Melissa's story

"I drank at the beginning of my pregnancy, before I found out I was pregnant. My doctor told me that it was okay to continue to drink wine during pregnancy. He said I could have a glass of wine at night with dinner. He said it might even help me relax and improve circulation.

“I drank at the beginning of my pregnancy, before I found out I was pregnant. My doctor told me that it was okay to continue to drink wine during pregnancy. 

He said I could have a glass of wine at night with dinner. He said it might even help me relax and improve circulation. Not only did I think drinking wine during pregnancy was okay, but I thought that it could be healthy.

He never asked me if I had a drinking problem, or how many drinks I have a day, or if I binge drink. I really wish that my doctor would have had more dialogue or asked me questions about drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

When my son was born he looked perfect. He has amazing strengths. He’s brilliant and he’s an amazing musician. However, as he got older I realided that things just weren’t quite right. He doesn’t like how clothes feel. He wore the same outfit for almost a year. I finally found a pair of socks that he would wear.

Then the company stopped making the sock. That wouldn’t be a big deal for most people, but it was a terrifying moment for me. We went through about 25 packages of socks before we found a new brand that he would wear.

On his first day of kindergarten, the school called me because he had turned over all of the chairs that people weren’t sitting in, turned over items in the kitchen area in the classroom, and thrown his shoes at the teacher.

Most kids will get mad when they have to end play dates or sleepovers. But instead of just getting mad, my son tried to jump out of the car the other day because he had to leave a sleepover.

When I finally realised what was going on, it was a relief, and it was horrifying, and I felt guilty, and I felt ashamed. But mostly I felt relieved to know what was going on.

If a pregnant woman said to me, ‘I drink a little bit here and there and I was told it was okay,’ I would tell her that she wouldn’t if she had to live just one day with the way that I feel about myself, knowing how my son has been affected by my choices.

I am angry that I was given wrong information about drinking during pregnancy. I want to tell as many people as I can about it. You never know how much alcohol during pregnancy is too much, so why take that chance?”

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