The pubs are open, the lights are up, and ordinarily, December would resemble one long, booze-fuelled, pub crawl to New Year
But not this year.
This year the focus is on growing a mini human, getting lots of rest, eating well (ish) and trying (and failing) to stay up past the watershed. This year might be my most sober Christmas in over 20 years.
Despite most pregnant women I know having the occasional glass here and there (‘our parents’ generation drank and look how we turned out’), there is apparently no safe level of alcohol for your growing baby so the advice is to avoid completely to be on the safe side.
The liver is one of the last organs to develop resulting in the baby being unable to process alcohol for much of its early life. Alcohol use can lead to the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, low birth weight, and fetal alcohol syndrome (which includes a whole host of long-term disabilities for the baby).
I'd previously thought that not drinking (and not going out) would be the hardest thing about being pregnant (if only) but I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised by how little I’ve fancied it. I’ve had the occasional drink, but as I’m generally very ‘all or nothing’ and, 'all' isn't really an option, I've tended to go with nothing most of the time.
I’ve enjoyed my little booze break despite experiencing very few of the usual benefits of sobriety.
Instead, the husband has decided to rapidly step up his game by drinking for three (when you’ve got the same story on repeat and the beginning of the next one sounds all too familiar, there are moments when a glass of wine in hand would ease the pain).
In addition to storytime with hubster, there were a couple of occasions when I would have enjoyed a few more drinks, a 40th birthday being one. However, despite only having a few glasses of prosecco (spread over a 13-hour window) and combined with a much later bedtime than usual (it was actually dark), this resulted in me feeling like I'd spent the entire weekend in Fabric. Lesson learned.
I’ll be honest, 2020 has not been the worst year to go sober, with social distancing severely impacting opportunities for drunken fun and weddings, festivals, and summer parties all canceled, that FOMO wasn't there in the way I imagine it usually is.
After a somewhat hectic start to lockdown (the world was ending), enforced sobriety was probably just what I needed and I've definitely embraced the lack of weekend hangover.
It is not advised to drink, so what you choose to do once you’ve looked at the facts is up to you. Don’t go getting hammered and I'd probably avoid bottomless brunches, raves, wine and cheese nights, wine tastings, and generally anything else with wine in the title.
It’s only for 9 months, so this December I'll be mostly focusing on mince pies, chocolate, cheese (pasteurised), and satsumas (all about balance).