I feel bad. My 8 month old has been drinking wine and I haven’t stopped him. I mean I’m not filling his sippy cup with it, but because I’ve been drinking wine in the evenings and I’m still breastfeeding he’s drinking nonetheless. I’m not a huge drinker normally. In fact, I spent the better part of my twenties never partaking in the stuff. For a year and a half during college, I lived in France, a country known for its exquisite wines, and never even tasted a Bordeaux. Having grown up with a strong family history of alcoholism I wanted to do as much as I possibly could when I was younger to prevent myself from going down that same path. My shot at prevention seems to have worked so far because for the most part I can’t drink more than two glasses of wine at a time. I like being relaxed. I like being tipsy. I don’t like being drunk. I don’t like the headachy feeling I get the morning after the nights I go too far and drink, heaven forbid, a third glass. Beer disgusts me and liquor does the same. A glass of red wine though while I slice, simmer, and serve up dinner is divine. I didn’t think I’d drink much wine during the breastfeeding months, but after a pregnancy permeated with an aversion for almost all things food related I was ready for sipping and savoring almost as soon as Elias popped out. As I’ve entered back into the working world I’m even more excited for a glass of wine at the end of a day. I don’t partake every evening, but partaking at all usually means Elias partakes too.
I’ve done the reading and research. I know I could wait 90 minutes after the last sip of wine to feed my baby and he’d be safe from the very low possibility of ill effects. I always aim to make that happen, but the timing never seems to work out. Last night I waited to start drinking until he went to sleep and then as I swallowed the last sip of my second glass he woke up. I was able to distract him for fifteen minutes before he would wait no more. I figured a tipsy baby was better than a hungry one?
When I was pregnant I complained a lot about the lack of coping mechanisms I could turn to in my state. I couldn’t meditate because I fell asleep. I couldn’t exercise (at least the way I wanted to) because it hurt and I couldn’t drink wine, because well we all know the risks inherent in that. I am reminded all too often that some things aren’t all that different now that the baby is on the outside. I wanted so much to change after pregnancy and yet I still can’t meditate without falling asleep or exercise without pain. The wine brings with it a healthy dose of guilt some nights, but for now it’s what I got.
I’m sure I’m not the only breastfeeding mom out there who drinks a glass of wine on occasion. Do you also feel guilty? Do you sometimes feel fed up with how much of what you do to your own body continues to affect your little one?