I have a needle phobia. Anyone who doesn’t have a phobia will find it hard to understand just what that means. When I need anything done that involves needles, its a major ordeal for me. I have to have someone go with me. Sometimes my doctor (or dentist) prescribes me Valium (which really doesn’t seem to help much…but I feel goooood after). I’m hysterical. I have panic attacks. I feel like the world is spinning out of control. And it makes me angry. I consider myself a very grounded, rational, and practical person. So to have this crazy fear of something like a little tiny needle, it just doesn’t make sense! But I’ve been this way since I was a teenager, so I’ve mostly avoided needles.
Now, I want to become a mother. More than that, I want to become a single mother. So no wonderful husband to work through this with me. I need to be able to go do this alone. So I started seeing a hypnotherapist. Me being a very rational (and kind of cynical) person, hypnosis was not something I had ever thought of doing. But I’ve gotta do something right? And when the problem is a totally irrational crazy fear…you’ve got to think out of the box.
I did 2 sessions of hypnosis. It wasn’t anything like I would have expected. She didn’t dangle a watch in front of my face or say “you are getting very very sleepy”. It was more like a guided meditation sort of thing. Very relaxing with a lot of positive imagery. Then she tells me, “Its time to see how you’re doing. I want you to have your blood drawn…alone.” Oh god! Deep breaths…
So I call my doctor’s office. You can’t just call and tell your doctor, “I’m in therapy and I need you to stick me with a needle.” So I just make an appointment. When I go to see my doctor, I lay it all out there. She was great. She’s like…let’s just run your cholesterol, your insurance will cover that.
So I sit down…I breathe deep…I close my eyes. Ok…so far so good. I’m not hysterical. And she sticks me, my heart is going to beat out of my chest. Then its over and I open my eyes. The world spins. The nurse is asking me if I’m ok, but I feel like she’s talking under water. My vision is blurred. Other nurses come into the room. They’re all buzzing around me. One gets me juice, one puts a cold towel on my neck, one props my feet up. They keep asking me if I’m there alone. I’m my muddled state, I want to scream “Yes! This is what the therapist TOLD me to do!” But I don’t, I’m just nodding slowly to their questions. 15 minutes later and I’m finally coherent enough for them to let me leave.
I feel totally defeated. I feel like I’ve failed. I even go to a baby consignment shop and look at the baby stuff to try and make myself feel better. But eventually I just go home and cry. My wonderful friends try to reassure me. They tell me it was a step in the right direction. And it was. But in the aftermath of a very emotional experience, its sometimes hard to see that.
2 days later, I’m back in the game. I scour the internet and find a group called Hypnobabies. They do hypnosis as a child-birthing method. On their website is a MP3 called “Needles are OK!”. I download it. I listen to it religiously. I listen to it once during the day and then I put it on as I’m trying to fall asleep. (I’m sure my dog has no needle fears whatsoever now.) I continue going to see my hypnotherapist.
3 weeks later its time for my physical. I’m prepped. I’m ready. I’m terrified. But here I go again anyway. My doctor says “You feel up for blood work?” I give my most confident yes (it was probably a squeak) Next thing I know, I’m the “the chair”. You know the one…with the funny shaped armrest so they can stab you. The nurse remembers me. Oh good. I breathing deep, my heart is hammering, I’m doing my hypnosis trigger. She draws blood for what seems like forever. Then its done. I open my eyes. The room isn’t spinning! She asks me if I’m ok…I am ok! OMG! I stand up. I walk down the hallway. I see the nurse peek out to watch me and make sure I’m ok. (I love my doctor’s office) I’m kind of in a daze all the way out to my car. Then I’m calling everyone. I did it!!! I did it!!! I really really did it! I stopped and got a giant chocolate cupcake on my way home as a reward.
So I’m feeling accomplished. It was a step I felt like I had to take to reach my goal of motherhood. I think it’ll start to get easier now each time I have to have blood work. I think everyone has those steps toward motherhood that aren’t just Trying To Conceive. Some have to lose weight, some have to change jobs, move to a new place, change/break habits, get over fears. Whatever your steps toward motherhood, remember that no matter how scary they are, you can do them…and you can do them alone. If I can do this, anyone can.
Good luck on whatever steps take you to motherhood.