It was evening; the room was dim. As she pulled open the door, the stark hallway light flashed across a green sheet of paper someone had posted on the door. On the sign I could just make out the image of water droplets on a falling leaf. Someone had placed it on my hospital door when I’d arrived. The nurse told me it was the universal symbol of grief.
Another contraction came on and I gripped the bedrails. Breathe in, breathe out, out out, out. AHHHHHHHHHHH I moaned as the pain seared all across the front of my body. I was holding out on the epidural because I wanted to let my cervix dilate as much as possible on its own before asking for pain relief. I’d had good luck with epidurals in the past, but the outcome is always dicey and this wasn’t a time I wanted to take any chances. I’d had c-sections before as well and they turned out fine, but that wasn’t how I wanted this to end. I needed to do this myself or I would forever regret it.