This article is a pretty good description of what might go down on the big day. Check it out. https://www.medhelp.org/pregnancy-health/articles/All-About-Labor/2210
So, everyone is different. Some go for a more natural birth and others are like "give me the drugs". I think that making a decision that suits you is essential with no pressure to please others. After all, YOU are the one who is going to be experiencing the full effect of the big push. AND, it is perfectly fine to have a plan and completely change it when you are IN the MOMENT. No worries as it may not be what you expect and you alter your plan or baby does something unexpected and you have to alter the plan by doctor's orders.
It helps to have a supportive partner. But truthfully, mine was in the back ground. He was allowed to rub my neck and put cold wash cloths on my forehead during the moments I didn't have the chills. Ha, I alternated, chills to sweating/hot and back to chills. When we took our birthing class though, he was told to give me massages and I went with that concept. Even if it didn't help me give birth, I liked the pampering.
I had a lavender scented warming pad that I microwaved and I did put that on my abdomen while laboring at home.
Lip balm. Bring it, use it. You will be shocked how dry the hospital room is---- compare it to the Sahara.
Have popsicles and ice chips if offered WITH CAUTION. I was starving and thirsty. I had about 4 back to back orange popsicles. To this day I can not eat an orange popsicle as I vomited it all up. But wow, tasted good at the time. That's trial and error.
But, prepare for the nausea. I was not prepared! It's a very common response to pain. I had drugs given to me for nausea and vomiting during labor. This is not how I'd pictured greeting my adorable baby. But the meds took the edge off.
I would say that while you labor at home, drink. Stay hydrated! Fluids are often given because so many women end up dehydrated before they get to the hospital or once the whole serious labor part gets started. It's helpful to think ahead and PRE hydrate. They say coconut water is great. I never taste coconut in the water and this is newly in vogue, but worth a try if you like the stuff.
If you get low back pain and your partner is freaking out and not helping you by providing massage, you can use a tennis ball and lay on it, it will act like a massager or a water bottle. I used a water bottle. Sounds strange but you will rub up against anything to get some relief when you are in the heat of laboring before it is time to push.
Labor and Delivery nurses. Call them our tour guide. Your goddess. Your cheerleader and advocate. They get the job done. Or your doula would be the same thing. You get to a point in labor in which you do not want to think anymore. Good news. Between your body being equipped for childbirth AND the L&D nurses/doulas . . . you don't have to! They will guide you and be sure to listen to them. They will also boss your partner around and you will be thinking 'what she said . . . " and be happy you didn't have to say it yourself when they tell him to hold your feet, stand here or there, etc.
Do not wear something pretty before, during or right after delivery. Save the outfit for the ride home and once you are in your house. Baby delivering is MESSY.
I could never do the breathing thing like you see in the movies. BUT, it helped when I had to push to have someone count it out for me. Another good job for a partner who wants to help.
What are some of your tips??