Will my doctor be with me during my entire delivery? And if not, when will she arrive?
When it is time to deliver your baby, your doctor (or one of the doctors from your healthcare group) will be there to welcome your little one into the world. But during the time leading up to the delivery of your baby (that is, during labor) your doctor will probably not be with you as much as you would imagine. A big percentage of your labor is spent with your nurse. However, your doctor will be there to assess you when you first arrive at the hospital and will continue to check you at various times as labor progresses. She will also be there when it is time to deliver the baby, and immediately after delivery. Which leads to the next question.
What will my nurse do for me?
Your nurse will do a lot for you! She monitors your progress by watching contractions, and assessing cervical dilation. She may start your IV for you.
Your nurse will document your whole birthing event (so chances are you'll see her writing a lot). Your nurse will stay in contact with your doctor throughout your labor, keeping her updated on your progress. She will hold your hand, answer your questions, and help you decide how best to manage your pain (she can help you take a shower, go for a walk, or get an epidural from the anaesthesiologist). When it is time to push she will assist you and coach you.
When your baby is born your nurse will dry the baby, weigh her, place identification bands on her—and wrap her in a warm blanket and hand her to you!