I'll tell my HB story, because I hope it can ease some fears about "if something goes wrong." I actually love when people say to me when I talk about homebirth, "I would have died if I had a homebirth!" Because I answer, "I would have died too" and then I can have a great discussion about wonderful midwives and their medical training and their ability to react to emergency situations. Hey, there may as well be something good about a hospital transfer and emergency C/S.
Anyway, my water broke in bed at about 2 am on Tuesday morning. I called the MWs at about 8, but I still didn't have any contractions, and they told me to call back when I did have contractions. By the next morning I still hadn't gone into labour, so I went to the hospital to do a stress test on the baby. He was fine, I has still making lots of fluid, and so amazingly enough the OB there told me to go home and see if I couldn't get myself into labour (not that it would have mattered if he had said anything else, I was on my way out the door already.)
I went back on Thursday morning, still not in labour, with the same results.
By Friday morning, 106 hours (4 days, 10 hours) after my water broke, I started having contractions. I laboured at home for a while, but I was measuring my temperature every hour, and I was starting to get a fever, and was achy all over, so I figured something was wrong.
My midwives met me at the hospital, where they monitored the baby again and saw he was in destress. As much as I hated it, I had wonderful midwives who helped me try every position and every thing I could to help the baby's heart beat go back to normal, but it just got worse. My MW told me it was time for this baby to come out, and he wasn't going to come the way I had planned (I was only 5 cm at that time.)
My point is, homebirths are wonderful - hopefully I can have the one I dream of soon. However, we are very lucky to have the medical system there, when it's needed (NEEDED being the key word). I think seeing my birth has made a lot of my friends and family more accepting of HB because they know now that it isn't an all or nothing thing, MW aren't going to ever put the dream of a HB before the health of the mom or baby. Midwives have lots of tools to use in the home in emergency situations, and hospitals are around the corner and you can always go there if need to.
Hope this helps someone.