Blood Women

"Almost. Just a second."

"You were supposed to be finished with that thing a minute ago. You better chug."

"But I'll throw up! It makes me gag!"

"Oh, come on. Just drink the stuff..." she trailed off but the look in her eyes, screamed "PUSSY!"

Ah, the sweet memories of my last pregnancy, which wasn't exactly an ideal experience, with the Dicktor and the Preeclampsia and all. But for some reason, what sticks out to me most as perhaps the most horrible part of my pregnancy was dealing with the scowling (frightening!) ladies who worked at the diagnostics lab(s) and performed my bloodwork and tests.

The above conversation happened over the God-forsaken Glucose drink (while I was pregnant with Archer) which, for any of you who HAVEN'T tasted it, tastes like, uh, sweet, fizzy throw-up? Am I right, ladies?

Lucky me, I got to drink the stuff again, this morning.

I had a nervous stomach in the car all the way over to the lab. A hungry -from-fasting, nervous stomach because not only was/am I petrified of glucose-aid, I'm also (and even more) petrified of dunt, dunt, DUNNNNNNT: Blood women.

"Are you done, yet," she said.

"Blood Women" aka the women who work in diagnostic labs are probably the scariest women you'll ever meet, and this coming from a person who actually *likes* needles. I love the feeling of tattoos and enjoy getting my blood taken, watching the little glass vials fill with my blood, and yet, every time I walk into one of the many Quest Diagnostic labs around town, my stomach hurts, and (like clockwork, people) I leave with a violent case of diarrhea. But I digress, Blood Women are frightening to look at as much as they are horribly mean: their faces typically furnished with facial hair, pasty skin flaking off like scales, their body-odor reeking of sour meat...

This morning, I approached the desk of one of the nicer-looking diagnostic labs I've ever seen and slowly, quietly passed the smiling woman behind the counter my paperwork before retreating into my hair.

The attractive young woman handed me the dreaded sugar drink and sweetly asked me to drink it as fast as I possibly could.

"...Please," she said.

Please? Did she just say, "please..."

I had never, until today heard a Blood Woman say "please" to me for any reason. I was shocked. I took the drink and chugged it as fast as I could as not to disappoint the anomalous Blood Woman.

I chugged and gagged. Chugged and gagged. The people seated on either side of me watching out the corners of their eyes. Chug-gag-chug-gag-chug-gag-chug...

"Done!" I proclaimed, handing over my empty bottle of sweet-piss. "And under five minutes!"

"Great job," she said. "We'll call you in in an hour for blood samples."


I happily took a seat in the waiting room, thinking to myself that I must have been all wrong about the good Blood Women of Quest Diagnostics. So far, everyone here was delightful and no one smelling of meat!

Well, sure enough, an hour passed and I was called into the little room with the vials.

A seemingly sweet little elderly woman readied my arm to take my blood, making small talk with me, asking me my name and then, oddly enough, about the large purse I was carrying. She was suddenly very concerned about its contents.

Which was... weird?

And then! Suddenly! As if she had been formulating a monologue for days, the Blood Woman ripped into me about the heft of my purse and how I was the type of pregnant woman who would likely miscarry because I wasn't careful! Shlepping too many things in my bag was bad for my baby.... I was selfish... I wasn't thinking straight... Two more vials and then we're done...

My stomach gurgled as I watched the tubes fill with blood. I said nothing in response. I didn't need to. My bowels would speak for me, moments later, in the bathroom down the hall.


In other news, more weird pregnancy symptoms, here, including my fear of Babies R Us (and how I faced it for the greater good of my super-nesting) and the wild and crazy world of stinging nips.


Also, in other news (and because several of you lovely lady-friends have asked) I will not be attending Blogher this year because dear friends of mine will be married that weekend. Just as well as I'll be 30 weeks pregnant (not ideal for long-weekend socializing) and without my life-partner, who, honestly, I can barely function in large groups without. Will miss all of you and my apologies to those I promised drinks to so many months ago. Next year I owe you drinks AND with some luck (and Dana in tow) a Pirate Cookie. Have fun, ladies!


Anonymous | 6:08 PM

You are so, so, so right about Blood Women. I'm almost eight weeks pregnant and I had to fill close to 100 (I swear it was nearly that many) vials the last visit and the STABBY tech was so mean and, YES, pasty. It was awful. And I have the bruise to attest for it.

Betsy Yates | 6:19 PM

Please tell me you are kidding about the judgy purse Blood Lady. She should have her Vampire's License pulled.

Karen Bodkin | 6:39 PM

mmmm Pirate, me, Dana - Canada, 2009. sleepover!

Wendy | 6:43 PM

You should have told seemingly sweet elderly blood woman that was your "going to lab" purse. Because your machete won't fit into your smaller ones. But don't worry, the machete is the *only* thing in it so it's not heavy. You just have to be careful because it's so sharp. And doesn't she just hate how pissy pregnant women are around people like lab techs?

Mrs. Schmitty | 7:56 PM

I hate the glucose drink. I had gestational diabetes 3 I had to drink that stuff numerous times. It's so nasty.

Anonymous | 8:02 PM

ugh, that stuff always gives me diarrhea, too. i can rarely make it till the 1 hour draw, much less home to the privacy of my own bathroom. fwiw, i've found the lemon lime to be less grotesque. the orange actually made me vomit.

and i would probably call and complain about the blood woman. there was no reason for her to say something like that to anyone, much less a hormonal pregnant person.

Jenn Kirk | 8:16 PM

I never understood why mother-in-laws/grandmas/old ladies freak out about lifting heavy objects when you're pregnant. As if you don't have a toddler to carry around!

motherbumper | 8:17 PM

Ack, chugging flatish, warm orange crush. Yuck. I failed my first glucose test and had to take again, this time three bottles, three hours, three blood lettings.

I will miss seeing you this year but I'm holding you and Dana to next year for sure.

Julie Marsh | 8:46 PM

Just the thought of watching my blood fill up a vial is enough to set my bowels in motion. You're a braver woman than I.

CaraBee | 8:50 PM

Well, now I'm glad, but also sad to hear that it wasn't just my blood lady who was nasty. And she was unnecessarily rough when taking blood. So as I'm being subjected to her way less than pleasant attitude, she's poking her goddammed needles halfway through to my elbow.

Backpacking Dad | 9:55 PM

"My ire had been raised; my dander up; bile rising in my throat. So I wasn't too surprised when the Blood Woman called me at home later that night: "Ma'am? I'm a little flabbergasted by all of this, but it appears that you actually have highly acidic dragon blood. Or possibly that ichor from Alien. Sorry to be the one to break that news." And I kept my mouth shut, secretly overjoyed that she hadn't noticed that the blood in the vials had begun coalescing into tiny little samurai shapes, swords at the ready. Waiting for night to fall and eyes to close. That would show her. Little samurai-victim-busybody."

Clearly this is the direction your story was going in.

Anonymous | 10:11 PM

Mmmmmmm. Pirate Cookies. They are delicious!

Anonymous | 10:12 PM

I'm with you on the repulsive taste of that drink: "sweet-piss" pretty much sums it up. When I had that test done, I sat next to a woman who chugged hers in under a minute and declared: "Delicious!" Weirdo.

Anonymous | 2:58 AM

Scary blood women are universal. I live in Europe and the blood women here fit the description perfectly, except they also wear wimples and crucifixes because they are... nuns. Yes, they are nuns. Nursey nuns. They take care of all your 'womanly appointments' whether pregnant or not and they are terrifying.

I had one tell me to 'say a little prayer to Jesus' for good results (how unnerving, I am an atheist) and when I had a series of miscarriages, tell me that it was because I was going swimming after the swimming season had ended and letting drafts get to my back. She also suggested it was because I dyed my hair (I have never dyed my hair). I suspect she was lacking hair herself; perhaps that was relevant.

Lynn | 5:32 AM

Shoulda smacked that little old bitch with your bag!!! Why does everyone think they can tell pregnant women stuff like that?
Wonder if she tells the morbidly obese they are increasing the incidence of heart disease,hypertension, and diabetes-geez!

Anonymous | 7:31 AM

What a betch. What right does she have to be judgy? My doctor told me that I could lift my son (who weighed 30 lbs at the time) but no more than that. I seriously doubt your bag weighs more than 30 pounds. Listen to your doctor. Ignore the rest. Or at least pick and choose what you want to listen to vs ignore. This is YOUR pregnancy, and no one but Hal has the right to voice any opinions on it unsolicited.

Though, my unsolicited opinion is that you look hawt with your basketball belly.

minniemama68 | 7:41 AM

I haven't had your experience with the blood tests, but God only knows I had enough of them trying to get preggers. Like up to 4 a week. But I totally agree with the sweet piss drink. With my second, I didn't flunk my test, but it was borderline, so my doctor made me take it AGAIN. I'm not much of a puker when I'm pregnant, but drinking that drink makes me sick even now.

Jennifer | 8:19 AM

Ugh, I have awful memories of choking down that devil syrup.

And you'd have to be just a little evil to be a Blood Lady.

Stephanie Wilson she/her @babysteph | 9:48 AM

Yikes, I almost wouldn't believe that, but I did have a nurse tell me after I had my first son and declined the hospital photos that "another family declined the photos and they went home and their baby died. They really wished they had those photos." I still did not buy the photos.

And I'll be 30 weeks preggy at Blogher. Not sure what I'm getting myself into. Sorry to miss you!


Unknown | 10:09 AM

how hard did you smack the judgy beeatch?

Anonymous | 12:52 PM

I think we get our blood drawn at the same place. My blood lady told me my heels were going to cause a fall, and the fall would lead to a miscarriage.

Anonymous | 1:47 PM

i LOVE the glucose drink! it's like the syrup at the end of the coke barrel at the bar. it's DELICIOUS!! i wish i could have some now. for real, i like it.~jjlibra

Anonymous | 5:41 PM

I guess I'm very lucky, 'cause the Blood Bitch at my doc's office actually LIKES me. WTF? I know... but she still hates everyone else. I think she can sense that I'm a bitch too and wants to bond. Yeah, that's it...

Angie McCullagh | 5:42 PM

Oddly I didn't mind the Glucose drink. Just thought it tasted like Orange Crush on 'roids.

ChefSara | 12:42 PM

Everyone told me the glucose "Tastes just like orange soda." Great, even as a kid, I hated orange soda. They were tasted awful, just like orange soda. Then, my initial results were slightly high and I had to take the test again. And the techs realized that all their refrigerated stuff was past the use by date, and the only usable stuff they had was slightly warmish-room-temp. That made it even worse!!

At least the blood letters were nice an gentle.

Judi Love | 9:03 PM

Argh - that stupid drink! I ended up passing out right after the test, which was good because if I'd done it before the test, I'd have to go back and do it again! Blech!

Ali | 12:33 PM

haha. i just wrote about this too.
i can't be forced to drink doesn't end well. i couldn't drink the glucose stuff with any of my pregnancies...and this week i literally hopped off the table and left right before my cat scan because i couldn't drink the liquid shit.