I know this is kind of a random topic, but go with it.
This past weekend, the family loaded up in Josh’s truck and headed south to Carter Blood Care. We both were getting calls saying they were running low on donations, and wanted to know when we could come in. Well, since I stay at home with Emma, it wasn’t really an option to go during the week. Sure, I could have gotten a sitter or had a friend watch her, but my underlying plan was to get Josh to go, too.
Ever since we started dating, back in 2002, we had this ritual of donating blood together. I’m sure it sounds cheesy, but I’ve been doing it since I was 18, so I wanted to keep that tradition going. I always saw my dad donate, and I told myself I would do it when I was 18, even though I don’t really care for needles. I used to be skittish, but it’s fun when Josh and I go together, and I like that it has become our ‘thing’ as a couple. I know it’s not typical…but as you can see from the name of my blog, I’m not typical.
My reason for blogging about this is two-fold: 1) to get people over their fear of needles and donate so you can SAVE up to 3 LIVES and 2) to set an example for Emma. I remember being bummed that I couldn’t donate while pregnant, for obvious reasons, but couldn’t wait to start back up as soon as I could. We went in when she was 6 weeks old, since that was the earliest time after giving birth, and was able to donate even while nursing-score buddy! She had a good time hanging out with Josh while I got drained, so it’s nothing new for her.
That’s how we usually do it, I go first because I’m faster doing Whole Blood, and Josh goes second because he takes longer doing Double Red (he’s O+). This time we had a competition on who had higher iron and the winner was me! Awe yeah, I was super stoked that I beat him this go ’round. Trust me, I’ve come a long way in the iron department; I can remember crossing my fingers and praying that my iron wasn’t too low, and was totally bummed when I got turned away (on several attempts). I wanted them to take my blood, but I wasn’t eating foods high in iron to make the cut. I was always anemic in high school, and hated going to get my levels checked every 3 months (thanks Celiac Disease). But now that we’re Paleo, I don’t even flinch when they prick me to get my iron count. Hooray for success!
While we were waiting on Josh, I had a guy tell me he thought it was a great thing, showing Emma about donating blood, and being there together as a family. I told him she said she wants to donate blood when she turns 18 as well (she totally said that!). He said you can actually start at 16 with a parent’s consent-woo to the hoo! Emma doesn’t know it yet, but we both consent, and we will both take her her first time. I know I’m weird, but it’s the little things in life for me.
Here are the eligibility requirements in case you’re interested:
Double Red Cell Donors –
If you are male, you must:
|If you are female, you must:
I figure it’s half an hour out of my day, every three months, to save a few lives. No biggie. It has now become a game to see how fast we can both pump, and Josh was so proud of himself when he beat that location’s record the last time. See, donating blood can be a fun, family-friendly event, right? Okay, maybe not.
But, I do want to challenge you. If you have ever remotely given a thought about donating blood, go out there and try it. I’ve never had a problem in all my years, and to this day I still look away when they stick me. I’m getting braver, though. I know it’s not for everyone, though I admit I did the plasma thing in college…apparently that goes towards making makeup, so just I’ll stick (har har) to saving lives and donate my blood.