I forced myself out of bed, still shaking intensely, put my things together, woke Tim and slipped out the door in the dark while the rest of the house was silent. The warmth from the heater in the passenger seat calmed my shivering enough to allow my muscles to relax a bit and I welcomed the reprieve. I was admitted to labor and delivery with a fever, which meant extra antibiotics, monitoring and made it necessary for the NICU team to be on standby. This next part usually goes fairly quickly, so you can imagine my disdain when we had been there six hours with no real progress. My desire to relax and just take a nap, conflicted with my desire to make an effort to get things moving. I kept thinking of all the things I could be getting done at home if we would have stayed a little longer...but then again, I wouldn't have antibiotics on board to shake that fever either.
I must admit that just because I have done this eight times before, my anxiety grew with each passing minute. The memories of the intense pain and excruciating physical effort required seemed to become more and more amplified. More than once I inquired about an epidural, even though I've not previously had one. I'm not sure that my fear of the pain and effort is greater than my fear of an epidural. In the end, I decided I could suck it up. I'm sure that the adrenaline that follows produces such a euphoria that the pain and fatigue quickly evaporates.