I loved my OB-GYN. He was seriously one of the nicest people I have ever met; the kind of person who you realize has found their life's calling and are clearly doing what they're meant to do. So, honestly, it wasn't all that surprising to find out there were quite a few things my OB-GYN said to me about labor that were undeniably true. Phew.
My OB-GYN always had a smile on his face, and made every appointment feel relaxed and pleasant. I trusted him when I was at my most vulnerable and, when I needed him the most and when my baby's birth was complicated and nothing short of dramatic, he was there to safely get us through.
During all our appointments he was quick to dish out wise words of encouragement and support, and in a way that I could understand and relate. He used personal anecdotes of his own wife's birth and his children's development, so he was nothing if not relatable. Furthermore, he took the time to ask me personal questions about my life outside of my pregnancy. I don't know if he had the greatest memory ever, or if he took a few moments before our appointments to read notes about me from my file, but he always remembered my name, my husbands name, our occupations, and little tidbits about us. Honestly, he made me feel like I was visiting a family friend, rather than a certified doctor.
All of this is to say that, essentially, my OB-GYN had a great bedside manner, which included telling me the following things about labor and delivery that could rely on when push came to (literal) shove.
"There Are Some Facts You Just Need To Know"
One of the best things about my doctor was that he never patronized me. Instead, he presented me with a range of facts, including statistics and medical reports, that empowered me to make my own decisions. As a result, I always felt like I was a partner in my prenatal care, rather than a passive patient.
"It Doesn't Last Forever"
All through my appointments and my crazy long delivery, my doctor kept reminding me that this wouldn't last indefinitely. In fact, and before I knew it, I would meet my precious baby. His words gave me strength when I wanted to give up and, regardless to very strong feelings that suggested otherwise, my labor and delivery didn't last forever.
"You've Got This"
My OB-GYN's style was to constantly empower me with encouraging words and compliments. I suppose some laboring moms may have found this annoying (and hey, I get not wanting people to talk to you while you do something as taxing as bringing a human being into the world) but I relished the praise.
"I'll Look After You Both"
One of the main reasons why my OB-GYN was so amazing is that he really seemed to care about us. He promised me early on that he would look after both myself and my baby and wouldn't leave until the job was done.
"Some Tests Are Unnecessary"
Early on my doctor showed me a statistic that proved invasive testing early on in the pregnancy had no benefits. He continued on by saying these tests were uncomfortable (and sometimes downright painful) for moms-to-be, so he didn't perform them routinely. I really appreciated less prodding and poking.
"I've Seen It All"
I had some fears about giving birth but, looking back and having gone through it, most of them were silly worries (things like throwing up or pooping during delivery).
My doctor put my mind at ease by reminding me that after delivering thousands of babies, he had seen it all. I knew there was nothing I could do to shock him and whatever happened had definitely already happened to someone else. You know, #solidarity and stuff.
"First Labors Take A While"
My doctor prepared me by informing me that first labors often take some time, so what I was going to experience wouldn't be as quickly as the media would like me to believe. He also told me I shouldn't leave for the hospital until my contractions were close together, because I would undoubtably be spending so much time in active labor.
I took his advice and still labored for 48 hours at the hospital. Still, I'm glad I was forewarned and had realistic expectations.
"You're In Charge..."
One of the best things about my doctor was that he respected a woman's autonomy over her own body, so he helped me to create my birth plan and supported all of my decisions.
"...But Your Birth Plan Might Have To Change"
However, my OB-GYN was honest. I knew there were aspects of my birth plan might have to change, especially if a my safety or my baby's safety were at risk.
When my birth stalled and my baby became stuck and started to show signs of distress, my doctor calmly explained our options and his recommendations. By this point in our relationship, I trusted him explicitly and even though I had to undergo a variety of interventions that I hadn't planned on experiencing, he was able to successfully deliver my baby without incident. After all, that is the most important thing.