Monday, September 15, 2008

Transition in My World

Rixa posted about transition over on her blog, and it got me thinking of how I experienced tranistion when birthing Willem.

Rixa described transition like this, "hmmm, I sure would like this to stop but I know it won't. But I see why people would say things like that."

Another commentor on her blog said, "My transition was only about 20 minutes, and I really had to ride through it so I didn't get swept under. The moment I got swept under, I started to panic and the pain increased ten fold. I also remember saying, 'I'm not ready, I'm not ready, I'm not ready' over and over - as it was all happening so quickly and intensely."

I experienced a little bit of both, as I recall.

When I reached transition, I was in the warm water tub. I had been using Hypnobirthing during my labor and I had been handling contractions very well. The sensation and cramp-like contractions started to get stronger than I had been accostomed to. From what I remember, I felt like everything in my pelvis was stinging and cramping. I started saying to my doula "I don't know what to do right now. I can't breathe the hypnobirthing way." I also started waving my hands alot, similar to the hand-waving stims of austic children. That how my panic mainfested itself.

For some reason my doula left the room for a little bit (or maybe she merged in with the background to be very inobtrusive). The midwife and nurses were out of the bathroom. For the first time while at the hospital, I was alone.

It was then that I was able to regroup and get on top of my labor. And that's when I had the distinct thought, "Now I know why women ask for epidurals, but its not so bad. I don't need one, its almost over anyway."

I find it striking to realize that the time I found the most success in coping with transition contractions was when I felt unobserved, unhindered by watchful eyes. This would not be surprising to Michel Odent or Sarah Buckley, but it provides me a measure of relief in recognizing that being alone in labor was helpful to me.

One of my husband's fears of unobserved birthing is that I won't be able to be independent and labor effectively on my own. Making this realization helps me know that, based on my prior experience, being alone and idependent of "assitants" will be helpful to me.

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