From mid December through to mid February I have at least one event on every weekend; engagement parties, hens nights, weddings, 21st birthday parties – you name it, I've got it pencilled in. And so far, luckily, there has been no double bookings! I have chosen to not drink any alcohol during this pregnancy, much to Hubby's delight as he now has a live-in designated driver.
So what happens when you're accustomed to being a (big) social drinker and now can't partake in your favourite unwooded chardonnay? And what do other people think about me drinking or not? There seems to be three distinct groups – those that leave it up to the individual and don't pass judgement, those who think a little bit won't hurt and those who are very anti-alcohol (the latter being the most obvious because they have to pick up their jaws' from the ground as you stumble past with a pint).
Its Your Choice
At work on Friday afternoon drinks I was offered wine by three different people, all who knew I was pregnant. I was quite surprised, especially when one of them, on seeing me pick up the cheese based dip, smacked my hand and said “YOU CAN'T HAVE THAT, YOU'RE PREGNANT!”. In the dip there was a chance that there could be listeria, but I'm pretty sure the wine was guaranteed to have alcohol in it – my co-workers wouldn't stand for non-alcoholic wine at Friday drinks!
Just a Little Bit
At New Years I drank only soft drink and water, and got approving nods and smiles from friends whilst Hubby got congratulated on finding the secret to being able to drink and get a free lift home. However when I was offered a rum ball and politely refused due to the rum part, I was met with a look that said “Surely its not enough to do any damage?”. I'm sure they are right and the amount of alcohol in them would have been almost negligible, but I just felt better in myself to say no.
At lunch with a friend of mine, E., (a pharmacist who knows practically everything worth knowing) we got on to this subject. She is a teetotaller and was very happy with my decision to not drink plus she assured me the half glass of wine I'd had before I found out I was pregnant wouldn't have done any harm. So anyway, E confessed to being a inadvertent jaw dropper! She told of how she had seen a pregnant woman at dinner recently with a glass of wine and how her first reaction was to think how irresponsible the woman was being (whilst picking up her jaw from her plate of spinach cannelloni). This of course immediately made her feel guilty for judging her not knowing any of the circumstances. Maybe it was the one and only glass she'd had all pregnancy? Maybe it was just one or two that night for a special occasion? We shall never know. But there is possibly some comfort for drinking pregnant women that the Jaw Droppers' do feel guilty for falling in to that category.
Even as a big social drinker, known for frothing at the mouth at the mere mention of a Goundrey's, I've not actually had any trouble abstaining from drinking. It doesn't feel like a burden or something that needs constant vigilance. And I haven't felt left out socially either. I think it was all in my head that I'd be 'the only one not drinking'. So now a decision has to be made; when Tricky is born will I resume drinking? You Betcha!