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#31 of 46 Old 03-14-2013, 03:14 PM
 
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OP I would be looking for a new doctor if you don't feel comfortable. I too was one of those people that had a HUGE drinking night (work christmas party) a few days before finding out I was pregnant. And my daughter is healthy :)

I do think you need to listen to what the previous posters have said about the fact that while the due date things put you at "4 weeks" pregnant, you have to remember that the first two weeks are before you have even ovulated and then it could take another few days from the time of conceiving until implantation actually occurs. So most likely your baby was less than two weeks old at the time. I don't believe the placenta is even formed until a couple weeks after implantation and that's the only way alcohol would be able to get to the baby, otherwise like another poster said it's being fed by the yolk sack. 

 

I know people who have drank their entire pregnancy and been fine and I also know kids close in our family (adopted) who have FAS. Those babies were exposed to alcohol throughout their entire pregnancy. And you know what? They are awesome and amazing and smart and caring kids. You honestly wouldn't know they had an issue.

 

I honestly and wondering if there is something else going on OP? Everyone on this thread is reassuring you that everything will be fine and yet it doesn't seem like the help you were looking for. 

How are you feeling about the pregnancy? Were you guys trying to get pregnant? What other support do you have in real life? Can you go see a counselor outside of AA to talk to about dealing with your "control" feelings? Is there another Dr you can see?

I am one that always feels I need to be in control as well and honestly when it comes to pregnancy, babies, toddlers and kids you lose a certain amount of control. I think this may be something you could work on now and benefit from.


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#32 of 46 Old 03-14-2013, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OP I would be looking for a new doctor if you don't feel comfortable. I too was one of those people that had a HUGE drinking night (work christmas party) a few days before finding out I was pregnant. And my daughter is healthy :)

I do think you need to listen to what the previous posters have said about the fact that while the due date things put you at "4 weeks" pregnant, you have to remember that the first two weeks are before you have even ovulated and then it could take another few days from the time of conceiving until implantation actually occurs. So most likely your baby was less than two weeks old at the time. I don't believe the placenta is even formed until a couple weeks after implantation and that's the only way alcohol would be able to get to the baby, otherwise like another poster said it's being fed by the yolk sack. 

 

I know people who have drank their entire pregnancy and been fine and I also know kids close in our family (adopted) who have FAS. Those babies were exposed to alcohol throughout their entire pregnancy. And you know what? They are awesome and amazing and smart and caring kids. You honestly wouldn't know they had an issue.

 

I honestly and wondering if there is something else going on OP? Everyone on this thread is reassuring you that everything will be fine and yet it doesn't seem like the help you were looking for. 

How are you feeling about the pregnancy? Were you guys trying to get pregnant? What other support do you have in real life? Can you go see a counselor outside of AA to talk to about dealing with your "control" feelings? Is there another Dr you can see?

I am one that always feels I need to be in control as well and honestly when it comes to pregnancy, babies, toddlers and kids you lose a certain amount of control. I think this may be something you could work on now and benefit from.

The bigger picture is that I am just really scared, and I cannot shake it.  I think it has to do with the doctor being so negative.  From what I've heard, this is a common problem.  You live life thinking you're not pregnant, and then bam, suddenly every mistake you made in those few weeks before then come back to haunt you, maybe for the rest of your life.

 

It would have been one thing if the doctor said "the chances of your child having FAS are low, although there is a chance."  What he said instead is that he cannot quantify the risk but that we might still be okay.  That's really scary, to me.  If I could even get a "you're 60-percent likely to be okay," that would have been helpful.  Instead, it's just a total question mark as to whether our child will have a severe disability or not.

 

I ABSOLUTELY crave control over this situation.  I would love to get pregnant again and NOT have anything to drink.  I was also not taking prenatal vitamins until I found out I was pregnant.  We are probably only going to have one child ever, and it scares me to think that our child could have a serious disability because of what I did, solely.

 

I know that there is always a risk that a child will be born with birth defects, but I still question whether this is a risk that I can live with for the rest of my life.

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#33 of 46 Old 03-14-2013, 04:56 PM
 
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I hear you I do...

Can you find another doctor and can you see a counselor to deal with your anixiety over this and the control things.

I'm not a doctor but I'd be willing to say you have more than a 60% chance your baby will be fine. You are right there is no absolutes. You are going to screw up as a parent even when at the time you feel you are making the right choices. I completely understand the need for control, however nothing in parenting, pregnancy or birth can be controlled. We can prepare ourselves to try for the best possible outcomes but it doesn't happen.

I really think you need to consider a new doctor and to see a counselor for the anxiety/control feelings OP. The stress you are feeling is probably going to be worse on your body than the weekend of alcohol you had.

I get you want to control this situation and you are stressing out about what the doctor said... But you asked for help here, what help is it you are looking for?

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#34 of 46 Old 03-14-2013, 04:57 PM
 
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I hear you I do...

Can you find another doctor and can you see a counselor to deal with your anixiety over this and the control things.

I'm not a doctor but I'd be willing to say you have more than a 60% chance your baby will be fine. You are right there is no absolutes. You are going to screw up as a parent even when at the time you feel you are making the right choices. I completely understand the need for control, however nothing in parenting, pregnancy or birth can be controlled. We can prepare ourselves to try for the best possible outcomes but it doesn't happen.

I really think you need to consider a new doctor and to see a counselor for the anxiety/control feelings OP. The stress you are feeling is probably going to be worse on your body than the weekend of alcohol you had.

I get you want to control this situation and you are stressing out about what the doctor said... But you asked for help here, what help is it you are looking for?

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#35 of 46 Old 03-14-2013, 05:27 PM
 
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I think you've come a long way in this thread.  You are really exploring what is making you so scared.  Good for you!  

 

What I'm hearing is that you are scared because:

1) All of a sudden you find out that you have a surprise pregnancy.

2) Not only are you pregnant, but your vice of drinking heavily has finally had a potential consequence

3) You aren't sure if you are ready to be a mom

 

Is that right?   If so, here a few things to think about on each issue:

 

1) It's okay to be surprised and scared.  Sometimes life feels out of control.  We've all been there.  At some point the surprise and "freaked out" feeling will go away.  50% of pregnancies are surprises.  I personally think that God created our lives so we aren't in total control.  That way we know that there's a power bigger than us. 

 

2) Your surprise is filled with terror as you think of all the selfish things you've done not knowing you were pregnant.  No wonder you are terrorized by this.  That's a natural feeling too.  What if your baby is delayed in some way?  Not something that a first time mom knows how to deal with.  It's also exaggerated by your anxiety.  Then your Dr chooses his words the worst way possible.  Oy, it's the perfect storm!  Know that so many women here have had severe binges before they knew they were pregnant.  You are not alone in this.

 

3) When you get a baby before having the chance to process if you even want to try, it can make you step back and think.  You didn't have time to be ready.  It's okay.  So many new moms feel scared.

 

So I hear when you say that you ABSOLUTELY crave control.  You are freaked out!  You feel stuck in this pregnancy thinking of all the horrible outcomes. 

 

Maybe we should explore your worst fear.  Let's assume your baby is formed with severe developmental delays.  Is you life over?  For a first time mom, it would probably feel that way.  You've never raised a kid, and now you have one that is way more work.  What are your options?  1) If you are totally overwhelmed you can give the baby up for adoption.  No one would judge you for choosing the best for your child.  You can tell everyone that your anxiety is such that you cannot handle this.  2) You learn as you go.  At first your baby will want to eat, sleep, and be held.  His/her needs will be pretty basic just like all other babies at first.  As you would find out more about the delays you would educate yourself and put him in the therapy that he needs.

 

I think your baby will be fine!  But I just wanted to take you there so you can see what your options are if the worst happens.  Maybe facing your fears has helped? 
 

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#36 of 46 Old 03-14-2013, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hear you I do...

Can you find another doctor and can you see a counselor to deal with your anixiety over this and the control things.

I'm not a doctor but I'd be willing to say you have more than a 60% chance your baby will be fine. You are right there is no absolutes. You are going to screw up as a parent even when at the time you feel you are making the right choices. I completely understand the need for control, however nothing in parenting, pregnancy or birth can be controlled. We can prepare ourselves to try for the best possible outcomes but it doesn't happen.

I really think you need to consider a new doctor and to see a counselor for the anxiety/control feelings OP. The stress you are feeling is probably going to be worse on your body than the weekend of alcohol you had.

I get you want to control this situation and you are stressing out about what the doctor said... But you asked for help here, what help is it you are looking for?

I am seeing a therapist, but she recommended that I take anti-anxiety medication, which has its own risks for the health of the child.  I'm not willing to do that.  I really just want to find out if other moms drank as much as I did and what their outcomes were.  I feel like I need hope more than anything at this point, but hope based on real stories about women who really did what I did and decided to keep going with the pregnancy anyway.

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#37 of 46 Old 03-14-2013, 05:34 PM
 
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So just for refresher and curiosity sake... I went and did some research.

Alcohol cannot cross into the yolk sac. The yolk sac primarily works until 6 weeks of gestational age at which time a primitive placenta is starting to take over. The placenta takes over completely from what I can gather any time between 6-9 weeks gestational age.

Alcohol CAN pass the placenta, however you say you quit drinking at 4 weeks 3 days. Therefore no need to worry about the alcohol crossing the placenta, baby should still be supplied by the yolk sac.

Also I tried finding the same findings you did on the gestation time frame and everything I can find is saying in weeks 4-8 AFTER CONCEPTION. Which would make a mother 6-10 weeks pregnant (remember conception usually happens 2-3 weeks after the start of your period) and fitting the timeline of when the placenta starts to take over from the yolk sac.
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#38 of 46 Old 03-14-2013, 05:43 PM
 
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I really just want to find out if other moms drank as much as I did and what their outcomes were.  I feel like I need hope more than anything at this point, but hope based on real stories about women who really did what I did and decided to keep going with the pregnancy anyway.
I get that...

And it looks like you have gotten a lot of people saying they had heavy drinking (or worse) before knowing they were pregnant and their child is fine.

I am really sorry your doctor has scared you so bad. That is not ok. I am glad you are seeing a therapist, and I totally understand you not wanting to take anti anxiety meds. I wouldn't either greensad.gif I still say you should find a new prgnancy doctor however. One that will support the whole you including your need to be heard.

FWIW not only did I have a large drinking binge but I had a really stressful two months after I found out I was pregnant (no emotional support), I was on hormonal birth control and hadn't taken any vitamins since I was a young child. My child does NOT have FAS or FAE or similar. She's happy and healthy.

She DOES have a very slight learning disability however we've discovered that it is 99% probable it is hereditary. She could have gone her whole life without being diagnosed with this but she just has a kick ass and attentive mom wink1.gif even my husband didn't think there was anything wrong. But it was definitely not related to my HEAVY night of drinking...

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#39 of 46 Old 03-14-2013, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I get that...

And it looks like you have gotten a lot of people saying they had heavy drinking (or worse) before knowing they were pregnant and their child is fine.

I am really sorry your doctor has scared you so bad. That is not ok. I am glad you are seeing a therapist, and I totally understand you not wanting to take anti anxiety meds. I wouldn't either greensad.gif I still say you should find a new prgnancy doctor however. One that will support the whole you including your need to be heard.

FWIW not only did I have a large drinking binge but I had a really stressful two months after I found out I was pregnant (no emotional support), I was on hormonal birth control and hadn't taken any vitamins since I was a young child. My child does NOT have FAS or FAE or similar. She's happy and healthy.

She DOES have a very slight learning disability however we've discovered that it is 99% probable it is hereditary. She could have gone her whole life without being diagnosed with this but she just has a kick ass and attentive mom wink1.gif even my husband didn't think there was anything wrong. But it was definitely not related to my HEAVY night of drinking...

If this is too personal, please let me know. . .but how far along were you when you had your drinking binge? Were you at 4 weeks like me, right at the missed period point, or were you earlier?

 

I'm glad that your daughter is happy and healthy.  It sounds like she is absolutely amazing.

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#40 of 46 Old 03-14-2013, 06:47 PM
 
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If this is too personal, please let me know. . .but how far along were you when you had your drinking binge? Were you at 4 weeks like me, right at the missed period point, or were you earlier?

I'm glad that your daughter is happy and healthy.  It sounds like she is absolutely amazing.

Yep it was my work Christmas party... My BF (now husband) was with me and I am pretty sure I was "double fisting" double Long Island ice teas all night... So large amount of alcohol in every drink. My cycles were average 28-32 days at the time and I found out the next night or the night after...

Oh and right around the time we would have conceived I was also out partying with my friend for her birthday. She swears "that" was the night... wink1.gif

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#41 of 46 Old 03-14-2013, 11:39 PM
 
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Your doctor has horrible bedside manners and sounds ignorant of the facts. There is a biolgical "grace period" at the beginning of pregnancy and the odds that you caused harm with one night of binge drinking at four weeks in is incredibly small. Its irresponsible of your doctor to frame the situation in such a way that it feels like a risk worth losing sleep over and I would also be looking for a a new care provider.

I didn't know with my first until well into week 6 or 7 and every day leading up to that discovery of pregnancy i was drinking 3 to 5 drinks. I was freaked but my son turned out perfectly fine. Above average intelligence.
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Your doctor has horrible bedside manners and sounds ignorant of the facts. There is a biolgical "grace period" at the beginning of pregnancy and the odds that you caused harm with one night of binge drinking at four weeks in is incredibly small. Its irresponsible of your doctor to frame the situation in such a way that it feels like a risk worth losing sleep over and I would also be looking for a a new care provider.

 

Really, this.


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#43 of 46 Old 03-15-2013, 06:02 AM
 
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I'd like to revisit what the doctor said in the hope that it helps. You said he said "he cannot quantify the risk but that we might still be okay." There is nothing "extra" in this statement than what you already know. It is 100% true that medical knowledge is not at a state of being able to calculate a probability for fetal alcohol damage during early pregnancy. Most of the data regard women who drink, excessively or not, throughout their pregnancy. In terms of medical research, these are the easier ones to find and study. They can track them either prospectively or retrospectively and calculate risk for having fetal alcohol syndrome. Women in your category are much harder to find and so the data probably do not exist or are weak. The other issue, that I mentioned earlier, is that women who have a binge during this time may "miscarry" and no one - including the woman - ever know they are pregnant because it happens very close to the time they should have their period. So although the way he said it ended up not being comforting, the basic facts are that no one knows. It could be a possibility---one that there is no science to rule out---but it could also not be a possibility.The other confounding factor is that many health problems are not "caused" by a single factor, but many. When we say that such and such causes  X disease or syndrome, there are usually other (more confounding) factors involved. If something were to have happened, it would probably be a combination of the binge drinking episode, genetics (from both parents), and a small nutrient deficiency. (I am just making this up.)  But as a fellow mother, and member of the worrying club myself, you've got to find relief in the fact that you only control a small % of that scenario. None of us are perfect.

 

We can't ever perfectly plan our actions for every conceivable outcome. (heh-heh.) Please, please give yourself a break and don't resist this fact of life but accept it for what it is. We all must. I truly believe your baby will be free of any major health problems that could have been prevented by your not drinking. If there are other (minor) problems, like a learning disability, this single act probably didn't "cause" it. Sometime later you will realize that part of the path of becoming a mother means learning how to accept the problems of others with compassion and moreover, to accept yourself as well. As someone prone to perfectionism and anxiety like you seem to be, this was the greatest gift. I am not sure I could have learned it without becoming a mother. Now that I am expecting another baby, I am not that worried about problems (big or small) that might be on the horizon with the next one. (Obviously, I don't want there to be any problems. But I am not actively worrying about them.) I have accepted that this is part of the gift of life for both me and my child. Truly, everything is going to be alright. 

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I am also not usually a big drinker but when I was pregnant with my now 3 year old perfect and beautiful son my husband and I went away for a weekend to visit friends and I drank more that weekend than I had probably had to drink in the entire month before combined.  I was totally drunk two nights in a row.  I didn't have even an inkling that I was pregnant until the week after when my period didn't show.   I also have 30-31 day cycles (in fact, my last period this time around was January 4th and was expected around Feb 4th) so I was probably at about the same point in my pregnancy that time.  Actually now I suspect that my Luteal Phase is very long (like 20 days) so I was actually probably about a week farther into my pregnancy than you.   I panicked at first too but reading other women's stories of the same really helped calm me down.  It also helped to think about my grandmother drinking and smoking through every one of her 8 pregnancies.  Not ideal obviously, but it definitely made me put my one bad weekend into perspective.   Like I said, there is no FAS in sight here, he is perfect.  I really do agree with the previous posters that the issue is more about sustained heavy drinking throughout pregnancy than a weekend binge in those early weeks.


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Your doctor has horrible bedside manners and sounds ignorant of the facts. There is a biolgical "grace period" at the beginning of pregnancy and the odds that you caused harm with one night of binge drinking at four weeks in is incredibly small. Its irresponsible of your doctor to frame the situation in such a way that it feels like a risk worth losing sleep over and I would also be looking for a a new care provider.

 

I agree 100%.  Find a new doctor.

 

OP - I drank alcohol on vacation prior to finding out I was pregnant at 4 weeks.  My anxiety over any potential harm put me over the edge.  My OB said it was completely fine.  Further, he said FAS occurs not from a couple of nights of partying but from serious, hardcore chronic (as in many drinks daily over an entire pregnancy) consumption.  Our child is completely fine, I wasted all that worry :)


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#46 of 46 Old 03-15-2013, 08:08 AM
 
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We can't ever perfectly plan our actions for every conceivable outcome. (heh-heh.) Please, please give yourself a break and don't resist this fact of life but accept it for what it is. We all must. I truly believe your baby will be free of any major health problems that could have been prevented by your not drinking. If there are other (minor) problems, like a learning disability, this single act probably didn't "cause" it. Sometime later you will realize that part of the path of becoming a mother means learning how to accept the problems of others with compassion and moreover, to accept yourself as well. As someone prone to perfectionism and anxiety like you seem to be, this was the greatest gift. I am not sure I could have learned it without becoming a mother. Now that I am expecting another baby, I am not that worried about problems (big or small) that might be on the horizon with the next one. (Obviously, I don't want there to be any problems. But I am not actively worrying about them.) I have accepted that this is part of the gift of life for both me and my child. Truly, everything is going to be alright. 

 

This is beautiful.  It is hard to give over control, it's hard to not try to micromanage every aspect you think that you can to try to make everything "right" (I speak from experience)...but as a friend of many women who have done everything (and I mean everything) "right" and still had unexpected outcomes, coming to realize that we really *aren't* in control is humbling, and actually....healing.  

 

My big lightbulb was after my second was born.  My firstborn was calm, happy, social, independent from the get go.  And I thought it was because of the way I parented him.  My second born dropped me to my knees with humility because of her intensity and high needs, and separation anxiety...same parenting, different kid, different outcome.  It was difficult to give up the way I envisioned parenting and start to actually parent the kids the way they needed to be parented, meeting them where they were instead of where I wanted us to be.  But again - humbling, and healing. This does not mean you don't take care or give up trying to influence things...it just means you don't let those things that you can no longer control, control you. 

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