‘At 35, I had my miracle baby. But I couldn’t stop drinking.’

This article was retrieved from https://www.mamamia.com.au/fasd-effects-of-alcohol-during-pregnancy/

The article discusses addiction and distressing topics, and could be triggering for some readers.


Senior News & Features Writer

Even as a young child, Ange never really felt like she fit in. 

By the time she reached her 20s, she found alcohol to be “an excellent social lubricant”. 

“It [allowed me] to loosen up a lot, and I could talk to people,” she shared on a recent episode of Mamamia’s daily news podcast, The Quicky.  

By her early 30s, Ange’s drinking increased; extending beyond weekends and stretching into weekdays. 

And then it spiked further at 32, when Ange’s mother was diagnosed with brain cancer. 

“I was just trying to drink the pain away.”

Fourteen months later, Ange’s mother passed – and her alcohol consumption “progressed really quickly to 24/7, top-up drinking,” she told The Quicky

“This was compounded further when I was told after significant testing, without IVF, we had zero chance of having a baby.”

But at 35, Ange fell pregnant with her “miracle baby”.

“I was absolutely elated. Unfortunately, that elation quickly turned to sheer horror as I realised the implications of my physical dependence on alcohol would be both on myself and more importantly, my baby,” she shared.

“That was the horror moment of the whole thing, and that was when I realised that I couldn’t just stop drinking.”

‘I was trying to get myself better.’

Ange had tried to get sober three times previously – “I was trying to get myself better” – and understood the physical toll. 

“I knew how physically demanding alcohol withdrawal was on me personally – violent vomiting, dry retching, uncontrollable shaking, sweating, hallucinations, diarrhoea, and the very real possibility of fatal seizures.”

In her first appointment, Ange told her obstetrician that she was an alcoholic. The response was “extremely disappointing”. She says she was told to stop drinking before her next appointment. 

“Giving up alcohol when you are physically dependent, requires pretty heavy medical supervision. It involves very large amounts of diazepam or valium being administered just to try to take the edge off, and to try to prevent potential seizures,” Ange said. 

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the ‘FASD Prevention Conversation, A Shared Responsibility Project’, its stakeholders, and/or funder

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