As a doula, I love supporting women through transition. If you have never seen transition, here's what it can look like:
There is nothing more raw, present, beautiful, and intense than a woman putting out great, pure effort to have her baby. To witness a mother in transition is to see a woman in her power. Transition is that short portion of labour, right before pushing, where a woman's cervix dilates from about 7 to 10 centimetres. A woman in transition is often vocalizing loudly, roaring through her contractions. No matter what position she is laboring in, she is wholly and entirely in her body.
There have been moments as a doula, when I have seen 'the look' from a labouring mother - that look where the intensity of the process *almost* becomes too much. It looks a little like panic, with a huge splash of overwhelm. In that moment, I remind her these contractions are not bigger than her, it is her own power and her own body birthing this baby, and that she CAN do this. As each contraction builds and peaks, I stay with her through that intensity. I'm usually really close to her, anchoring her in some way - sometimes physically, sometimes verbally, it depends on what she needs.
Transition is aptly named because it is a bridge between two worlds. It is a place to pass through, not to stay. It is the place between active labour and pushing. As doulas, we help each client cross this bridge when she comes to it, letting her lead each surge as she needs to. In a short time, she will be grunting at the peak of each contraction letting everyone in the room know she is pushing, without having to say a word.
I adore supporting women through labour and birth - I don't know that there will ever come a time when I am not deeply moved by the power of women in transition. It's such a brief snapshot of a woman's life, but it is one of my favourites.