Monday, November 28, 2011


During my first semester in college, I had to give a speech in my English class. I never really had any trouble giving speeches in front of my classmates, so this didn't seem like any big deal. I do tend to get nervous before giving speeches, and so my standard coping mechanism was to volunteer to go first. Then I could sit back and relax while everyone else gave their speeches, and there wasn't anyone before me that I had to compare myself to.

All was rolling along smoothly while giving my speech in this freshman English class. The instructor was sitting in the front, and when I had 5 minutes left in which to wrap up my speech, he indicated this by slightly holding up his hand in front of him. I remember noticing it but continuing on with my speech. Later when in a conference with him about the speech, he mentioned that after he gave me the time warning, my face flushed red and he wondered if I was embarrassed. I think he was hoping that he hadn't thrown me off at all. I didn't feel embarrassed and I also didn't realize that my face had flushed.

Since that point, I have come to notice that face-flushing (and ears, neck and chest flushing) are not uncommon for me if I feel I am in the spotlight. It would happen to me when being formally observed while teaching (I can't tell you how many times my students would say: "Mrs. Hess, your face is all red." and I would tell them it was because I was being observed and that they shouldn't mention it b/c it would make it even worse.) It never happened on a regular classroom day. I learned to wear my hair down on those observation days and wear a shirt with a high collar if possible. The less skin showing, the less flushing observed.

It even happens sometimes when I'm hanging out with friends and I find myself in the spotlight and feeling uncomfortable for some reason. Most recently, it started happening at my prenatal appointments. I've been going in more often since it's the end of pregnancy, and I feel my cheeks flush, my ears burn, and if I touch my face, it's very warm. So I've been wearing my hair down and today I wrapped a light scarf around my neck so you couldn't see all the bright pink skin.

I laughingly acknowledge my flaming face when I'm with the midwife and kind of explain why I think I'm all flushed. That helps me feel a little better although it doesn't necessarily make the pinkness go away.

I just realized that I didn't experience any of this crazy face-flushing during our wedding. I'm so thankful. Otherwise, I'd be looking like I was sunburned in all our photos! And I would've been a lot less comfortable.

(And just a side note, things are going well as far as prenatal visits are concerned. The baby seems fine, I'm fine and all is on track for a birth center delivery. Dan takes my blood pressure here at home and those numbers have been fine. I can't tell you what they are b/c I don't look at them and he doesn't tell me. I just take them to the midwives, and they keep reassuring me that they're fine. They take my blood pressure at the office and have said all is well so far. Even though I still get nervous, this prenatal experience has been much more peaceful for me than the last. I'm very thankful.)

Edwin's finally awake. Off I go.


  1. This post made me laugh, Amy- I flush all the time, in similar situations, even if I don't feel very embarrassed (though sometimes I do once I turn lobster red!) I actually wore a heavy foundation for my wedding so it wouldn't be obvious- it's usually just on my face- or else I'd probably look like I was sunburned, also! I usually just try to ignore it, and sometimes it goes away. Glad your pregnancy is progressing so smoothly- almost there!

  2. So I read this yesterday and then a girl who sits across from me, in my field seminar, was giving a presentation. Her whole face and chest turned bright red even though she didn't seem the slightest bit nervous! I couldn't help but think of you.