Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I'm a Wuss

I've never been good with blood or needles- I close my eyes when watching House, if you start to tell me a story that involves blood, wounds or any sort of physical pain I'll plug my ears. I am a wuss. I know I'm a wuss. I've accepted total wussdom.

A year or so ago I had a colonoscopy. The procedure itself isn't nearly as terrible as having to drink the 5 gallons of nasty nasty clear solution that makes you poop water.

Typically they just drug you to relax for the colonoscopy, you're completely awake during it. In the hospital the nurse was preparing me for the iv and I warned her, "Look, I tend to get a bit queasy so you're going to have to do this quickly"

She said 'no problem' and then after poking me said, 'Uh oh, your blood isn't threading- we're going to have to poke you again. Don't worry- I'll get someone else to do it.' My breathing gets a bit more rapid, the heart starts to pound a bit more.

Nurse #2 comes over and pokes me in my other hand, and then proceeds to say, "it's still not threading, we're going to have to poke you again"- Surely this nurse isn't so stupid as to get this wrong again and then proceed to announce it to the patient with her head between her knees and trying not to freak out. They go to get another nurse, they poke me this time in my arm- the nurse says a third time, "It's still not threading!"

At that point I'm handed a paper bag to breathe into, put on a bed and rolled in to see the doctor. I'm at the brink of passing out. Entering the procedure room- the doctor looks at me and says "I hear you're not very good with needles" it took me all of half a second to reply, "Yeah, and neither are your nurses!"

That is the last I remember, instead of just relaxing me for the procedure they put me under completely. I'm thinking passing out may end up being my only line of defense in labor.


Zach said...

I'm a wuss too. I would have been passed out with the first attempt on the first needle.

Robin said...

Awesome comeback! It shows your incredible intellect to be able to say that under so much stress.

I think you will surprise yourself when you go into labor. You will be amazingly calm and confident. You are woman - you will roar.

Allie said...

Sorry for freaking you out with my comment on your Push Present post.

My "bad" epidural wasn't bad as in: lasting pain or damage. I think those are really uncommon. I just had a lousy anesthesiologist that time and he had a hard time getting it in. I don't like needles, so I waited until I was really in pain to get it, and it wasn't fun. Which was kind of silly, because at that point, I was going through transition anyway, so I shouldn't have bothered with the epidural.

My good epidural was great, no pain, but I could still feel the tightening of contractions.

The last baby I didn't bother, and it hurt, but I had my sister there who knew what was going on, and she pushed on my back to relieve a lot of the pain, and wiped my forehead with a damp towel, and reminded me to breathe (I tend to forget, which makes for some amusing "claw" hands).

The best thing to remember is that it doesn't last forever, and then you have a beautiful, sweet baby. I was amazed at how fast my body recovered after that first baby.

Also, different people have different experiences, a blog-friend just had a baby using hypnobirthing something or other. She said it was really great- when she started to be in a lot of pain and lose her focus, her husband would remind her of the techniques from the hypnobirth class, and she'd be able to focus again.

I will say that I think recovery is better without the epidural (but that could just be 2nd and 3rd deliveries are often quicker than the first).

Allie said...

I also want to ditto Robin- your body is made for this.

You will be great (if you get an epidural don't wait until it really hurts to get one, that was my mistake- if you do wait that long, don't bother, because you're almost done anyway).

Sally said...

Okay, here is some unsolicited advice for labor. First. Learn the breathing techniques with Brent. They really do work. So that is in your arsenal of how to deal with pain.

Second, if you think you will have an epidural, get it early. Latest studies show that early epidurals do not inhibit labor progression and result in fewer c-sections. Unfortunately many hospitals stick to the old idea that a woman must be at a 4 (dilation) to get an epi. Not right. Epidurals are good things for many reasons.

Last, stay hydrated. This will really be up to the nurses since you will have an IV. TELL THEM TO KEEP YOU WELL HYDRATED. Then remind them. *Especially* if you are getting an epi. It will help your body accept the epidural, you will feel good, and you will eliminate the epi meds out of your body faster once it's out. (It being the epi, not the baby!).

Another thought. If you are truly, deeply concerned about your needle/blood aversion, you might consider an anti-anxiety drug when you go into labor. If you have ever taken one that works for you, you could use that one, otherwise your doctor could perhaps prescribe one that is safe for baby to you to try now (you could take it once in advance to make sure you don't have any wierd reaction) and then if you need it in labor, it could be like a rescue drug. I haven't done this, but an old friend of mine did and it really helped her through labor.

But as Robin and Allie said, your body is made to do this, and somehow when labor kicks in and your are in the middle of it, your focus is so totally on the baby and the birth that you can do anything! I have loved and enjoyed all 3 of my children's births. It is amazing, and beautiful. I am so excited for you!

Steve said...

Hey, remind me to tell you about how in college I donated my body to science a few times and would have to give blood like 30 times (ie 30 needles!) a weekend! Haha.

Like Kelly and I talk about, this has happened for millions of years before us, so I don't think we have to worry about reinventing the wheel with this baby thing. People do this everyday under much worse conditions than our suburb hospital with on-call food! haha.

Melissa said...

Oooh ooh, do we get to give you advice? hmmm...

My friend told me this morning about a steroid shot she got yesterday in her heel-- her heel!I almost puked. Just the thought of it makes my stomach turn. When I hit my funny bone my stomach flips. I guess you could say I don't do pain.

I've done labor 5 times, 2 with epi's one with 1/2 an epi and 2 completely drug-free. (not by choice, get the drugs. Sooner rather than later.)

My sister gave me 2 words to focus on before I had Michael -Joy and Sacred. They are cheesy and during my last birth I may or may not have been found screaming them, but, they are great focus thoughts. What a privilege it is to be a woman and to be present when a life comes into this world. Amazing.

You can do this, and you will be amazing.

Crystal said...

If you can sit very still while experiencing gut wrenching, intermittent, curl-up-in-the-fetal-position pain, and you've got an anesthesiologist that knows what they're doing, you're good to go.

Walk a lot, dance, swing on a swing...gravity is your friend.

Ben and Kimberly McEvoy said...

defiantly weight your options.
I had a bad epid and even with that I would recommend getting one for your first time. I have had 2 natural births. IT would be really scary and mentally taxing to do it natural the first time. And if on your second delivery you think you want to go hydro or natural, you have that option. I was most concerned with being in control of my body and what was going around, others might just care about being in pain, my sister is against having chemicals in her body, other women seem to wan to prove something. But really I would do what ever it takes for you to feel the most comfortable and peaceful.

music, breathing, your aunt playing the ukulele in the background etc. I would also very directly tell Brent what you want from him. Let him know if I say quiet, I want silence or I want you to be a cheer leader. Get that communication over with before the heat of the moment. For his sake and yours.

I am guessing you don't want to hear my story of getting hit by a jet ski. It took the nurses 14 tries to set up my IV, both wrist, top of hands and elbows were bruised for weeks. All I can say is thank goodness for morphine.

wow that was long. sorry.

I love your answer "neither are your nurses" I hope I remember that for my next jet ski accident.


The Blue Ridge Gal said...

Had my first colonoscopy earlier this year and it was done in the hospital where they put me totally under..... Great doctor, nurses and needle handlers... YAY! I really don't mind the needle as long as I don't have to watch.

seaside said...

Your response to the doctor about the nurses not being good with needles is very good.

I did what I could to help you not be a wuss but it was an impossible thing to be done. My first hint was when you started to pass out at 5 yrs. when watching me have blood drawn...I thought you were tough. I also thought that you were young enough to not take it as actual blood. I was wrong.

You are definitely related to your dad. He has come close to passing out at every birth. I am glad to see that you own your 'wussness', now plan on passing out and sleeping through delivery - you will be happy.

Salt H2O said...

I appreciate the votes of confidence- but I really am the biggest pansy to walk the planet.

Thanks for the suggestions- especially the suggestion on asking for an anti- anxiety drug- genius.

Allie said...

Like I always tell my kids when they're getting a shot: it will hurt less if you can relax.

Drugs may be the way to go. :)