This is a letter the NineZero Team received from a mother:
“Well, let’s see. Where can I begin? Perhaps the best place to start is when I decided to celebrate the Christmas holidays with my family and friends: exchanging gifts, over eating, singing carols, and partaking in holiday cheer. The eggnog with brandy was the bow that topped off the perfect present. I was in full swing with everyone- but not everyone was pregnant. I made the decision to do everything that everyone else was doing despite my condition. ‘Tis the season’, I kept reminding myself.
What they don’t know won’t hurt them.
But, the very one it was hurting knew exactly what I was doing because he was doing it with me. What makes this story not so cheery is not just that my son is currently exhibiting aggressive behavior, taking medication for mood disorder, attention deficit disorder, and depression, and fighting to get through each day, but I knew what could happen if I drank during pregnancy.
And I chose it anyway.
What leaves this story less jolly is that I did it again during my second pregnancy and now the same behaviors are mirrored in my youngest son. And he has upped the ante with oppositional defiant disorder. I only drank during the holidays with both my beautiful summer babies, but it only takes a little to do a lot of damage.
I mean, I have seen the commercials and ads – did I really think I was exempt from harming my children?
Well, of course.
Isn’t that why you’re still drinking while your carrying that precious little bundle?If I have gone through this only to reach out to others, to keep mothers from doing the same thing, then I accept my decisions and my destiny.
And so I encourage all mothers to practice nine months, zero alcohol. It’s only a short time and you’ll have so much more to celebrate after wards; because everyday is a holiday being a mother of a mentally and physically healthy child.”
The mother’s honesty is heartbreaking and the lives of her boys will never be the same.
That is why we seek to engage youth and remind them that there is no safe time and no safe amount. It is sad to learn from the lives of others, but we are grateful for this mother’s honesty.