After I lost my son in September 2016 and became pregnant in January 2017, I switched to a better OBGYN practice. I had a Pulmonary Embolism in October 2016 with no risk factors for blood clots. I could have died.
In order to protect my baby girl, I was put on Lovenox 40mg once a day starting at 18-20 weeks this pregnancy. At first, I was terrified of having to inject anything into my body. I don’t like needles and I hated the fact I’d have to give myself injections.
Now, at 27 weeks pregnant, I’ve found it isn’t so bad to give yourself Lovenox. I decided it may help other Mommies if I could share my experience with you. First, realize the reason you are giving yourself an injection in the first place is to protect your baby. If you didn’t need the shot, you wouldn’t be faced with the reality of giving yourself an injection. Second, it is actually easier to give yourself the injection than it is to have someone else give it to you. Why? It provides you with a little control over the entire situation. Sure… it isn’t enjoyable and I definitely don’t look forward to it, but I’d MUCH rather give myself a daily injection than end up losing my baby or losing my baby and myself over any blood clot!
Remember everything is in your head. Heroin addicts willingly, intentionally find veins to shoot up in. If a heroin addict can put a needle in his or her body just to get high, I can put a needle in my body to save my baby! Don’t feel bad for yourself because you have to do this, be thankful that your doctor found out you need this injection rather than having to deal with stillbirth or Pulmonary Embolism or any other issues with blood clots.
Here is how I learned to give myself Lovenox…
First, I wash my hands, every single time. I have 4-6 alcohol prep pads and the Lovenox injection ready all at once. I’d rather not have to go from room to room… trust me, you want to have everything ready so once it’s over, it’s over and you can move forward with your day. Second, I choose a spot 2 inches away from my belly button on either my right or left side. I highly suggest you start 2 inches away and make a “line” up and down on both your right and left side. At first, I injected in my right side about 8-10 days in a row, far enough away from the previous shots, but close enough that I wasn’t “wasting space”. Then, I moved 2 inches from my belly button on my left side and started my first line there. I don’t know why this worked so well for me.. but it did.
After you clean the area you decide you want to inject into, remove the cap from the Lovenox and blow on the spot you just cleaned. You want the alcohol to be dry because if not, it will burn slightly more than if you’d have let it dry. Once it’s dry, pinch your skin together light enough that it isn’t hurting, but hard enough that it’s “pinched”.
My most helpful tip: Once you decide where to inject and put the needle close to your skin, don’t back out. Slowly put the needle into your skin while still holding the skin pinched. Keep the skin pinched with your left hand or whichever you prefer. When the needle is all the way in, with your right hand or the hand your holding the Lovenox in, slowly – SLOWLY – begin to inject the Lovenox. It should take about a minute to inject the full shot into your skin. If you push the syringe forward a little and it burns, that’s okay.. the burn is nothing compared to the bruise afterwards should you decide to just push it in as fast as you can. I don’t know why but this is how I’ve managed to get little tiny dots rather than bruises on my belly. Once you finish slowly injecting, be careful and pull the needle out exactly how you put it in, don’t pull up on it, don’t move it around, just pull it back out. Now, once the needle is out, you can let go of the pinched skin. Push the syringe all the way down to pull the needle in – my injections have this safety feature hopefully yours do as well. This is important – stay seated the exact same way you were when you gave yourself the Lovenox. Try to stay this way for 5 minutes. Don’t think about the burning (if there is any), don’t look at the site where you injected yourself, just keep all clothing, fingers, hands, etc., off of the site and away from the site. After 5 minutes is up, stand up, slowly and carefully put your shirt over your belly again but be careful not to touch the site where you injected yourself. Don’t go for a jog right after you inject the lovenox, and don’t bend over at all if you can help it. Try to stay in a standing position or a comfortable seated position for 15-30 minutes after you inject yourself.
Now, forget you gave yourself the Lovenox and enjoy the rest of your day! It really is that simple. 🙂
If you have any questions, need advice or if you have any tips yourself, please share in the comment section below.
Also, I know I read from others to use ice or a compress, etc., and I’ve never done this myself. The injection itself doesn’t bother me much if at all… it’s the actual Lovenox that will burn a little bit and you will get used to it faster than you could have read this post! 🙂