Transition

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Below.

Lance, one of the captains I work with who’s just re- turned from months in the desert, dropped by my office to say hello and Happy Thanksgiving, and we ended up in a riotous conversation about his feelings  about his wife, his kids, and childbirth. We both relived a few moments of  our  children’s  entrance  into  this  world,  which  was close to the surface for me, given that today is Aislinn’s birthday and she was born the evening before Thanksgiving, moments  before  my  OB/GYN  went  on vacation. (Deadlines, deadlines!)

Attract Him Back

But Lance  said  something  about  childbirth  that  I’d forgotten.

Before Shannon, my eldest, was born, Dr. Harris had talked about the stages of childbirth and what to expect with  each.  When  he  talked  about  “transition,”  the  last part of the laboring before a mom-to-be is ready to push and deliver, he didn’t make a lot of sense. To me, at least.

Shannon was a very difficult  baby to bring into the world. She  got  stuck and it took an hour and a half of pushing, sheer willpower not to have a C-section, and my doc using some funky little suction cup like a plunger on her head. Total labor time was still under 3 hours, and just my luck, I dilated too fast to get an epidural.

But somewhere  between  playing  Scrabble  with  her dad and time  to push, something  weird happened.  My feet were cold and I wanted socks. My feet were hot and I wanted them off. My thighs got struck by  the most in- tense fire that felt like nothing ever in my life. My ex was a little perplexed by my need for socks, no socks, socks, no socks. It seemed like I didn’t know what I wanted and I couldn’t seem to get satisfied with anything that was offered. The nurse just laughed and said it was a sure sign of transition.

Fourteen years  ago,  when  I was  in labor  with Aislinn…let’s see,  too fast for an epidural, about 1.5 hours from the first real contraction until a 2-push birth and I had no idea that childbirth could be that easy, given what I’d  gone  through  with  Shannon.  Sheesh,  I could  have plowed the back 40 after supper. But I distinctly remember suddenly  wanting socks and not wanting socks and wondering what was wrong with me that I couldn’t make up my mind and nothing seemed exactly as I wanted it or just right and I was just annoyed with myself and every- thing around me.

Then I got that weird sensation  of fire on my thighs and…oh, yeah. “I’m in transition!” I announced.

I think major changes in our lives are like childbirth. All  that  labor  and  hard  work  to  get  somewhere  and then…that  sense  of  wondering  and  wandering  and  not knowing exactly what you want and not being  satisfied yet with exactly where you are…and then finally being able to push forward hard and deliver.

As I was telling someone today who is going through a transformation, this stage is like “transition.”

Just a little longer and the transition will be over, and it’ll be time  to  push for what you want and see the rewards of your efforts.