Transition. def: movement, metamorphosis, change…
“You are in transition, Mrs Shutes.”
I stare at my GP. She stares at her computer screen.
She raises her eyebrows registering my silence. Perhaps? Her eyes swivel towards me, her head follows. Perhaps not.
“You are transitioning from a woman who can have babies to a woman who cannot. It is quite simple. You are menopausal.”
I blink. She begins to speak but I am not listening. I am thinking of the last time I heard that word. Transition.
A quiet room. Dark, except for dawn appearing behind the blinds. A woman, weary from hours of labour, leans over her husband’s shoulders. He continues to rock her from side to side. She has just started to weep. Her eyes are tightly closed and she mumbles into him “Let my baby come, let my baby come.”
I catch the attentive gaze of the midwife. We hold each other. No words are spoken. The birthing mother’s mood has changed and it is an outward sign that her labour progresses.
She reaches out, arm outstretched, clawing at the air. I take her hand and she grabs on to me as if I were a life-raft. The midwife speaks soothingly, quietly, words of encouragement.
“You are nearly there. You are in transition. You can do this.”
She relaxes and her grip on my hand softens slightly.
I am at once in awe of the gentle protection and cradling of this moment, as this Woman becomes a Mother.
I realise the doctor is still talking at me, suggesting HRT, drug therapy. She hasn’t noticed I have zoned out.
In my mind I am reaching with my hand to touch the power and creativity that we women possess when we are told: ”You are in transition.”
I can do this.