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I read this statement from the midwife archives on gentlebirth.org and would like to hear some thoughts. This will be my first homebirth and I just found it interesting.<br><br><span style="color:#000080;">"Transition" as described in childbirth classes does not exist in homebirth as we practice it. The hall marks of transition with the the "Third Emotional Sign Post: Self Doubt" as labeled by Bradley just don't exist at home. "Transition" happens in a hospital because the staff starts to change their behavior, i.e.. flipping on the warmer, rolling in the instrument table, more staff in and out as they perceive the intensity in her labor. This activity registers in the brain as danger to the birthing environment causing distress to the laboring woman. As well, most childbirth education classes are very outdated in presenting that somehow a woman is in a place of self doubt because she is not able to verbalize what she wants or needs. Rather the model should be constructed that she is in the deepest part of her work. Are men in a place of self doubt because if you were to ask whether they want chicken or fish for dinner in the most intense moments before they orgasm during sex they might fumble for an answer? So I feel like we are teaching a whole lot of women that when they are in the deep mystical night so to speak of their labor, they are in the land of self doubt. How utterly disempowering!" Transition" has become a buzz word that I have to de-program out of my clients birth view.</span>
 

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Hmmm, I actually find this quite insulting. As if, I'm somehow less of a woman because I experienced self doubt during my labor. What crap. It was hard, I was tired, and yes, I doubted myself for a few minutes. Then I pushed out a beautiful, perfect, 8lb 11oz baby. I didn't find it "disempowering" at all. Actually, giving birth to my daughter at home, in spite of my moment of "weakness" (read with HUGE amount of sarcasm) was the most incredibly, empowering thing I have ever done. Got to tell you - if I met this woman face to face - we might have words! Oh well, she's entitled to her opinion - and me to mine!
 

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I didn't experience a traditional "transition" at my homebirth. I was tired, so I asked a few times if I was close to finished.... but I never did the "I can't do this" thing.<br><br>
-Angela
 

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Hmmm...I don't know. With my hospital birth, self doubt was exactly what led to an epidural. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to handle the pain, and no one around me offered anything other than "then get the epidural." I don't know that self doubt and transition are necessarily linked though. We're hoping for a home birth this time, and I'm expecting the midwife to be more supportive of my choice and not contribute to that doubt. I do firmly believe that the general hospital procedures contributed to my stress. This is exactly what's been going through my head since I decided to HB last week. But I think the problem isn't self doubt, I find it hard to believe anyone doesn't experience SOME of that. The problem is how that doubt is handled, and how the environment of the birth contributes to or alleviates that doubt.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Hmmm, I actually find this quite insulting. As if, I'm somehow less of a woman because I experienced self doubt during my labor. What crap. It was hard, I was tired, and yes, I doubted myself for a few minutes. Then I pushed out a beautiful, perfect, 8lb 11oz baby. I didn't find it "disempowering" at all. Actually, giving birth to my daughter at home, in spite of my moment of "weakness" (read with HUGE amount of sarcasm) was the most incredibly, empowering thing I have ever done. Got to tell you - if I met this woman face to face - we might have words! Oh well, she's entitled to her opinion - and me to mine!</td>
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<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/truedat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Truedat"><br>
Most of my friends are homebirthers and we have all experienced transition.<br>
I do think that it can happen at a different time though, especially when nobody is saying "you're 7cm" I think most of us look back and think 'Well, this was transition because...."<br>
With both of my home waterbirths I had moments of doubt. I distinctly remember with my first homebirth sitting in the tub thinking I had screwed myself because there was no way I was going to put on clothes and get in the car but being numb sounded so DAMN GOOD<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nut.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nut"> About 30 seconds past and I got down to the business of my labor without even saying a word to anyone.<br>
With #4 which was a VERY fast (45 min) labor I knew the baby was coming fast -- my labor started with transition and I told my MW that this was VERY different. She was a bit worried because she is a huge believer in women's intuition and thought different was bad but really different just meant - freight train fast<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yikes">:<br><br>
When in transition you cry, yell, scream, curse and say things you wouldn't normally say. You are hot, cold, pukey and generally pissed off and it is a right of passage. Transition sucks but getting on the other side of it is the most empowering thing I have ever felt.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
My MW has been doing homebirths for 26 years, transition is assumed and she finds it quite amusing and tends to laugh (to herself) because she knows it is GOOD and that the baby will be here soon<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
Keri
 

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Umm, not sure I quite agree. It just seems to me that midwives are more likely to recognize transition for what it is (an often intense experience) than say, an L&D nurse who just offers drugs. JMO though.
 

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Well, I have definite "transition signs" (right before my babies are born) and I don' think I would get a numb tounge and sound like a drunk trying to talk and tingly fingers and hot flashes because I am afraid, LOL! It is the rush of hormones near the birth that does that to me. Also, I remember contractions being more intense near the birth. As far as emotional, as a first time mom, the increased intensity and weird happenings to my body messed with me a bit and I need extra reassurance.<br>
*edited* to add I needed extra reassurance that this would not go on forever, LOL. I think that's what happened to me is I got a little scared thinking there is no way I could go on and on like this. I do like the way the above article called it the deepest part of her work.
 

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I am living proof that transition occurs with the hallmark sign post being self doubt. It was because of that that we transferred in for some pain killer.<br><br>
I think that homebirths have less frantic transitions maybe. Women who plan homebirths are going to be more educated about the birth process. (Not saying planned hospital birth aren't educated just a different level is needed) They need to know what can go wrong and what to do and how to recognize it etc. That being said they are going to realize possibly sooner than others when their transition is happeneing. They'll be able to go into it a bit easier than suddenly being hit with self doubt and all the hormones and everything that make transition so tough and KNOW somewhere within them that it's transition. They won't be as taken off guard. Clear as mud? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kerikadi</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think most of us look back and think 'Well, this was transition because...."</div>
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Exactly! I had a little self-doubt, too. Ctxs were right on top of each other, I was nauseous, I was disoriented, but I still thought I was in early labor. That scared me! But then I was pushing my baby out.<br><br>
Transition certainly exists in homebirth. It's probably different than a hospital-birth transition, but I can't say as I've never birthed in a hospital.<br><br>
I think a lot of midwives actually gauge your progress by transition. If you start saying "I can't do this!," they know it's almost baby time for most women.
 

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Ridiculous. Transition happens. Whether or not we're aware of it is another issue.<br>
I certainly noticed transition with my first birth. I wanted to push a little, but it wasn't unbearable yet. I threw up a few times. I got clammy, sweaty, and a little shaky. It was OBVIOUSLY transition.<br>
Second birth I think I STARTED in transition, but didn't realize it because I hadn't noticed anything labor signs until my water broke. Then it was immediately back to back debilitating contractions where it felt like I was trying to crawl out of my own skin!<br>
Either the person who said transition doesn't exist in homebirth isn't really paying attention to the mothers she helps, or she's rather inexperienced IMO.<br><br>
- krista
 

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Well that's fascinating and I agree with all the posters about it being a little insulting. But...what does they mean by "homebirth AS WE PRACTIVE IT." Meaning THEY don't acknowledge transition? It's something else going to full dilation? Then what? It's a physical happening that we express in very individual ways. Just because I say I can't do it anymore doesn't mean I won't. I mean, come on....where the heck am I going go that will make labor go away?<br><br>
Ironically enough, I did not experience anything during transition at my first HOSPITAL (natural Bradley) birth. I experienced it with a vengeance at my homebirth. I sat on the toilet thinking I couldn't do it anymore, then verbalizing that someone had to just kill me. I left the bathroom and threw up in the garbage and was fine. I knew I was in transition during those moments. Transition actually woke me up from a restful labor sleep....gripped me like 2 large hands that I thought were going to rip me apart! Self doubt was part of that experience and I can't deny that feeling. It was quick though and I did live....and I'll be fine this time too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I just wonder about the author's language and use of "as we practice it." That might explain a little more about what they mean.
 

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I just had a homebirth, and definitely perceived transition. No one else was making any changes to what they were doing, just me.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kerikadi</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">When in transition you cry, yell, scream, curse and say things you wouldn't normally say. You are hot, cold, pukey and generally pissed off and it is a right of passage. Transition sucks but getting on the other side of it is the most empowering thing I have ever felt.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"></div>
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I agree completely. I had an amazing homebirth, and definitely had transition. I had some self-doubt during it. But what matters to me most is that I got through it! I'm still in awe that I had a homebirth (six weeks ago! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> ).<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Meaning THEY don't acknowledge transition?</td>
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See, I think that would make it even worse not acknowleding it. When I hit transition and felt self-doubt, it helped me SO much when Dh and my midwife reminded me that I was feeling what I was feeling because of transition, not because I was actually incapable of having my baby. It helped me remember that transition was the shortest part of labor and that it would pass soon.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kerikadi</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/truedat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Truedat"><br>
When in transition you cry, yell, scream, curse and say things you wouldn't normally say. You are hot, cold, pukey and generally pissed off and it is a right of passage. Transition sucks but getting on the other side of it is the most empowering thing I have ever felt.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"></div>
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This was my experience. also. I had definite transitions in both my homebirths.
 

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I think what the post was trying to convey is that sometimes what women are taught about labor isn't always going to be their experience. I agree that constant vaginal exams leads to a voicing of "transition" to women when in fact they are in a fragile state at that time and shouldn't be rocked with readying of "instruments", etc.
 

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I definitely had "Transition" during my homebirth! It was a very intense 10 minutes or so of complete and total panic. I wanted to go the hospital, I wanted drugs, I wanted my midwife to come back and all of a sudden I wanted to push and I realized what was happening. There was no change in my outside environment at the time, my self doubt came completely from within.<br><br>
The reason I didn't recognize it at the time was because I had just been checked and was only 4 cm so my midwife went to check on another Mama in labour. She just barely ran back in the door in time to catch.
 

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I know that for myself (hospital births) I had a distinct transition faze, and in talking to my sisters, they seem to have the same experience.<br><br>
For 'us' it seems to be a total shift in the progression of labour... from managing the contractions, to getting down to bussiness. Personally, I feel the intence desire to "go somewhere" I don't care where, I just know for a dead certainty that I am outta there LOL
 

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I think that the problem here is how we define "transition" I know that if you are talking about the "I can't do this. I want to go home" definition, the only time I experienced that was my first birth. That said, I got out of the car at the hospital last time, felt the urge to push, felt my knees go week, felt my heart quicken, hands sweat, and turned to DH and said "Ummm... They're not sending me home this time!" I told him it was transition but I was referring to a transition in my body's behavior, not my control. As a matter of fact, the nurses kept trying to talk down to me or over my head and my dh and were quite surprised when I told them to knock it off and then started cracking jokes about myself! I think it's all in your definition and then it's a matter of self-confidence in knowing that you can do it. In my case, knowing I had done it before and was almost finished this time gave me that strength. That confidence and feeling like I, frankly, knew much more about my body and birthing my baby than the nurses or dr. did is what has led me to the confidence and decision to hb this time! I couldn't have done it my 1st time, I don't think. Not w/out transporting and an anxiety attack! I have tons of respect and honor for those of you with the strength to do it at home first time around!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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I 100% disagree with that article!! I think it is very untrue. I defenitely experienced transition, the self doubt signpost, etc. I was sitting peacefully in the tub when my midwife checked me and I was complete. As she was checking me the bulging water bag broke and first baby's head began to descend. I began to shake and feel VERY strange and weird noises began coming from me. I was scared, confused and had no idea what was going on. I am so glad my midwives were there. It felt like a chemical/hormonal thing to me. I also experienced it again as baby #2 was about to be born.
 

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Sooo interesting...<br>
Only about 30% of women experience transition anyway. I would say I went through transition with my homebirth, but I have never thought to link it to any kind of self doubt. I got to a point where I was hanging in there, but I knew if it became any more intense it would be too much. I asked if it was going to get any worse, and was reassured it wouldn't, and I was fine with that. A few minutes later I said, "I don't want to do this anymore" and I didn't, it hurt! My doula reminded me that was a good positive sign, which I knew, and felt better once she reaffirmed it. I was having double and triple peak contractions, which were very intense. I'd call that transition! After about 15 minutes it passed and I was fully dialated and told I could start pushing when I wanted to. It was tough, but I made it through. It was a homebirth, but I've always thought I experienced transition. I know self doubt is an emotional sign post (I had a Bradley birth) but there are other signs of transition as well. I think its pretty hoaky to say it doesn't happen at home!<br>
That said, I don't think I would have handled it anywhere NEAR as well in a hospital.
 
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