life

Needles, Fear and Pregnancy

As many of my real life friends and family know, I have this immense fear of needles.  I really am not sure why and you would think that by the time I was 35 years old that fear would have lessened or even went away all together.  But it hasn’t and honestly at times it is worse than other times.  I am not sure what it is that makes it so but thats the way it is.

So you would also think that by my 4th pregnancy that having blood drawn and getting shots would be in the bag.  But no, everytime it goes to happen my heart starts to beat a little faster, my palms get a little sweaty and I start to breath a little harder.  Usually I can take the “little pinch” without making a sound but many times little gasps or and ouch slips out.  And most of the time, the tech is quick to ask if I am ok and even apologize.  a lot of the times, I don’t even watch because that seems to make it worse.

I can hardly stand to watch my children get their shots or have to give blood either.  This past week at my kiddos check-ups they both had to get blood drawn.  Sarai was a real trooper and even watched them get everything ready and take the blood, asking questions during the whole procedure about why they did certain things and what it was for.  It was a way different story for Micah.  Since they were doing it in the office and he is at the age where he isn’t going to hold still, they try and play a little game and pretend they are wrapping him up like a burrito.  Well that worked for all of, oh lets see, 5 seconds! If that!  So then I have to help hold him down because man for a 3 year old he is strong!  And it was made worse by the fact that the first time the did it the vein blew so they had to unwrap him and then rewrap him so they could use the other arm.  It was very traumatizing for me and him of course.  And i couldn’t help but think maybe this is why I hate needles so much!  I pray that he doesn’t develop this fear because of this experience!

So what do needles have to do with my pregnancy? A LOT!  Since the beginning, I have had to get 2 shots per day of Heparin.  Seems I have a problem with my blood clotting to readily during pregnancies, which could lead to early term miscarriages and premature labor.  So 2 daily doses of Heparin it was for me, starting at 8 weeks I think it was and lasting until the doctor tells me to stop, which I am thinking would be soon but really have no clue.  However, please don’t tell my doctor but I haven’t had a Heparin shot in about 2 weeks! Opps. Honestly, things got busy and hectic and since Josh has to give them to me, we got out of the habit and routine.  And never got back into it.  And yes you read that correctly, my husband has to give them to me.  I can not make myself give me the shot, I totally freak out if I try.  And believe me I tried, because it would be so much easier if I could.  My husband doesn’t like spending his lunch break driving 30 minutes round trip to come back home just to give me a 2 second shot!  It makes him grumpy.  Especially after he spends about 30 minutes on the phone with crying, apolopizing wife trying to encourage her that she can do it.  Yeah, not a good day that one!

I know, you are going to think I am crazy when I tell you that the shots don’t really hurt.  So whats the problem? I have no clue! Well, not anymore.  See we started out doing them in my belly and believe me that was agonizing!  It hurt so bad and was leaving me bruised like crazy.  I missed several because I was so sore all the time.  Finally my doctor convinced me to try them in my thighs and while it still bruised massively and also left me with huge welts, it didn’t hurt as bad.  So things got a little better.  Although I would joke with my hubby and tell him if anyone ever saw my upper thighs they were going to think I was abused.  I had so many bruises of varying color and size, it was bad.  And I was more consistent with him giving them to me.  And here is another reason they probably don’t really hurt that bad.  The needle is so stinkin’ tiny it is rediculous!  It is a 32g insulin needle!  Its small and I think that was what decieved me into thinking I could give them to myself at the beginning!

Can you see the needle? Probably not since it is so tiny!

Now, there is one more shot that I have to take each week and let me tell you it is a dosy!  And it hurts like you wouldn’t believe.  Starting at 16 weeks I had to start taking a weekly injection of Progesterone.  This shot is designed to help my uterues not have contractions.  I think that mostly it is to keep the uterues from contracting so much that it sends you into preterm labor not that you don’t contract at all.  Or at least that is the sense I have gotten from my current and previous doctors.  And I guess this time around they seem to be helping in that area since I didn’t start experienceing contractions as early nor have they been as strong or really doing anything (that we know of) although I am having some contractions at times.  But I can also tell you that they are nothing like the contractions that I experienced with Micah.

I really dislike the P17 (progesterone) shot, the needle is huge, the liquid is thick, they have to be given in my rear end and they hurt like crazy!  For most of the time, Josh would give them to me at home.  But starting at 28 weeks (when I started going weekly), I have been getting them at the doctors office.  Where as the Heparin needle is 32 guage, the P17 needle is a whopping 22 gauge needle!  When you look at the picture, you will for sure be able to see the difference in the needle sizes, just by the fact you can actually see the needle!

I do have to say that since I have been getting them at the doctors office, they really haven’t been that bad.  I do notice that the nurse that gives them to me goes a lot faster than Josh was instructed to do so and also faster than the nurse that showed him how to do it.  So I think that has something to do with it.  Or it could just be the fact that my bottom is still usually welted and itchy from the previous shots (we rotate sides each week, doesn’t help) that maybe that is why I don’t feel it as much.  Whatever it is, I will be gald when they are done and over. Which is only about 4 more weeks. I will be stopping them during week 36, so I am looking forward to that day!

See how big that needle is?!?!?! Its HUGE!

I do have one more needle related fear with this pregnancy but I am really trying to listen to my doctor and my husband and not worry about it or think about it too much.  Because honestly if I do think about it too much or try to work through it at this time, I start to freak out and even hyperventilate a little bit!  So its better for me (and baby) to try and ignore it for now.  Like Josh says, we’ll cross that bridge when/if we come to it.  Thanks honey!

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