  I’ve eaten my own words because I’m now finding myself offering help and making flyers and opening email accounts.  I guess I am a bit of a control freak, and would rather do things myself than see them go to shit *sigh* anyway, I’m not doing any of the important stuff like venue booking or organising music, but I just can’t help myself when it comes to making arrangements for events like this.

I’m even finding it hard to stop myself from helping my sister organise her wedding, even though I won’t be attending (it’s a week before my due date and I won’t be allowed to travel after 38 weeks).  I so wanted to be involved in making arrangements with her but my circumstances won’t allow me to be there so I just have to back off a bit and leave her to it.  I’ll obviously help if she asks, but trying not to offer!

Anyway, this is just a bit of a rambling post – it’s just crazy how quickly things come around.  It’s only 98 days till Emmett is due, and Lily will be two, 6 months later!  Insane.

 

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Look at Nature

Look at nature. Look at flowers. We never walk into our garden and say “Oh wouldn’t that flower be so much more pretty if it were taller? Or red instead of pink?” No, we don’t. Because nature was created perfect just as it is. And so are we. We are part of nature, we are how we’re meant to be, we are perfect just as we are.

I think I’d like to embrace nature a bit more this year.  As a Pagan, I feel I haven’t quite spent enough time out in nature to appreciate it, particularly this past twelve months where I’ve mostly been a mum.  I know with another on the way that this won’t change, but I would like to ‘get out there’ and enjoy it more – take the kids on picnics and so on.  It would be good to spend more time out in nature, like I did when I was a kid.

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Desperate for Change

It’s very strange having something that you want to share with the world, but not being able to for fear of jinxing it should it not actually come to fruition.

I referred to a new ‘project’ in this post in December, and this is what I’m talking about.  We have found what we’re looking for, but at this point we don’t know if it will become part of our reality yet.

I find this sort of situation very difficult to deal with – wanting something so badly in my life, knowing that it’s right there in front of me and it’s perfect for what we need, but it being just out of reach for whatever reason (financial, usually).  I’m very much a ‘want it now’ kind of person – I’m not at all against working for something, but I’ll almost always prefer to “pay it off” and have it available to me now than to wait and possibly miss the opportunity to hold it at all.

It’s amusing to me that I’m always telling people, if it doesn’t work out it wasn’t meant to be, but I find it hard to swallow that advice myself.  Which I know is so hypocritical.  I just can’t see anything else that would be more perfect to our family right now and it’s just not something we can reach for ourselves yet – there’s a lot of logistical and strategic shit we have to work through first.  In the meantime, that opportunity may just disappear.

I know, Vague Post is Vague, but so desperately wanting to improve things in my family’s life is what is driving me right now – I want to make this happen for us.  But it’s kind of out of my hands right now.

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