The drug wore off, and in a minute's time I travelled from epidural bliss to full-on, body-wrenching pain. An ominous feeling welled up inside me, and then it came bursting out in a primal scream.
I couldn't stop writhing and screaming as the pain took over and I lost control. "You need to get yourself together and push," my nurse insisted. Couldn't she see I was trying?
The next thing I knew, there was a hand on my shoulder and the kindest eyes in front of me. The stranger began murmuring something softly, although I had no idea what. I just kept looking into her eyes, and somehow her touch soothed me, her soft words relaxed me and her eyes conveyed that I was indeed in control. I was able to roll on my back and start pushing, envisioning my baby coming out into the world.
I don't know who this nurse was: she came and went like an apparition. I've thought about her often, amazed how her touch transformed me. I want to thank her for the kind hand she gave me. I can't imagine surviving that moment without her.