I used to be deathly afraid of needles. Seriously. Just ask my mother about that one time when I ran around the doctor's office screaming and then fled into the hallway because oh my gosh they are trying to kill me with a flu shot. I had to write a letter of apology. It was not my finest moment. I never ran around shrieking again--but I wanted to. During every flu vaccine, every booster shot, every blood draw I could feel the five year old in me begging to run. Until I turned 23. That's how old I was when we started seeing a fertility specialist. I realize that to most of you it sounds like I was just a baby myself. I should have been out partying and sowing my wild oats. But I've never been a partier and I've never wanted to have to pray for crop failure. I'd wanted to be a mom since I was, I don't know, two. Plus my husband is 123 months older than I am so we were ready. Fertility specialists are like vampires, they want your blood. A lot. Every time you see them, it seems. My desire to have a baby was infinitely stronger than my fear of needles. It got to the point where I could actually watch. I still can't handle the needle breaking the skin but everything else is kind of fascinating.
Given the fact that I have overcome my fear of needles you would think that getting my IV during labor would not have been the worst part but it pretty much was. It was definitely worse than the epidural which I stressed out about for eight months before getting it and realizing, "Hey, that didn't hurt much at all. I didn't feel any kind of electric shock that the quack mother who was pregnant with kid number four in my birthing class referred to. In fact, I'm fairly certain I've made the right decision. That little prick in exchange for being put out of my misery was a brilliant choice."*
My husband, however, is not a fan of needles. If you so much as mention that he might have to have his blood drawn, the color drains from his face and his blood pressure shoots through the roof. Today we had our physician's exams for our homestudy. Mine was first. I take a daily dose of Metformin to control my disease. That's what the doctor called it today anyway. It actually made me laugh on the inside at the stupidity of insurance companies who won't cover infertility. According to my physician we're diseased, for heaven's sake. Alright though, seriously, the Metformin has been successful in making way for ovulation which is good considering the fact that the tiny little cysts all over my ovaries (PCOS) generally inhibit that sort of thing. And even when reproduction does not want to occur, ovulation is important for a myriad of reasons. So anyway, the doctor told me that because I take a daily dose of Metformin, I should have my sugar and cholesterol levels tested periodically. He said he could do it today if I wanted. I figured I might as well save myself a trip.
I walked into the waiting room sporting a cotton ball with some of that fancy bright orange tape wrapped around my elbow. Usually I remove the tape as soon as the nurse is out of sight but this was just going to be too easy. Troy was standing at the counter checking in. I made an I'm sorry face and gestured to my arm. He went from Caucasian flesh colored to nauseous gray in a moment. His eyes got big and he said, "Are you kidding me?" I just kind of smiled feebly. He closed his eyes for a second, as if deciding whether it was worth it. Is another member of our family worth the pain and suffering he would have to endure to get his blood drawn? When he opened his eyes I told him that he didn't have to get pricked and explained why I did. "Really? Thank goodness. My blood pressure just went way up." Then he looked at the person checking him in and explained his utter detestation for needles.
But he would have done it. Because he's a good daddy like that. Even though we don't know our second born child's name. We don't know is he's a he or if she's a she and we don't know what color skin he or she will be sporting. We don't know how much that child will weigh at birth and whether or not we'll even be there. And we don't know if we'll meet this child in a year or two or three. But we desperately want to know her or him--and we'll do what it takes. He didn't have to have his blood drawn, but I know he would have. His blood pressure would have been high and his palms would have been sweaty but, really, he wouldn't have thought twice.
*To my friend, Joelle, who is just weeks away from her first birthing experience: Labor is wonderful. It feels like a dozen fuzzy puppies licking your face. At Disneyland.
No but in all honesty, by the next day I would have done it all again in a heartbeat if given the option. Even the IV part. Because there is nothing like watching your child come into the world.