It is worth a mention some births are terrifying because they are that short - and very painful afterwards (the term "explosive birth" ... Guess what gets exploded!) The idea that a short birth is easy and risk free is also bandied about in the media, well meaningly, and can make you feel very isolated if you've almost been caught short. I was expecting 24-48 hr as I had been told that always happened.
We JUST made it to the birth centre, I required too many stitches to count, baby and I were all over the place as the hormones spiked up and down so fast. Fast births (as opposed to the ideal quick birth) and bloody brutal.
People assume I was lucky and it was painless - the (excellent) midwife said it is more intense (i.e. hurts more) like if they induced someone on too high a dose, and no one under those conditions can control the pushing. All mended now and my little surprised one got used to the outside eventually, with a little help from an ergonomic carrier and mummy milk!
I must stress that my midwifery team were excellent - but they explained after that they could see it was very "intense" - but they were so reassuring. Didn't tell me off when I couldn't control my pushes, just helped me.
They explained it was like my body had all the hormones dump out in one go. Like a drip set too high for induction. It just happens to some women! I'd done some hypnobirth stuff beforehand - I was high risk as I'd had recurrent miscarriages before now and was on high-ish dose blood thinners. So it could have been a lot worse than pain!
People fear the pain but actually safety, reassurance etc is what matters ... I feared fear more than pain!