A bit of a taboo.

I (jay, not vee of course) am rather hungover so won’t make much of a blogger today. Last night was great, but I’m suffering for it now.

Just wanted to share a snippet of unfortunate news. Yesterday, someone we know IRL had an emergency caesarean 2 months before she was due to pop. The baby was spirited away to a hospital in another town, but seems to be stable, and the mother is OK, albeit shocked.

We are crossing our fingers that everything will be fine with the baby… but at the back of our minds is the awful knowledge that he might not be, especially as the mother smoked throughout pregnancy – as she did with her first 3 kids – and apparently drank a lot too.

How people do that, I just don’t know. I’m wondering if any of you IVPers have ever confronted someone for doing it? Apparently it’s the norm in some Scandidavian countries to shout at pregnant smokers in the street, but here in the UK we just bite our stiff British lips and then mutter disapprovingly about it in private. I know I cannot sustain a conversation with that woman like I used to. And I know she must know what she’s doing but still does it anyway. Four times.

Fuck, I just hope that kid is OK.

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12 responses to this post.

  1. Oh, wow, so sad. I really really hope the baby is okay. I have no idea how mothers can continue to smoke and drink during pregnancy. Must really be addicted and/or unhappy with their life. I, too, bite my tongue…silly, because if I saw a mother beating up her child in public, I would sure as hell alert the authorities. How is this any different? Worse, actually.

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  2. oh wow. will have this family in my prayers.
    xo

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  3. My cousin had an emergency C-section at 30 weeks in Sept. Her daughter just reached 2 pounds. This was her second pregnancy and she smoked throughout both. It’s hard to watch someone do that to their unborn child and not say anything. That’s why I confronted her. Didn’t change anything, but I had to make my feelings known. My mom smoked when she was pregnant with me but stopped before she had any more children.

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  4. Wow. Tragic, but hopefully the baby will be ok. We’ll say a few prayers. I dont think I could keep my mouth shut if I saw someone like that. Here in the states, we’re a bit austentatious. Is it a bit of an attack on someone’s personal space? Yes. Is it maybe letting someone know that people are highly aware that they may be killing their child? Maybe. I just dont know that I have the restraint to not give a good smart comment at the least 🙂

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  5. Posted by Att on November 9, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    I’m sure I’ve blogged about it. But here goes.

    My ex-roommate, and forever one of my closest friends, smoked and drank so heavily when she was pregnant with Baby B, my little precious niece, that I was harboring dark and twisty fears of FAS or mental retardation or worse.

    I kept so silent though, for fear of angering her, for fear of losing her love and the love of my two nieces. So I bit my lip and watched her do shot after shot of liquor and sat idly by while she smoked heavily.

    Her boyfriend was the only one who stood up and made her quit smoking and drinking. He went about it all wrong, but he got her to quit for, I think, a few weeks. But she couldn’t handle it and had to smoke, had to drink. I didn’t know how to react to that. With anger and resentment, I think, because there she was, possibly damaging her accidental miracle, while my partner and I were just wishing we could have a baby on our own terms. I thought it was a little disrespectful of that child and of everyone else in our family, but also incredibly idiotic.

    To my relief, Baby B was born with no complications, she was incredibly small (about 7lbs) but we figured it was because she was a week early. She seems to be developing fine and such, but in my head I know that even if she IS totally fine, it was the luck of the draw. I do plan to keep a vigilant eye on that child, not just because I love her, but because I know her mom and dad won’t see it first.

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  6. it is upsetting because people know better now… when my mom was pregnant with me she drank and smoked and all through my early childhood our house was full of smoke as well. there is a picture of her with me a very little baby on her lap and she is feeding me with one hand and smoking with the other!

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  7. In some part of Eastern Europe, specifically Moldova, to this day there is a belief that having a shot a day will give you a baby boy. When I was working there, I railed against this dangerous superstition… and then I see in 1st world countries where people do it out of habit even when they know the medical effects. Just sickening. Really. I hope that the baby is okay.

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  8. Posted by gabrielle on November 9, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    I work in NICU and a baby at two months early will probably do fine at this stage. The problems seem to show later with poor learning and other issues as preschoolers and at school. Everyday at work I see people who drink, smoke or do drugs during their pregnancy than are full of concern about their prem baby but never seem to see or choose to ignore their part in it. We have a smoke free program we endeavour to enrol pregnant women or post partum women in but many claim stress as a reason to carry on so it’s a vicious cycle. I have to admit to feelings of great unfairness as I watch friends struggle ttc and know it was particularly hard when I was struggling with ttc both my girls, when I see women who seem to have such little regard for the welfare of their child.

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  9. Posted by scarredbellybutton on November 9, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    I hope the baby is ok. Why the fuck do people do crap like that?

    I think I might start shouting at them and just claim to be Scandinavian.

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  10. Posted by reproducinggenius on November 10, 2008 at 5:55 am

    I have never understood how women can do this, and yet they do all the time. I tend to scowl at smoking pregnant women. And I’m very obvious about it. This is one thing I just can’t tolerate, and maybe I need to be more Scandinavian about it too.

    I hope this baby is okay.

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  11. Addictions are hard.

    I read a statistic that about 10% of pregnant women in the U.S. smoke. Part of the problem is… it is notoriously hard to beat an addiction to smoking (or to alcohol, if one is truly addicted). And as you know, when you’re pg, doctors are really afraid to give you a lot of medications. So, imagine one of those annoying “oops I got pg” women, who also are addicted to smoking. Suddenly, she is pg, everyone is telling her it’s bad for the baby to smoke, and yet, no patch for her, no gum for her, no cut back over time, just STOP cold turkey… for the baby!!! Without any medical crutch! Oh, and do it while you’re pg and your hormones are raging and you’re anxious and irritable and nauseous anyway.

    The article I read about it is that it’s not just a matter of educating women about the dangers of smoking during pregnancy. Women know, but they still do it, because they’re addicted. Which is why women really need to kick any addictions they have BEFORE they get pg. I have only to think of all the non-pg people I know who have tried to beat addictions and failed to understand why it’s not so simple.

    I am not absolving pg women who smoke or drink heavily, any more than I absolve my alcoholic father for never beating his addiction and ultimately orphaning his children as a result. But I understand that it’s not as simple as wanting to quit or loving your children. If it were, it would all be a lot simpler.

    My unpopular perspective. I sincerely hope that baby is okay. The babies are the innocents in all of this. So sad.

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  12. It’s hard for me to bite my tongue when I see a preggo woman smoking …. (if I saw her drink I would definitely say something, not caring whether or not she got offended). If they don’t care enough about their own body….you’d think they could care enough for the helpless little one inside them that has to be subjected to that. Apparently not though. I am thinking of the little one, but, in my opinion, a woman like that does not deserve to be called a mother. Maybe that sounds harsh….but I can’t imagine being so selfish that you can’t even quit smoking….yes, it’s an addiction, but that unborn baby doesn’t have a choice….and in a lot of cases, that mom could be killing her baby, or giving he/she health problems for the rest of their life. No excuse for it in my opinion. Hoping the baby is okay…keep us updated!!!

    Reply

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