Finding Out Pregnancy After First Trimester Has Passed

Updated on February 28, 2018
A.J. asks from Papineau, IL
15 answers

Hello everyone. This past Saturday I went to the ER with a terrible headache & found out I am about 13 weeks pregnant. Very shocking, I have 2 children who are 10 & 8 & found out very early on with them both so I'm so shocked I did not know! I don't smoke, or use recreational drugs, I drink a lot of water, I work in a physical therapy department so I do use a treadmill at least twice a week. I'm just very concerned about drinking I have done. I would have been pregnant over Christmas, New Years, and my birthday was just a couple weeks ago!! And occasionally a few drinks on weekends just because. I'm terrified. I had an ultrasound in the ER heartbeat was 167 & she said baby was very active. Has anyone else had this happen? Or can offer me some reassurance?

**edit: I feel I should clarify that I was NOT "careless" with birth control. For the last 2 years I have had the NEXPLANON IUD, which is used for up to 3 years. Because of the IUD I haven't had periods in almost 2 years, & this pregnancy is clearly exactly like my pregnancy with my son, because I've had no morning sickness, just tender breasts (which I chalked up to the birth control because even though I don't "bleed" around the same time every month I DO get period symptoms.) Had some fatigue but as a mom of 2 who are both in sports and working in PHYSICAL therapy full time & constantly moving, fatigue Is a normal part of my life. My husband and I definitely wanted more kids and planned to try after my 3 years were up with my IUD, which is just a year earlier Than we thought lol. So the pregnancy is very welcomed, just shocking considering everything! We are very stable in our relationship and financially so My only worry is finding out so late. I have read some positive things on here and some negative. And yes I am sexually active--I am married :) I asked for advice from mothers in similar situations or have been in similar situations. Thanks in advance :) oh and obviously the birth control was removed in the ER.

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So What Happened?

Thank you for the kind words & encouragement, everyone :) luckily I have thick skin so Judgy McJudgepants on here didn't upset me too much lol. It helped that she was an adoptive mother so really she has no idea how much daily the biological mother was drinking and what else she may have been doing, because like she said most mothers aren't completely truthful when it comes to drinking. I have an appointment tomorrow for a first trimester screening since I'm between 12-14 weeks so I'm hoping that will offer me a little more details & reassurance. The fact that I'm pretty healthy emotionally & physically is really giving me some comfort also. Thank you everybody!!

UPDATE: Just wanted to let everyone know I had my first it's trimester screening today, baby was still very active, exact same heart rate of 167, and ultrasound was NORMAL :) :) the spine, neck, and nasal bone were all perfect (which they use to check for trisomy 18, 7, & other chromosomal abnormalities :) I have another ultrasound at 20 weeks on April 9, & my doctor (who delivered my previous 2 & was my OB with them, said this looked like a fantastic pregnancy & everything looked great! Thank you everyone for the comfort and kind words!!

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answers from Portland on

This same thing happened with my good friend (although it was with her first) - she went through Christmas and NY's and was younger, and had been partying.

Her baby was absolutely fine. Is now a teenager and has done very well :) No complications whatsoever.

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answers from Miami on

About your update from the doctor's office - so nice to read this!

Please totally discount the one post on here from someone who has very personal issues with fetal alcohol syndrome. Your life has nothing to do with hers, and she's unfairly taking out her anger on you.

I assume that you have talked to your doctor about the holiday drinking. If the doctor feels that everything is okay, it probably is. Have a heart to heart talk with the doctor so that you can figure out if there is a hard decision that you may have to make. It could be that it's perfectly fine and that you are worrying for nothing.

It's actually helpful to read your post for people so that we know that an IUD doesn't always prevent pregnancy. That's quite a shock to me.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Reading on

ETA to military mom:

Yeah, you didn’t just give your side of the story. You ripped into her, calling her “clearly careless with her birth control” and acting as though she had been completely irresponsible with drinking. According to you even moderate drinking can be a danger, so by that logic no woman should drink ever because she always has a microscopic chance that she’s pregnant. And no, you may be the only one who gave a fetal alcohol syndrome story, But lots of people who had stories of drinking without fetal alcohol syndrome also chimed in. That is the other possibility for women who drink while pregnant. It is possible that they drink and don’t get fetal alcohol syndrome. It must be hard to understand when you’re that high on that high horse. Sorry you’ve had a hard time with your Littles, and you’re great for taking them and caring so much for them. But you were a jerk to her just now.And I’m a jerk to everyone, so if someone is worse than I am it’s got to be bad.

Whoa - you know it's bad if I think someone is too harsh! It's not like you were whoring or intentionally getting drunk! Good grief - this situation could happen to anyone.

Good luck. Mothers for generations smoked and drank while pregnant - sometimes because they didn't know any better and sometimes even on doctor's advice! Even when I was pregnant doctors were recommending a half glass of wine to relax. Not my doctor - I'd have fired her on the spot - but some. And my mother was advised to smoke while pregnant to keep her weight gain under 15 pounds. While pregnant. The vast majority of those babies are just fine. Some not, but most are. Only time will tell, and worry will cause you to have a more difficult pregnancy. So relax with the notion you've done the best you could with the information you had and will continue to do your best going forward. Good luck.

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answers from New York on

Congratulations'. In the old days they told you to drink wine to women that would get early contractions. Lots of people drink etc becausevtheybhad no idea. Try not to worry Fetal Alvohol Syndrome happens with heavy heavy drinking every day. Try to relax and enjoy your gift.

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answers from Boston on

I’m sorry you are going through this. I’m even sorrier that you have felt attacked for being careless with birth control, when in fact you have been totally responsible! No method is 100% effective, and it’s unrealistic to think that every woman who uses birth control has still abstained from alcohol for her entire childbearing years. As wrenching as raising a child with fetal alcohol syndrome clearly is, and as much as those parents deserve our compassion, it’s a very unlikely scenario and not something over which you should have extreme anxiety. There are many factors that affect fetal health, and you seem to have covered many of them very positively in terms of diet, exercise, and so on.

We can make ourselves crazy over all the other factors too – family history, genetic glitches, environmental toxins and pollutants, and so on. By that logic, none of us should have had our kids after 35, and should punish ourselves for every potato chip, piece of bacon, or fish dinner that might have mercury in it. You can’t do that to yourself.

It would be good for you to talk to your doctor and perhaps to a counselor, and decide what you would do if you hadn’t had these drinks – with 2 older kids, do you want another child? If you aren’t sure, get some help to resolve your doubts.

Hang in there. You sound like a strong and intelligent woman, and I’m sure you can manage with good help and an understanding listener. Good luck to you.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

because you're very healthy overall i think the terror is more detrimental to the baby than the drinks. how severe was your holiday drinking? if you didn't get to blackouts you're almost certainly fine.

there are never any guarantees, but stressing about something that can't be fixed is a pity.

after all, a beer a day used to be the medical standard for pregnant and nursing women.

the best good news indicator is that the checkup showed such strongly positive signs.

i think you need to let go of the toxic fears and relax and enjoy your surprise pregnancy.

ETA i'm sorry you got torn into. FAS isn't something that happens because you had too many NYE and birthday drinks, it happens when someone drinks to sodden excess on a daily basis.

i've never been much of a drinker, but i was a heavy cigarette and occasional weed smoker when i got pregnant with my first, and didn't know it until i was almost through my first trimester. he was born healthier than my 2nd who was planned, and i was an angel through his entire pregnancy!

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answers from Norfolk on

You didn't plan this.
You're not an alcoholic.
It's water under the bridge at this point and you'll just have to hope for the best.

Another responder seems to be very angry.
I've got a better one for her.
I once knew a woman who deliberately smoked through all her pregnancies because it kept the babies 'nice and small'.
You know - like low birth weight is something to be avoided - and here she was deliberately trying for that precise effect.
I'm sorry but just the thought of it makes me shake my head in disbelief even after all these years.

Having a few drinks (and I mean a few - not instances where you get falling down barfing passing out drunk) when you thought you could not get pregnant - is not a deliberate thing.
Cut yourself some slack and just do the best you can from this point on.
If you are really done with having more babies then get your tubes cut when this next baby is born - your husband can get a vasectomy now - and you both won't have to worry so much about birth control failing again.

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answers from Springfield on

Birth control is not 100%, so don't beat yourself up because you were one of the 1% whose birth control failed. You know now, and you are going to do everything you can to have a healthy pregnancy.

If I remember correctly (and it's been many years since I would have really paid attention to this), the challenge doctors have with alcohol during pregnancy is that they are not sure how much is too much, and they are not certain exactly when during the pregnancy the alcohol would be a danger.

It's really difficult to live with the uncertainty, but there's really not a whole lot you can do about it. Definitely talk to your OB about it (I'm sure that's what you were planning to do, anyway). Maybe someone else has been in your shoes and will give you better information.

In the meantime, congratulations on your little surprise!!!

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answers from Washington DC on

Welcome to mamapedia.

Talk with your OB/GYN and see what he/she says.

My girlfriend drank A LOT her first few weeks of her pregnancy. And smoked too. Her daughter is now 30 years old, happy, healthy and married with a child of her own.

Don't freak out. Just breathe and talk with the doctor. If they said at the ER that baby was fine and active. You got your reassurance right there.

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answers from Dallas on

When I found out I was pregnant with my oldest at 21, I drank regularly (5+ days a week) and smoked almost a pack of cigarettes a day. I found out I was expecting at about 8 weeks as I was VERY sick. I stopped drinking and cut down and eventfully quit smoking. I had a difficult pregnancy but that was not due to my alcohol consumption before I knew. You can't go back and change anything all you can do is change what you do from here on out. My son is a very health, very inelegant 19 year old college student with an extremely bright future ahead of him. Don't beat yourself up. Take care of yourself and go to the OB and be honest with them. If they feel tests are needed they will do them.

Good luck!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

Wow - congrats!! That must have been a big shock. I always knew pretty quickly because of the horrible nausea that started right away and lasted 8 months. yuck. I hope that everything ends up being ok and no problem for you and your baby...I think chances are high everything will be ok. I will be thinking of you and keeping my fingers crossed. My son was hyper hyper active in the hyper I thought for sure there was going to be something wrong with him. Again, I hope all ends up 100% fine.

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answers from Houston on

Congratulations! What a wonderful surprise!!! Talk with your OB/GYN about your concerns.

As for that one post, making general assumptions about birth control is something I would disregard.

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answers from New York on

i was about 8 weeks when i found out about my second child. and i know for certain i had gotten drunk at least once and i love a glass of wine at bedtime.. so i drank for 2 months before i knew i was pregnant... i have a healthy happy 5 year old. from a completely uncomplicated pregnancy. zero issues at birth.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Women drank alcohol for centuries before we found out it could have an effect on the fetus. Please don't worry about this. Truthfully your baby has a very very low risk of anything happening from it. If you were an alcoholic and drank every single day I imagine that risk would go up drastically but for just a couple of random drinks on the holidays I wouldn't worry at all.

Congratulations on the baby!!

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answers from New York on

ETA: Poster asked for advice from mothers in similar situations. However, because I didn't give the "and we all lived happily every after" story - my advice is discounted. Additionally, the poster didn't state anything about the use of birth control in her original post, so my references to being careless about birth control were totally founded when I posted.

I stand by what I said. The poster knows there is a risk - otherwise she wouldn't have asked the question to begin with. Do some folks drink without consequence to their unborn child? I guess so - again, you can't turn back the clock to see what your child would have been like with zero exposure, so no one can truly answer that question. I didn't see anyone else who IS raising FAS kids chime in - so clearly my side will be in the minority, but it doesn't make it wrong, or even mean - FAS is one of the few disabilities that is literally 100% PREVENTABLE. To point out that drinking during pregnancy puts unborn children at risk is a fact. THERE IS NO KNOWN SAFE AMOUNT OR TIME TO DRINK DURING PREGNANCY. This information comes from doctors of all walks of life, not just my personal "opinion" because I have some axe to grind.


As an adoptive mother raising 3 children with varying degrees of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, I have no reassurance to offer you - only anger. You are a sexually active person who was clearly careless about her birth control and your child will be the one to pay the price.

Although alcohol consumption during any part of a pregnancy can cause issues, the most damage done is during the first 3 months of pregnancy. It is not likely that this will be something that can be screened for during the pregnancy itself - as many of the manifestations of FAS will not show up in testing/sonogram/etc. Sadly, many children out there suffer from FAS (or FASD or P-FAS) - but they go undiagnosed because the mother is too vain and selfish to admit to a doctor that she drank during her pregnancy. I mean, if your child shows some of the symptoms when he or she is let's say 5, are you going to tell the school and your child's pediatrician that you drank during your first trimester? Unlikely . . .

I'm sure you will get lots of "oh I drank (or my friend, or my sister, or my cousin, or my neighbor) and MY kid is just FINE." How can you know that? You can't turn back the clock to see what your child's potential would have been had you NOT drank during your pregnancy. Some of the symptoms of FAS are quite subtle and often mistaken for other issues or blamed on other things.

So, no, I cannot offer you reassurance . . . I can tell you that my children have suffered greatly from a disorder that is 100% preventable. One is doing "ok" - the FAS is subtle and he will likely live a "normal" life, other than things are just often harder for him in general. One lives at home with us - he is going to be 19 this year, but will never truly be older than 8. He suffers from both mental and physical effects of the FAS. He will move to a group home when he is older and needs lifelong assistance. He was not diagnosed as FAS until he was 7. One is in a facility with round the clock care and is severely affected mentally and emotionally. Although he is developmentally disabled, he tested "bright" at age 4 and was not diagnosed with FAS until his early teens.

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