Ah, that moment when you feel like you can’t go on, and yet you’re actually almost there. This moment rears its head in lots of ways throughout life, and can often be a real difficult hurdle during labour and a couple of simple mindset tips can help you to keep going.
First let me share a story with you, so the other day, I arrived at a tube station I’d never been to before, and upon exiting, instead of the lift, I decided to follow the guy in front of me and take the stairs.
The first few felt good, exciting even, I was getting a nice boost of endorphins and enjoying the exercise.
Then about 8 turns on the spiral staircase, and probably a hundred steps, my legs were starting to tell me this was hard work and I was beginning to wonder when I’d reach the top, thinking maybe I’d been a bit ambitious.
I allowed the doubt to creep in.
I began doubting myself and wondering why I’d not thought about the fact it might take longer and be more of a work out than I’d imagined and if I’m honest, I felt a bit of a fool for not just taking the lift. I was even silently blaming the person in front who I’d realised probably hadn’t climbed the stairs at this station before either.
It reminded me of that "wall" you can hit during labour.
Then it came to me that this was a bit like a metaphor for one of the most intense parts of labour. The part when you’ve been in active labour for quite some time and you are starting to feel like you can’t go on. Often when baby isn’t far away, women can experience a feeling like they have hit a brick wall and just can’t go on, this is known as “transition”.
When you feel like you've nothing left to give, you're usually nearly there.
In labour, transition happens at full dilation, when your baby is almost ready to be born! A huge shift in hormones releases adrenaline, making women feel suddenly very alert and often saying things like “ I want to go home” or “I’m not doing this” and they become very aware of their surroundings. This can also mean our natural pain relieving hormones take a temporary dip, which intensifies the sensations of labour. This is all normal, and nature's way of making sure the surrounding environment is safe for your baby to be born into.
Two things to help you through transition:
1️⃣ They say don’t look down, but actually, a helpful tool is to look down and see how many steps you’ve already climbed or think of the number of surges you have already allowed to just wash over you. Choose to focus on the distance you have ALREADY covered, and it can reaffirm to you that you can do the next one, and the next, because you already have!
2️⃣ WELCOME those feelings of wanting to give up and go home. ACCEPT them, and see them as the sign that you are almost DONE! Often during labour, the point when you feel like you can't go on, is just minutes before baby is ready to be born.
AND HYPNOBIRTH THE SH*T OUT OF IT! Have all your hypnobirthing tools at the ready and it's also super helpful for your birth partner to know what transition is too, how to recognise it is happening, and which tools you'd like to draw on. This way they can support you with your favourite affirmations and tools, plus they can remind you of how amazingly you’re doing, while give you lots of back rubs and massages. Just remember, you’ve totally got this.
I hope those tips come in handy, and they are also great tips for general life moments when you want to give up... just LOOK at how FAR you've already come. You are AMAZING!
If you’d like to learn more about how you can confidently prepare for a calm birth, book your place at my:
️FREE HYPNOBIRTHING TASTER SESSION️
SAT 7th MARCH - 5-6PM
@ Tesco Community Room,
Barford Rd, St Neots
Message or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
All of this and more are covered in my hypnobirthing courses throughout Cambridge, St Neots, Huntingdon, Bedfordshire and more. Check out Courses page for more information.