I bumped into an old colleague last week and found out that he's expecting his first child in a few months. He asked me if I had any advice for the delivery "experience".
I had to think about it for a minute, but then I recalled a lesson I learned before my first child was born.. useful advice that worked for me at the time, and advice that I continue to apply in other areas as well today.
Since you don't really know what will happen, you kind of need advice that will prepare you for just about any situation that might arise. In that case, use your BRAIN.
BRAIN is an acronym - a mnemonic for some heuristic advice. Here's what it stands for:
B = Be aware - of everything going on around you.
R = Know the Risks (Don't know them? Ask!)
A = What are the Alternatives?
I = What do your instincts tell you?
N = What if you say "No"?
There are times when you will find yourself alone in a situation where an important decision needs to be made. Don't forget to use your BRAIN.
Sometimes your heart tells you one thing and your head tells you something else. This handy little mnemonic should help you find a reasonable compromise between the two. It's worked for me.