– By Elizabeth
I had a good day today.
Yes, it’s true.
I had a good day yesterday too. And not just “good for Cambodia,” but honest to goodness, downright good.
Last November I climbed a 20 foot pole. And jumped off it. (I know you’re all asking yourselves if this is the same non-athletic Elizabeth Hunzinger you thought you knew.) I climbed it with no fear. But when I got to the top, I froze. The transition from crouching at the top of the pole to standing on the top of the pole was incredibly frightening. It’s the shortest part, about 1 second of motion, but it’s the most difficult. And I needed Jonathan to coach me through it. Once I was standing, I felt fine again.
It’s the same in labor. Transition, that part of labor just before full dilation, is the shortest part. It’s also the most intense and the place where a mom doubts herself. She needs help to get through it. (Jonathan claims that since he did this for me 4 times, I owe him 4 doula fees).
At MTI last fall we learned about the “Chaos Bridge,” which is an analogy for transition (or “transsizion,” as our South African SPLICE leader called it). We start out settled and stable, move into unsettled with all its farewells, and then into the bouncy bubbly transition. We start to come out of it while resettling, and then finally reach a new settled state.
When I was neck deep in missionary transition, you supported me with prayers and encouragement. I couldn’t have made it through without your doula-ing, as all my birthie friends would say.
Transition. The most terrible part. The shortest part. Now I know with certainty that it doesn’t last forever. And I can assure the next person I see experiencing transition that it does indeed end. It’s painful, but it won’t last long. Not much longer now. I promise.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4