Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Monday, March 14, 2011

Pregnancy and Prayer

Of all the poking, prodding, appointments and testing of pregnancy prior to labor and delivery my least favorite is the glucose test. Two pregnancies in a row now I’ve failed the first glucose test, which is used to diagnose gestational diabetes. The second glucose test is like the first in that you fast from food for twelve hours prior and from drink eight hours prior to the test. Then you drink the same nasty sugary drink and have your blood pulled.

The difference is that for the second test they take your blood for a fasting baseline, then you drink the crap, wait an hour, they take blood, you wait another hour, they take even more blood, wait another hour and then the final bloodletting before you can then go home. The whole process is supposed to take three hours and some change.

Did I mention they take blood four times in three hours? For those with hale and hearty veins this is no big thing. But my veins are like shrinking violets. At the mere mention of needles, they shrivel up and disappear.

With my first pregnancy this second test was all trauma. The nurse poked my right arm and was lucky to get blood that first time. The second time she couldn’t find the vein in that arm so she switched to my left, which was willing to cooperate just this once. For the third time, she attempted my left arm again and that vein went all slippery on the nurse. She poked around in my arm until she found it again and jabbed that needle to keep it in place long enough to get the blood. By that point I was shaking and crying and thankful I had an hour to recover before the final pull. After those first three needle stabbings, my arm veins had had enough. They turned off the lights, put out the Do Not Disturb sign and went to bed. The only place left for the nurse to try was my hand. By the time she finished I was near fainting. Took me a good fifteen minutes to recover and then I drove home.

So you can imagine how I dreaded having to go through the second test again. When I first saw the one nurse doing all the blood taking, I had serious qualms about staying put. She was an older Armenian woman with a distracted air about her. Call me prejudiced, but warm and cuddly are not the first adjectives that come to mind when I think of this people group. My assumption was that she’d be brisk, brusque, and all business.

When my turn came, I gave her the lowdown on my previous experience to gage her empathy level. I couldn’t get a read on her. She checked my arms and then said what no one wants to hear when offering up their arm for a blood sacrifice, “Oh, you do have very small veins. But we will make do.” I had been hoping that somehow between this and my first pregnancy my veins had miraculously plumped up. Since they obviously hadn’t the nurse's response sent my imagination into overdrive about what I could expect the next three hours to feel like - painful was the primary word that came to mind.

As she’s prepping me for the first blood letting, she holds my arm and feels for the vein. She inserts the needle and then says the other thing you never want to hear, “Now where did that vein go,” all while hunting for it with the needle under my skin. Just typing that last sentence made me cringe. Here’s me thinking I’m off to a horrible start and that I really do have reason to dread the next three hours.

But I failed to take into consideration that I had several women praying for this test and my veins in particular. Even my two year old daughter prayed for me unprompted. She sat in bed and said, “Dear Jesus, (something incomprehensible)… Mommy...(incomprehensible words)...doctor...(more incomprehensible words). Amen.”

Despite the inauspicious beginnings, the nurse was very kind and gentle with me. Her hands reminded me of my grandmother – the same pale pink polish on manicured ovals, which was strangely reassuring. The three remaining blood lettings were all possible from the same arm. And that my friends, is a minor miracle made possible by God himself.

I was reminded yet again of the power of prayer. I truly believe God answered all our prayers because he does care about the details of our lives.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Pregnancy Brain

This was Thorne's response after being told mommy locked us out of the house because she forgot to bring the house keys with her and daddy wasn't coming home until 10pm. Fortunately, Thorne is always up for an adventure or a change of plans.