Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Below.
Lance, one of the captains I work with whoâ€™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 Â about his wife, his kids, and childbirth. We both relived a few moments of Â our Â childrenâ€™s Â entrance Â into Â this Â world, Â which Â was close to the surface for me, given that today is Aislinnâ€™s birthday and she was born the evening before Thanksgiving, moments Â before Â my Â OB/GYN Â went Â on vacation. (Deadlines, deadlines!)
But Lance Â said Â something Â about Â childbirth Â that Â Iâ€™d forgotten.
Before Shannon, my eldest, was born, Dr. Harris had talked about the stages of childbirth and what to expect with Â each. Â When Â he Â talked Â about Â â€œtransition,â€ Â the Â last part of the laboring before a mom-to-be is ready to push and deliver, he didnâ€™t make a lot of sense. To me, at least.
Shannon was a very difficultÂ baby to bring into the world. She Â got Â 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 Â between Â playing Â Scrabble Â with Â her dad and time Â to push, something Â weird happened. Â My feet were cold and I wanted socks. My feet were hot and I wanted them off. My thighs got struck by Â 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 didnâ€™t know what I wanted and I couldnâ€™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 Â ago, Â when Â I was Â in labor Â with Aislinn…letâ€™s see, Â 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 Iâ€™d Â gone Â through Â with Â Shannon. Â Sheesh, Â I could Â have plowed the back 40 after supper. But I distinctly remember suddenly Â wanting socks and not wanting socks and wondering what was wrong with me that I couldnâ€™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 Â of fire on my thighs and…oh, yeah. â€œIâ€™m in transition!â€ I announced.
I think major changes in our lives are like childbirth. All Â that Â labor Â and Â hard Â work Â to Â get Â somewhere Â and then…that Â sense Â of Â wondering Â and Â wandering Â and Â not knowing exactly what you want and not being Â 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 â€œtransition.â€
Just a little longer and the transition will be over, and itâ€™ll be time Â to Â push for what you want and see the rewards of your efforts.