The funniest moment of any stand up comedian’s act has to be Bill Cosby on the subject of childbirth in Bill Cosby Himself. (Way on back)

He discusses Lamaze classes. He talks about Breathing: “heeee whoo heeee whoo Puushhh- pusshh”
He discusses Lizards… and other wet and wrinkly creatures that newborns resemble upon arrival. And he discusses the PAIN of childbirth… in a manner that only a man… err.. I guess I mean only in a way… a comedian can…

Because let’s face it: Childbirth is FUNNY. It is uncomfortable, awkward and leaves you seeing and hearing things you never expected to see or hear. It can be painful.

But, it’s not SO bad. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my babies and I was prepared to have them the Natural childbirth way.

But… There is NOTHING natural about carrying a full-grown turkey under your shirt. And speaking of shirts there is NOTHING beautiful about Maternity shirts…

But that’s another subject…

In my case. I did not “do” natural childbirth. Frankly, they didn’t “do” natural childbirth “to” me. Once there was a need to speed up labor, using medicines that create tidal-wave size contractions at the push of a button, I made it very clear I would NO LONGER be doing “natural” childbirth. And I soon had a LOVELY, BEAUTIFUL epidural running up and down my back… Did I say how LOVELY they were?

I HIGHLY recommend them. Much to the chagrin, I am sure, of my Lamaze teaching-nurse Mom (who proudly supported me and announced in all 4 cases it was completely needed and inevitable to have the epidurals. -She does not know I ASKED for the epidural with baby number 4 pretty much from the eighth month on… I was like showing up at my O.B. Appts with a catheter in my back ready to just get plugged in to the LOVELINESS that I found in epidurals.) Sorry, mom.

After my firstborn… I “tried” natural again with my second baby. But when I got stuck in that part of labor called “transition” for over an hour: Non-stop contractions… Mind racing… Thinking how much longer? I wasn’t able to focus on anything. Except the floral wallpaper behind the hospital bed.

I TRIED the breathing, squeezing my husbands hand, staring at the wall, closing my eyes…. Everything. I was in a black hole. Mentally…. I couldn’t snap out of it. Couldn’t see how close I was to the finish line…

Usually this part of labor is like 15 minutes. It’s non stop. It’s painful. But it’s supposed to be short…. But, not this time…

I was STUCK in Transition.

So I ASKED for help. My second epidural. And once the medicine kicked in, my body relaxed and did its job. It worked on autopilot. And ten minutes later out popped a two year old.

10 lbs 4 oz!!!!!!!

I mean, NO WONDER I got stuck in the hardest part of labor… She was waiting until she could WALK out…

I didn’t feel badly about the epidural. I LOVED it. It was perfect. I had done most all the work myself. But TRANSITION got me tired…

Transition happens to all of us. Not the childbirth kind. The LIFE kind. And it may seem like a tidal wave caught you off guard, and you get back up only to be knocked on your back again in salty, sandy non-Caribbean waves.

You may find yourself, like I did, staring at flowers on the wallpaper. Wishing there was something more geometric to look at. Wishing the same four colors: purple, burgundy, royal blue and hunter green had not become quite as popular in the late 90s as they had become. Because you HATE those four colors. And you HATE the cream backgrounds and the soft, soothing music and hospital beds and nurses and everything…

And all you want… Is… Out of this black hole.

My recommendation: Close eyes… breathe… squeeze the hand of the loved one with you… and repeat.

And then ask for an epidural if possible…

Life lesson: TRANSITION doesn’t last forever…your beautiful lizard is almost here….


5 thoughts on “Transition

  1. Pastor Abigail, after reading your potty post today and discovering you have a blog, I ventured in to see what else there is. I have a blog too, you know. It has only one entry and it’s entitled “Spanglish” I remembered I had one last week, BTW. It’s been there for a few years… But this that you wrote brought tears to my eyes. I am not having a baby anytime soon, don’t worry! But I am in TRANSITION and it seems like it’s never ending, especially today, it just seemed never ending. This came as an encouragement at the end of a day of enduring the pain. Wish I knew where to get an epidural! We have a saying in Spanish “No hay mal que dure 100 años, ni cuerpo que lo aguante” or in the words of Crystal Lewis, “El dia vendra, y sin saber tu temporada cambiara…” So nevertheless, waiting for my beautiful lizard, knowing that transition doesn’t last forever. I am so ready for a new season. Thanks for sharing this. I’m sure some of the actual labor info will come in handy one day.

  2. Love it, If God gives me another baby, I will read this blog again,my only labor experience was great, but I missed some things I was supposed to do, so thank you for this advice I will keep it handy.

  3. So , tell the truth were you thinking of me when you wrote this? Considering my last comment? I wish I had an epidural to get me through the next few months. Maybe a constant drip of god running through my veins will work, but I can’t forget to plug him in! 🙂

  4. Abigail, me encanto, es bueno recordar que el tiempo de transicion es pasejero y es antes de un gran milagro (bebe). Gracias por tus palabras, sigue escribiendo. Te quiero mucho.

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