Positives, negatives and a few too many needle pokes

By Published On: July 2nd, 2012

Written by: Hillary Grigonis July 01 2012 I happen to […]

Written by: Hillary Grigonis

I happen to be one of those “lucky” women with a negative blood type who happened to fall in love with a man who has a positive blood type. Which means that my baby is likely to have a positive blood type, and special measures have to be taken to make sure my negative blood doesn't make antibodies to attack the baby's positive blood. Simple translation: I have to have a series of shots during my pregnancy. I'd say that I don't like needles, but really, are there actually people who like needles?

Since the timeframe for my second shot fell right around my 24 week ultrasound, I thought it would be a good idea to schedule them close together for fewer trips into town and less time off of work. I was wrong. I stopped in for my shot nearly an hour before my ultrasound, scheduled a few minutes across town, where the receptionist informed me that my appointment had been cancelled.

After my protests to having to drive the 40 minute trek into town on another day, she went back to check with the nurse to see if she was capable of giving me the shot. Word of advice: if the receptionist has to check and see if the nurse is qualified to give the shot, run. So we sat in the waiting room for over a half hour before the nurse came out and then informed me I had to get my blood drawn before the shot, to check the antibody levels. Noting how much time we had to get to our next appointment, the nurse assured us it would be quick and we could be on time. Word of advice: procedures involving needles should never be rushed.

So after one poke in the arm, I went back into a room for a second poke. They describe it as a shot in the hip, but really it's closer to a long needle going deep into the muscle of a less-than-comfortable region semi-close to the hip. The nurse was true to her promise of being quick and told me she was finished—but by finished she meant fiddling with a Band-Aid with the needle poised in the air—can you see where this is going? When I reached back to adjust my pants, I ended up with a third poke in the finger.

We made it to the ultrasound appointment with about ten minutes to spare (despite bleeding from three different needle marks) and waited about another 45 minutes before we were called back. The appointment was our second 3D ultrasound, since Trouble was not cooperating enough for her to get all the measurements the first time. This time, he wasn't shy at all about making sure we knew he is indeed a boy (last time it took the entire appointment before he moved enough for a peek), but he kept his face tucked away so we weren't able to get any good 3D pictures of his face.

Once I was able to stop laughing at the way he kept kicking the doctor, she took all the different measurements, which is when she announced that the baby's head is in the 91st percentile for size. Gulp. She assured me that the brain was measuring properly, and that they would just want to check again to see that he was growing properly. Apparently, big heads run in both sides of the family. And my inquiry into that fact led to some details that I really didn't care to hear about in my current condition.

But on the plus side (besides the most important part, that the baby appears healthy), as we were leaving the ultrasound, which was on the hospital campus where I plan to deliver, I noticed my favorite fast food restaurant is being built right across the street. So after I deliver a big baby, I can order my favorite comfort food. Or at least tell myself that, since I'm sure delivery will require a little more healing time then a few shots and will result in the cutest (big) face to distract me from it all.