Prayers for BabyUnseen!

Dwija‘s facebook page informed me when I woke up that she had called the midwife in the wee hours of the morning. Her tapered-off and eventually halted Twitter feed informs me that labor is getting real at HouseUnseen. Will you please take a moment and say a prayer for the safe delivery of BabyUnseen, and that Dwija’s first homebirth experience will be smooth and joyful? Having a baby at home is utterly different than having one at the hospital, and I can sympathize with the combination of nerves and excitement that Dwija has been feeling for the last few days. I’m praying that her labor goes just as smoothly as mine did with Liam…except perhaps maybe it’ll be a bit longer. (Yes, I did feel disgruntled and kind of gypped because my labor with Liam only lasted four hours. I actually wanted it to go on a little longer. Extrapolate from that what you will about my psychological state.)

In other pregnancy-related news, look what the Danes have discovered! Earth-shattering.

Actually, I’ve been saying this for years. Nearly every OB I’ve ever been to has given me some variation of “if you have one single drop of alcohol during your pregnancy, your child will certainly be born without a head and it will be all your fault. How would you feel then?” Without being flip about the real risks of fetal alcohol syndrome and developmental delays that are caused by excessive drinking, this is a load of shite. Women have been drinking alcoholic beverages during pregnancy since forever. Probably since alcohol was first discovered. In Elizabethan times, they didn’t even drink water because it was contaminated. They drank small beer all day long. Lower alcohol content, sure, but if that’s all you’re drinking? I’d bet it pretty much evened out.

If you read the article, please notice that immediately after the results of the study are disclosed, several American doctors are interviewed who stress that this doesn’t change anything, drinking is dangerous in pregnancy, and even that “These findings can easily send a very dangerous message to pregnant women.”

Oh yes. Because we’re all so incapable of being rational and limiting ourselves to the occasional glass of wine. The second we hear that alcohol might not kill our developing offspring, we’re going to throw a kegger. Or several. (Seriously, though, does anyone have a beer bong I can borrow?)

This attitude drives me crazy. Pregnant women are already told that we can’t eat hot dogs, sandwich meat, soft cheese, prosciutto, fish, sushi, palatably prepared steak, raw eggs, unpasteurized milk, caffeine, and unwashed vegetables. It’s no wonder people treat pregnancy like a disease! If I ever listened to my doctors, I would be miserable! (Also, I think the blasphemy of a well-done steak definitely outweighs any health concerns.)

I was living in Rome with my sister-in-law when I found out I was pregnant with Charlotte. I took the test, we did the squeal-hug-jump-around routine, then I handed her the rest of my glass of wine. Her boyfriend at the time watched the exchange with a mystified expression on his face and then said, “perche?” (why?) My sister-in-law explained that American women are told not to drink alcohol in pregnancy. Her boyfriend got the most incredulous of expressions on his face and started laughing. “Meno, ma no basta!” he snorted. (Less, but don’t stop!) Then he made me a plate of mozzarella, tomatoes and prosciutto and glowered at me until I ate it all. Unbelievably, I didn’t die. `

So that’s been my attitude ever since. Aristotle called it centuries ago, when he said, “All things in moderation.” My husband has improved upon that a little. He says, “All things in moderation, including moderation.” Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to consume buckets of raw cookie dough and steak tartare. Though I may run by the liquor store first.

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