I have a work friend who shares my unashamed love of a couple of drinks a couple of times a week. Like me, he rarely gets drunks and dislikes the feeling, but like me he loves one or two cold ones and the warm buzz it gives you. But his wife doesn’t approve of drinking. During long work road trips we’d often wax lyrical on the tempting glug-glug-gug of wine sloshing into a glass, the “ksssch” of a beer bottle opening and first fizz of the bubbly brew on the lips. Then I’d thumb my nose at him, because when I finally got home, I’d be doing it for real, whereas he’d have to ask the missus first.
Now it’s the stuff of fantasy for both of us, as I have a benign dictator of my own stopping me from drinking. I haven’t had a bevvie for months. And that’s the first time I’ve been able to say that in more than a decade (yikes).
In truth, it’s no sacrifice. At first, I even enjoyed the novelty of not drinking. It was one of the few material/physical differences which meant I was pregnant. Then, I felt so sick that I couldn’t even be near G if he’d had one pint of beer (and brushed his teeth afterwards), and walking down the booze aisle- any aisle, in fact, with all the vile food and horrible drinks everywhere- of the supermarket, was like an assault course.
Now, though, as I sail my portly vessel through the calmer waters of the second trimester (half way there now!), I’m no longer nauseous and have lots of daily reminders of the fact I’m with child, and man I’d love a glass of wine. I’ve been dreaming of sneaky after-work pints and sharing a bottle with friends. In reality, drink tastes grim- I’ve tried a sip of G’s a couple of times and it’s like paintstripper to me, thanks to my crazy knocked-up hormone chemistry, I guess. And although many women drink a little while pregnant, I just can’t bring myself do it. So really, it’s still fine to go without. But I certainly don’t stand by my declarations earlier in the pregnancy that I might just continue my sober existence after the baby is born. Unless I had a health reason to give up alcohol, or I felt it was an issue, the teetotal life is not for me. And I suppose I love the idea of enjoying a drink: the ritual, the social aspect, even the joy of lolling on the sofa with a goblet of red and Four Weddings.
I’d like to think I’ll toast the baby with a cold glass of bubbly from the warmth of the birthing pool, but actually I think I’ll be yearning for a cup of tea instead (oh and bonding with the baby, of course) . But I’m sure, when I am finally reunited with my old pal pinot g whenever that is, it will be a fine day indeed. And that day isn’t so very far away.
After all, breastfeeding mothers can have a glass of wine, can’t they? CAN’T THEY?