There is a broad spectrum of “normal” in labor. Every person that labors has their own process to go through, and we cannot predict what that process will be in advance. As hard as it is to “be in the moment”, that is the best place to be.
Things that can help you cope with a labor that is not how you envisioned?
(These suggestions are dependent upon each situation and what you are experiencing at the time.)
Support – a good support team can really help when the moments get long. The team may include your partner, family, or a doula. Your team is in your corner and is willing to help however they can to keep you going.
Sleep – getting rest when you can keeps your body and mind rested. A rested body and mind work more efficiently and handle the twists and turns of labor better. Sleep can also help pass the time if you are having a long labor.
Distraction – Watching movies, telling stories, taking a walk, or even light housekeeping may distract you while you wait for something to happen. Laughter and love are really good methods for being in the moment.
Trust – Trusting your body and the process is one of the hardest things you will ever do. This trust also extends to your provider, medical team, or decisions you may need to make. Trust yourself to do the right thing for you and your baby.
Emotional release – Some laboring persons find that an emotional release of crying, talking, venting, or yelling can help with where they are at in the process. They often feel better afterwards and that can have a positive effect on the labor.
Time – Time is often a great tool in a labor that is not progressing “normally”. Whether it is patient waiting or asking for time, you can use this as a resource to help with the process.
The most important thing to remember?
You are strong. You are powerful. And you’ve got what it takes to see the process through!