Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Photo Credit: Dirty Bunny

I used to detest having blood drawn. By detest, I mean I had gotten to the point where I would insist on having not just a chair but an exam table or bed to lie down on before they'd get to jab my arm. I needed to look away and think about something else to get through it. Vaccines I didn't enjoy but they weren't a big deal like taking blood out was.

Let me tell you that the blood test I had for dengue fever a few years ago was horrible: they needed three or four vials of blood and I was pale and sweating and miserable. Though I suspect the nurse taking the blood felt pretty bad about it too. Or she was a good actor. At any rate, having blood drawn makes me very queasy.

My DH, on the other hand, enjoys watching blood being taken from his own or another person's arm. He also likes violent movies and foods I wouldn't normally eat (fried lung anyone?). When he was in the recovery room after some minor surgery last year, they invited me in to see him, and I think he sneezed a bit of blood. I helpfully almost fainted. They asked me to wait outside where I felt totally useless.

I noticed a change with the first blood test after getting pregnant: I was only... six or eight weeks along at that point, and pretty darn sure I was pregnant, so I was chatting away (reclining on the exam table, expecting to feel faint) with the nurse about how I was to be cat sitting over the holidays and would like to be tested for immunity to toxoplasmosis while they were doing the pregnancy test. I felt a bit off, but generally fine. I couldn't believe it when she said she was done and I insisted on waiting there for a few minutes so I wouldn't be on my feet when I started to feel like passing out.

It never happened.

Since then, I've had a multitude of blood tests, to test all kinds of things (hemoglobin, HIV antibodies, drugs - that might have been a urine test actually, blood sugar, etc). On the last one, I still looked away while he poked my arm, but then watched as he drew the blood out. No faint feeling at all.

I can't explain why the change has occured. I haven't had so many blood tests as to desensitize me, I don't think. I feel older or more mature or something, but I don't think that's it either.

Other than ending up with a baby - a baby! - I think this might be the coolest side effect of pregnancy ever. I'm not sure I'm going to start watching the violent movies with DH however.

Anyone else get over their fear of needles? Any good pregnancy side effects to share?


Melodie said...

I hate needles too. Always have. But I did find that as I had to get so many while pregnant that I got a bit desensitized to them. Not enough to like them, but I can tolerate them now. Still hate them though. And still, like you, think that I won't get through it, assuming I will get light-headed or feel faint. Always a bit weird that I don't. But I still can't watch. Not even a peek. Also, I still need to hold someone's hand. Last time it was my oldest daughter's hand. She was 2 1/2. I was grown up enough not to squeeze it though and she liked that I wanted to hold her hand.

CaroLyn said...

Ooh, that's so sweet. I bet she liked that. I hope this change lasts beyond pregnancy :)