This is a pretty embarrassing story. This is a story that makes people look at me when I tell it with a look that says, this guy can’t be serious! How can you call yourself a man? How are you ever going to help get your wife through the labor process!!!
It started out as a normal day. My wife Nicole and I were leaving work a little early to go to the doctor for some tests. She was two months pregnant with Lila at this point, and not much had changed in our lives yet. Nicole was really nervous because today was the day of her first blood draw. A woman has to get her blood drawn many different times throughout the course of a pregnancy. In my opinion this was one of the worst parts of the whole pregnancy! Nicole HATES needles. I felt absolutely terrible for her because I hate needles too! Though I must be honest I was secretly relieved that she was the one that had to deal with the needles, because if it was me that had to do it, we may not have a baby right now. BUT I put on my tough guy act the whole way to the doctors office telling her things like “It wont even be bad just look away”, “Just remember we are doing this for the baby”, and my personal favorite, “If I could trade places with you I would, but unfortunately you have to be strong and do it for both of us”.
The time was here. The nurse put on a fresh pair of latex gloves and started setting everything up. The crinkling of the needle in its little package alone was enough to give me the heeby jeebies, but I had to remain strong for my wife. After all she was the one who had to go through this ordeal as I stood by helpless. I encouraged her once again saying things like “Just look away and hold my hand”, and “Oh is that it? The needle is tiny you aren’t even going to feel this”.
On the outside I appeared strong and confident, but on the inside I felt like a 5 year old girl about to get her ears pierced. Meanwhile Nicole sat there cool as a cucumber, arm out, vein ready to be invaded by razor sharp stainless steel. When the process began Nicole’s demeanor never changed. She sat there as blood was removed from her body, not moving or making a sound, just breathing and doing what had to be done for her baby. Women are truly amazing.
I held her hand as I watched. I know watching is bad. Everyone knows not to watch, but I had to. I was caught in a trance. As I watched the cherry red blood exit her arm and fill the first vial I remember thinking “This isn’t so bad”. By the third vial I was completely locked in. It was like looking at a horrifying accident on the side of the road. You know you should look away but you can’t. As the 6th vial began to fill I remember thinking to myself “Something is wrong here”. I began to feel queasy as if I was going to vomit. I knew I couldn’t let her see how I was feeling because If I looked sick, then she would know that her support system was falling apart right in front of her.
I had to stay strong, or at least appear to be strong. I knew I had to find something, anything in that room to distract my mind from what was going on in front of me. I was finally able to pull my eyes off of the needle in her arm and lock them on a poster hanging on the doctors office wall. It was a giant picture of the female anatomy. I began to read the words and attempt to memorize them- anything to stop the feeling in my head and stomach screaming at me to find a trashcan to run to. Cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, fimbriae, ovaries, Bartholin’s glands…DARKNESS.
The next thing I remember is Nicole’s sweet voice saying “Sean are you ok?” It sounded far away. It came with a strange echo. Almost like an angel was speaking to me from a thousand miles away. I was dazed and confused, and still trying to act like I was the confident support system in this situation. I responded by saying “Yea I’m fine what do you mean?” It was then that I realized I was laying on the floor with a trashcan knocked over beside me.
If you hadn’t already figured it out, yes, I PASSED OUT COLD…Fainted, collapsed, blacked out, fell unconscious! I went down like a six foot tall sack of potatoes, hitting my head on the wall and the trashcan on the way to the floor.
Nicole still had the needle in her arm as she helped me up off the floor with her free arm. The nurse advised me to lay on the exam table, and just like that I was no longer here as my wife’s support system, I was here as a Co-patient!
The GOOD NEWS is that my wife is AWESOME and we have been laughing about that day ever since. Every time we went to the doctor after that somehow every nurse knew who I was and roasted me as I walked down the hall. “You aren’t going to pass out on us again are you?” “Maybe you shouldn’t be in the room for this” “Do you need an apple juice before we start?” Nurse humor is great.
It turns out that I had not had time to eat much that day so my glucose levels were extremely low. That is why I ended up getting dizzy and passing out.
The moral of this story is that if you are going to give blood, or watch someone give blood, NEVER do it on an empty stomach!
ALSO, Women are incredible. The way women are able to over come some of their greatest fears like its nothing, all for the love of a baby that is not even born yet is incredible.
That was the day that I learned the hard way, that women are way tougher than men.
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Thanks for reading!