Tuesday, September 09, 2008

An Australian freebirth

Congrats to this new mama, who recently gave birth unassisted to baby #3! Her birth story is a good read, especially for showing how women may act and think during transition. Yes, you may seriously want someone to kill you, right there, and you may know that you are going to die, no way about it. But somehow you get through those feelings and then, like magic, your body starts pushing and a baby arrives. It's at this point in labor that having a calm, reassuring person around can make a world of difference--even if you are mad at them for not killing you! I've seen both helpful and unhelpful comments to laboring women in transition. Helpful ones generally are brief, calm, and reassuring. Unhelpful ones are where the helper tries to argue with the woman.

(Of course not every woman experiences this classic "transition." I largely didn't, other than thinking very rationally "hmmm, I sure would like this to stop but I know it won't. But I see why people would say things like that.")

And I love the picture of her baby, half born, emerging under the water with his eyes wide open!

A few of her comments from when she was struggling with transition:
Not long after things really intensify and I start to feel like I am struggling to cope with the contractions, nothing helps anymore and I begin to really yell and SCREAM my way through contractions. I yell stuff like, *$%#, get me out, make it stop, help me and in between contractions I start begging Jamie and Lith to get me out and make it stop, that I'm not coping anymore and I don't want to do it anymore.

Transition sucks, LOL. This was the toughest part for all of us and it felt like it went on forever even though it was only about an hour, by the end Jamie was nearly in tears because there was nothing he could do or say, and Lith pissed me off by being uber calm and telling me how awesome I was etc and I whined and yelled that they weren't listening to me.

Strange things went through my head during this time, I wondered if this was transition, but didn't care because it was so hard, LOL, and I also pondered ways to escape...at one pointed I toyed with the idea of saying that I thought there was something wrong with my c/s scar but couldn't bring myself to because a- it meant lying LOL, b- I had a feeling they would see right through me and c- the thought of getting up and getting out of the pool, then having to try and deal with the pain in a moving vehicle was too much to bear. So I didn't...instead I went on to say that I wanted to die and would they please kill me.


  1. Hmm, I had that exact same feeling when I was in transition with Josh. I just wanted to die. It seemed interminable, even though it was only an hour or so. Gosh, I'm glad that I don't have to go through that every day.

    Interestingly enough, I've never experienced transition like that again. Guess I got it all taken care of in one birth. Efficient, huh? :)

  2. 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 also wanted pain relief. But the idea of getting into a car, completely horrified me. Under no circumstance would I have gotten into a car. (Though, I live across the street from a hospital, and if there was cause for concern - an ambulance would have been here within a few moments.)

    Transition is scary, and I imagine its easy to succumb to the allure of relief.
    I feel so powerful for taking it on, and getting through it. That transition led to something truly beautiful.

  3. My transition was really quiet. I shook - that annoyed me! I vomited a couple of times, went to the toilet a couple of times (not always on the toilet though lol) and had a great bloody show. And then suddenly I was pushing. Nothing like what I was expecting, I was expecting what April went through :)

  4. oh wow! I'm so flattered that you have blogged about me :) (sazz linked me LOL)

    kelley I had wondered if having had a VB before would make any difference, but I have no idea because that was induced and I couldn't feel a great deal because I had an epidural, would have been handy though LOL.

  5. My warm and fuzzy first (home) birth transition was everything they say transition is. Shaking, nausea, panic, feeling overwhelmed, no one doing the 'right' thing, declaring I'm getting an epidural NEXT time, etc. My solo labor hypnobabies transition was: "Cool, I can feel my cervix melting away in a wide circle, I must be getting near full dilation. Time to call the midwife, oh and I'll have to get up and unlock the door so she can come in." But also: "Funny, my bag of waters is still intact and I haven't experienced any contractions that are hard to handle, maybe I'm still in early labor?" LOL then I started pushing. Hypnobabies lingo calls it transformation, and by golly, it really was just that! A sense that something is about to, and/or should, soon change.

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

    That's pretty much exactly what I thought during transition and that's pretty much when I realized that's where I was. I also thought something to the effect of "Now I know why women ask for epidurals, but its not so bad. I don't need one, its almost over anyway."

  7. My homebirth transition had this kind of a internal conversation:
    "I change my mind. I want to kill myself. How can I kill myself real secret-like so noone tries to interfere? Maybe I will sneak into the bathroom and do it. But with what? These people just DO NOT understand the kind of pain I am in. Or else they would never deny me the mercy of doing the right thing and killing me. How did the women back in the old days on the farms not just take the rifle and do it? Maybe I need to just go to the hospital. Get my huge naked ass into the car and go to the hospital. Yeah, thats what is going to happen...OWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW....ok next contraction. Im gonna kill myself. Right after I catch my breath....OWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW......"
    : )

    DEspite my sense of humor here, this is pretty much how it was. Transition in a hospital bed with an epidural that didnt work, internal monitors, external monitors, catheter, blood pressure cuff and belly straps, though, that was a very dark place. All I can say is dark, dark, dark. Too near-death for my liking. But at home in my all natural glory, it was just very very strong and overwhelming. but not satanic.


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