Despite the numerous bar trays dotted around my house, James and I might have had a G&T after work on Friday but on the whole, we never really drank at home. On the flip side though we really enjoyed drinking socially; any party, catch-up, mid-week supper used to be accompanied by a variety of tipples. Namely a few glasses of wine or prosecco for me, beers for him and maybe a gin for good measure.
I did reduce my alcohol consumption when I was trying to conceive but it wasn’t until the end of last year that I gave up alcohol completely. In September we had a wedding in Italy and other than a couple of sips of prosecco to toast the bride and groom I stayed clear of the alcohol for my first round of IVF. After our first cycle ended in heartbreak, our consultant noted we both had healthy diets and avoided caffeine so advised we BOTH go teetotal before starting again. With Christmas just around the corner the timing was impeccable. To be honest it was fine for me as I had hoped to be pregnant but for James that meant no festive Drambuies.
There was probably one week between IVF cycle one and two where I felt physically ‘normal’. Those drugs do take a toll on the body and so I’ve asked James for his input on the situation to provide a less biased view of what happened when we gave up alcohol.
Physically Feeling Better
This wasn’t the case for me (due to the above) but James actually started to sleep far better once he broke his caffeine habit and even more so when he was no longer on the beers. I noticed his skin was considerably clearer and generally he seemed to have far more energy when he was caffeine and alcohol-free. Ditching the booze also means it’s easier to avoid the Sunday morning fry-up situations and so our diet became even healthier as a result. Obviously the most noteable result of giving up alcohol was it’s likely contribution to the positive outcome of the second IVF cycle.
I’ve Become Far More Observant
I do enjoy the carefree feeling after a couple of drinks but I’m probably not the best drunk. I’m pretty sure I’m the annoying repetitive, slurry one that everyone’s rolling their eyes at. I’m not the teary one though thankfully but I am a complete lightweight.
It’s made me very observant about the amount that people around me knock back. (Let’s just say it’s a lot!) I’m really trying to reign in how vocal I am about it as there’s nothing more irritating than the sober one sticking their two-pennyworth in. I have to respect the fact that not everyone wants to give up booze.
People Don’t Really Notice
The last thing I wanted was for anyone to think I was pregnant when I couldn’t have been further from it. We went out for a big Christmas do with all our friends and I was paranoid that it would be noted I wasn’t permanently glugging from a prosecco flute. I confided in a few of the girls as to why I wasn’t drinking and their response was that they hadn’t even noticed. I think as long as you don’t cut short the evening and are still up for a good time then it shouldn’t impact anyone else around you.
James went on a skiing trip in January and although he had a few beers it was nothing like the shot-laden trips he’d had before. His take on it was it was the best skiing holiday he’d ever been on and he can remember ALL the stories of what the rest of the drunken crowd got up to which previously he may have had very hazy memories of.
Weekends Are A Lot Longer
Aren’t there a lot more hours in the day when you don’t have a hangover?! Before the morning sickness took hold I was up with the lark doing ParkRun on a Saturday morning and was extremely smug on a Sunday getting all my chores done with my newly acquired hours. I’m obviously saving money by no longer buying prosecco. I’d love to say I’m saving but I’ve managed to spend elsewhere!
It’s A Pain To Decide What To Drink
I’ve never been a fan of fizzy drinks and I find all these zero percent alcohol-free wines and beers are just filled with processed crap and sugar that I’m not entirely convinced are much healthier than their counterparts. (Please do correct me here though. I would absolutely love to add some more soft drinks to my repertoire). When we went to a gin bar to celebrate Mother’s Day I orders a Seedilp and Tonic which was very pleasant but mostly I just stick to sparkling water. Drinking this all evening is very dull.
I know some people enjoy a glass of vino every so often when they’re pregnant but as I gave it up to conceive it seems very odd to start again now I’m growing a human. Will I go back to drinking alcohol when I’m no longer pregnant? That’s the million dollar question. I would like to think I’ll never go back to drinking as much as I did socially. Who am I trying to kid? Let’s face it I’m not going to have the social life I used to!
Has anyone given up alcohol? Did anything surprising happen to you when you ditched the booze?
Image by We Are The Clarkes