The Best Half a Beer Ever

Not to sound like an alcoholic or anything, but drinking was a big part of my pre-pregnancy life. Sure, I thought I was cool when I started drinking microbrews in college, but it wasn’t until I met my husband that I truly got into the whole foodie thing. When we have friends over for a casual dinner, we have multiple wine glasses on the table and usually open at least a bottle per person. When we have a formal dinner party, it’s a 10 course ordeal where everyone is assigned a course following the classical French style and brings a beverage to pair with their offering (I made marrow bones with homemade bread for the aperitif at last one and served a fino sherry, my husband made oyster mornay topped with caviar and I believe paired a vintage champagne as the fish course). When we talk about where we want to vacation next, we debate Alsace-Champagne-Burgundy vs. Piedmont Italy. We even bring wine when we go out to the movies – and stemware.

This is a habit I’m happy to have picked up. I’m just as likely to order a cognac as dessert when out to eat. I like my bourbon on the rocks and my scotch neat. And it seems unnatural to survey one’s hard labor in the yard without a beer in hand. So as you can imagine, it was a huge shift (both personally and socially) to stop drinking when I found out I was pregnant.

And I’ve been good about it. Not a nun, but good. I didn’t even have a sip my first trimester. By month four, I would occasionally take a small taste from my husband’s glass if the wine was particularly remarkable and one night, with the opening of 1997 Barolo, I even indulged in a whole quarter glass (maybe a shot glass worth of wine that I savored for almost a half hour). But otherwise, I abstained with very little effort, always telling myself that if I wanted to have a drink (as in just one), I could have one.

Now that I am solidly in month five, I allowed myself a half bottle of beer last night and it was wonderful! I paired my sips with a can of club soda to dilute the alcohol, for good measure, but I am most happy to report that not only was it absolutely delightful to sit with my neighbor and share a beer, I didn’t feel guilty afterwards. I was still being responsible, still following all the rules my doctor (and other doctors and recently pregnant women I talk to) told me, but I didn’t let the paranoid pregnant lady in me get the better of me – either making me feel guilty for wanting a beer or for indulging myself within reason. And that makes me happy.

And despite my foodie snob preamble, what did I go for as my indulgence? Dos Equis. And it was perfect.

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