Have a flexible birth plan
It’s great to have a birth plan, outlining what you want your experience to be, who will be there during labor and during actual delivery, who will cut the cord, yes or no to pain medications, different methods of getting through the pre-labor and active labor. For example, since I wasn’t comfortable with needles I went with an “all natural” delivery (probably wouldn’t suggest that route). I also wanted as few doctors in there as possible as I was quite shy before having a baby. However, when those pushing urges kicked in I would have happily allowed the whole hospital staff in the room if would have helped me deliver quicker.
People do this every day
The funniest thing someone said to me was “women would be working on the farm, go into labor, squat, deliver the baby themselves and keep on working”. It made me laugh at the time, but women are a lot stronger than we even know ourselves to be. I was pushing for four hours after 20 plus hours of labor. It was intense. I remember the doctor telling me “one more push”, each time I thought this was really it and then he would say it all over again, starts becoming hard to believe after the 10th time.
Sometimes things go…differently
Having had a great pregnancy I expected to have a perfectly healthy baby. We had less than a day thinking that was true, then found out otherwise. Since this post isn’t about that, I won’t get into that experience, but I will say that I didn’t realize just how common “uncommon” things were. I’m not saying that to panic anyone but to keep your eyes open to the fact that not everything might be “normal” and that you are not alone. Just trust your momma-instincts and know there are things out of your control. When that happens surround yourself with loving and supportive people.