Ah childbirth, it's never quite how we think it's going to be, especially for first-timers. I remember my pregnant self fantasizing about the glorious labor I was going to have. I would focus on my breath, I would surround myself with pillows and candles, I would remember to bring my soothing labor soundtrack, I would ride those contractions like a surfer. I was so deluded.
We all have those friends with beautiful birth stories. And yeah, we're envious of them. But I think for most of us, childbirth is a little more like a marathon through the mud than a day-long yoga retreat. Here's the labor fantasy -- and the labor reality -- as I see it.