feeling weak – mentally, physically. When I was pregnant with Alex I was very determined not to request an epidural, or any kind of drugs if at all possible, though I would not rule them out if there was a good reason. And so with Alex I had 16 hours of back labor and an hour of pushing on very little sleep, and no epidural – the only drugs I ended up taking were stadol (sp?) which knocked me out and gave me a rest after a constant pattern of 3 contractions and then a rest, then 3 contractions, rest, 3 contractions, rest…and a little pitocen to try to regulate this pattern somewhat. This was my personal choice – I believe it’s every woman’s own decision to make – and since every pregnancy and every labor and every woman is different – there are a lot of factors that go into that decision. But this time around I’m having a harder time sticking to my guns, as it were, regarding the "no meds if possible" mind set I had before. My lower back is killing me. I pulled a muscle or something within the past week or so and it’s not feeling better. It’s just feeling worse. It doesn’t go away. It’s just a constant feeling of sharp pain across my lower back that has stretched around across the front of me and is like a sharp band that doesn’t let up. Hot showers don’t work any more. I can’t get comfortable in any position on a bed or couch or chair…it’s frustrating. I went to the hospital yesterday just so someone could see if anything was going on – I didn’t feel like I could tell if any of this was contraction-related. They hooked me up to a monitor and Bill and I listened to the baby’s heartbeat for a while and watched the graph paper as it unfurled from the machine, recording both the baby’s heart rate and my couple of contractions. I’m still only one cm dilated, too. So – they sent me home. Baby’s fine – that’s the most important thing. Mommy’s not so hot. I’m feeling bouts of something that tastes vaguely like fear. When I think of going into labor with my back already feeling like this…I find myself feeling afraid. Weak, physically…weak mentally. And I don’t like it at all. And I know other women go through worse…I know there are far worst things in life – outside of pregnancy stuff, that people endure. And here I am feeling like a wimp. But I’m tired and sore…and it’s just getting to me. Nope. Don’t like it at all.