My blood type is O negative, which means I’m a universal donor (my blood can be given to anyone if required in an emergency) and I’m therefore treated like a rock star whenever I give blood. I first donated blood when I was 16, and finding out my blood type caused a short-lived but intense drama in our household. I was living with my dad at the time, who knew that both he and my mum had A positive blood; after I innocently announced my O type it took a few phone calls and a crash course in recessive genetics to establish that my dad truly was my dad (as if my nose wasn’t proof enough). The whole situation ended up being both reassuring and educational for all involved.
My negative rhesus factor was particularly annoying during my pregnancy days; I had to have anti-D injections after my two miscarriages, after I bled during pregnancy, and after the births of both of my Rh positive children. An extra needle wasn’t the worst thing to have to deal with in each of these scenarios, but needing the injection did mean I had to spend a full day waiting in emergency at the hospital when it seemed I was miscarrying the embryo that ended up evolving into Hazel (my doctor sent me there because she didn’t have any anti-D at her surgery), and it also meant that my next blood test, soon after this, concerned my doctor enough to call me back in, and while we waited for her to make phone calls and figure out what was going on we had no idea whether my blood had started fighting with the baby and would eventually win, and whether this also meant I could never risk pregnancy again. (It all turned out fine, obviously, but it sucked at the time.)
I’m back to appreciating my blood again now that my baby-carrying days are over. It gets me free poppas and choc-chip biscuits at the blood bank after I give it away.