Can you please help me stop worrying about transition?

(53 Posts)

Im 39+4 with my third. For various reasons Ive had epidurals for my 2 previous labours, and only 'felt' the pains up to 7/8cms. Im booked for a homebirth (hopefully this will happen this time!) and have been feeling twinges since Friday, getting slightly more noticeable so I may be having the baby soon.

It only recently dawned on me blush that I don't know how it is to go from 7/8cms and through to the transition stage and now Im pretty (ok very) scared about it. Ive read (and people keep saying!) that this is when a lot of women really struggle, Im worried it might last ages and I'll feel out of control/like I cant cope.

I had a midwife appt today, one I hadn't met before and tried explaining my concerns to her, tbh it was hard to get a word in and she said Id be 'fine' and that I 'could always go in for another epidural if I couldn't cope'. Fair enough I guess but my 1st labour and birth was long and traumatic and tool me months to get over. I think its that loss of control feeling that has got to me, I felt for months Id failed.

With regards the first birth, what helped me decide to ttc my daughter was the fact that Id managed to get as far as I did just by breathing, tens machine early on (which I soon removed as hated the feeling) and a bit of gas and air. It was all taken out of my hands once Id stopped progressing and was taken into hospital. I remember being at home labouring, the pains were strong but I was doing okay. Dh reminds me that the midwife turned to him and said "is she always this in control?" and Dh said "actually she suffers quite terribly with anxiety!" which is true - I always have done. But her saying that and dh telling me reminds me that I can be strong and in control when I need to, but this doesn't seem to be enough at the moment sad

I considered a tens this time, but decided not to bother as really didn't like how it felt before, but now I worry Im slowly convincing myself that I wont be able to manage without all these props, but up until recently I truly believed Id be able to manage. This is my last baby, I cant go through this again, Im trying to enjoy it for that reason but Ive been in tears a few times before bed incase this is the night it all kicks off and goes 'wrong' again. I just don't know if Im strong enough anymore, I don't feel it.

Sorry for rambling

I should also say - I feel very strongly that I want a homebirth and so the midwives comments were a little on the flippant side though I know she meant well, what I needed was support that I could manage that stage. Im not against going into hospital if that's what has to happen by any means.

SolomanDaisy Wed 19-Feb-14 20:29:51

I didn't know I'd been through transition, I don't remember it feeling any different to from 5cm on. If you got to 7/8 cm before, you will be fine.

glorious Wed 19-Feb-14 20:32:51

It does sound dreadful doesn't it! Fwiw though I never experienced anything I could identify as transition. I was checked at 8cm and remember being a bit disappointed it wasn't more and then my waters went and there was no particular change until I started pushing. I was exhausted though so perhaps that was why!

Anyway I just wanted to say that it might be fine.

And if not, you are really near the end by then so perhaps you could ask DH and the midwife for lots of support at that point.

I found Juju Sundin's book Birth Skills really invaluable as it's full of very practical stuff to do to manage pain (which was simpler and easier than hypnotherapy stuff which I found great earlier on but too much later).

DrownedGirl Wed 19-Feb-14 20:39:37

For me, reaching the point where I suddenly start to feel I can't do it, is actually a relief in a way, because having had 3 births, I know that transition is the end of the difficult part. Once you can start to push, although it's hard work, the overwhelming feeling is one of determined expulsion, in my experience. After the rush of adrenaline that is transition, I have always found myself really leaping into the second stage.

Can you try some positive visualisation of how you will feel and act at that point, so you have some phrases in your head or for your partner to say to you?

Something like ... My cervix is open and now we can give birth, sort of thing?

Watch some YouTube videos maybe?

Ok so it might not be such a noticeable 'feeling' as such, that's good to know. Im hoping that if the pains are how I remember then I'll be spending all of my energy focussing on getting through them alone. I guess an experienced midwife would notice this and help me through?

Im struggling dealing with the fact that for 8 years I thought Id been taken into hosp for all the right reasons, yet the midwife today also said that had the midwife I had 1st encouraged me to change position etc rather than get an ambulance straight away, my son may not have got stuck and I wouldn't have had to have an epidural and then a forceps birth and everything that came with that. I remember my sons little bruised face when he came out sad Im feeling sad and a bit angry. I guess I'll never know what the outcome may have been and should just be happy that my son is here and wonderful. It was a bit of a shock tbh, I think its clouding my own judgement of my body. I hope what Ive written doesn't sound out of turn.

Drowned - thank you. Its good that maybe I could try telling myself that the toughest part is pretty much over, and baby is nearly arrived. Im a big fan of positive visualisation so will be doing this before bed.

Being induced was mentioned today too, that's got me worrying. Bit of a mental overload kind of day today.

DrownedGirl Wed 19-Feb-14 20:44:54

In my first birth at transition I was saying
'I can't do it... I need a rest!'

In my second I said 'I hope this is transition because I am feeling totally panicky!' ... The midwife at this point twigged that the first stage had been really fast, luckily, because otherwise I would have started pushing out twin 1 wiite unexpectedly while standing in the bathroom!

Transition isn't something you need to 'endure'
To me it's the point of no return, the second at the top of a roller coaster. Once you are pushing, you lose your conscious self and it's all automatic

You can do it. X

I'll also say a huge thanks for the replies and for any that follow, I'll be off here soon but didn't want to be rude! Im so appreciative of all of the advice and support xx

heather1 Wed 19-Feb-14 20:46:50

Transition for me with ds1 was eating all my snacks a feeling cold. Labour with ds2was quicker and I don't remember it!
My mum gave me some great advice which was to say when asked 'I'm fine, I am coping' this worked well for me.
Plus staying at home as long as I could. When I got to hospital it was too late for anything other than gas and air. But your having a home birth so maybe not so helpful, sorry!
Tens is good, well for me it was. Used it with both. Slap in on the minute you feel contractions, earlier the better. When I looked at it after labour I was surprised to see how much I had upped the intensity. I didn't remember doing it at the time! I ripped it off when it was time to push as it was annoying me.
All your concerns sounds totally normal. Your DH sounds like a great advocate for you.

Thanks for that Drowned, I like how you've put it xx

pootlebug Wed 19-Feb-14 20:52:20

My first and second labours both had an identifiable 'transition' bit. I threw up, wasn't really ready to push but the contractions were thick and fast. But I never felt like it was 'the worst bit' or a horrendous bit to endure or anything. By the 2nd one I was thinking 'Ah, vomit=transition....not long to go now'.

Third labour was waaaaay quicker than the other two and no identifiable transition bit that I can remember.

FWIW my home births (2 and 3) were way better than my hospital birth. Can you get a pool? I found it v helpful for pain relief but also because it felt like MY space - even though I was in my own house.

Thanks heather, that's ok - if I have to go into hosp then so be it. Im hoping being at home will help calm me. I got thoroughly annoyed with the tens, one of the pads kept coming off and I was feeling horrible shocky pains when it did this but it was good to try and doze through the early contractions with it. I found it easier after taking it off by somewhat 'removing' myself from the whole situation and thinking beyond the pain, like there was no one in the room. Im hoping to do that again, take myself off somewhere nice smile

DrownedGirl Wed 19-Feb-14 20:52:50

The deeper you get into labour, the easier it is, in the sense that it's so involuntary, that courage isn't needed.

It's normal to feel very nervous at the end of pregnancy, and all the more so if you have had a difficult birth
Try to put to one side feelings about the first birth, especially any doubt or self blame at the direction it took

You can only make the best choices and decisions you can, at any given point... Be gentle on yourself ...it is what it is, birth, and you are not the only protagonist ... There is the baby too... And then there are the attendants ...

DrownedGirl Wed 19-Feb-14 20:54:15

Water is fantastic in my experience ... Do you have a pool? A ball to bounce on? Something you can lean over and hold onto, kneeling or standing?

PenguinsEatSpinach Wed 19-Feb-14 20:55:52

I had an epidural first time and homebirth second. No identifiable transition and end actually easier than earlier on. Doing it all again in May.grin

pootle- considered a pool but not convinced itd fit in my tiny house! I do intend to use the bath though, dh has been and bought a new plastic jug to pour water on me, and some blutak to plug the overflow bit somewhat! Im hoping that by (hopefully!) being at home that I can wander/get in the bath/make a nest unhindered by anyone 'popping in' etc like in hospital, that's got to help surely?!

Maybe I should actually try to look forward to transition, and see it as the start of the end of it all.

NoSquirrels Wed 19-Feb-14 20:57:37

I don't recall "transition" as a stage with either of mine. I have had a homebirth. I do recall being worried about it, as a concept, but not experiencing it, as such.

Like others have said, it's just the point of no return (although truly how silly, because there wasn't exactly a point in labour before that you could have said "no, I'm not having this baby!" grin) and it means that first stage is over, you are going to let your body do all the work now to push the baby out.

Your body can do remarkable things. Good luck. Enjoy it/endure it.

Badvoc Wed 19-Feb-14 20:58:51

Been through transition twice.
Made me feel sick, hot and pissed off.
Other than that it was fine.

MrsDeVere Wed 19-Feb-14 20:59:26

I am going to look stupid here but I have had four birth children and I don't really know what transition is blush

Is that the bit where you get a bit panicky for a while and want to tell everyone to fuck off?

I had two hbs and I managed fine and I am no super mum or particularly pro 'natural birth'

I just didnt want to go to hospital.

Birthing ball was bloody brilliant. Gas and air and I had pethidine on standby. I didn't use it but it helped me to feel in control.

I really recommend hypnobirthing techniques too. I didn't got the whole hog but I found CDs really useful for learning the bits that I used.

SweepTheHalls Wed 19-Feb-14 20:59:42

I definitely had clear transitions with both my deliveries, the funny thing was second time around I was completely aware that that was what it was, I said to the midwife 'I don't think I can do this anymore, although I know this just means transition and I absolutely can!' It did feel ab bit like loosing control, but only briefly, then I had complete clarity about what my body needed to do next. You will be fine.

NachoAddict Wed 19-Feb-14 20:59:47

I have had three babies and couldn't tell you what transition feels like. It was just pains, more pains, a few more pains the oh I need to push, at which point you don't really have any say in the matter.

I found just going into myself worked well with ds2, forget everyone in the room and just get through one pain at a time.

I have a ball to lean on, with my son when I was at home I spent hours on my knees leaning on the sofa and as long as I was somewhat left alone to get on with it I coped. I think I'll aim to keep upright as long as I can, and kneel when I have to. My knees were red for days!

Thank you all so much, this means a great deal xx

MrsDeVere Wed 19-Feb-14 21:04:33

guy I found the ball really helpful because it allowed me to sit down whilst I was contracting.

With my other labours I couldn't bear being in a lying or sitting position and had to keep getting up and down. With the ball I could stay sitting with my legs apart and rock though it.

I WISH I had realised that sooner!

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