I'm glad you had such a positive experience, GAjenn. However, I have yet to witness what I would perceive as a satisfactory OB/client relationship nor have I attended a hospital birth in which the mother was treated with the respect and dignity she deserves.
However, it isn't 'bad' experiences with hospital birth which have led me to choose homebirth. My first dd was born 10 years ago at home, long before I became a doula and witnessed hospital birth firsthand. 5 years before I gave birth, someone at work passed a copy of Ina May Gaskin's Spiritual Midwifery
along to me and it completely transformed the way I thought about childbirth (not that I had thought about it that much - I was a 20 year old free spirit at the time). I knew upon finishing the book that homebirth was for me. I began to view childbirth as a rite of passage rather than a medical event and knew that my chances of being able to experience birth on my terms were greater at home with a midwife.
In the 15 years that have passed since discovering homebirth and the midwifery model of care, I have known many women - family and friend - who have given birth, and have begun work as a doula. When I hear of or witness the hospital birth experiences of these women in my life, I cannot help but be appalled by the standard of care they receive and even worse, shocked that this standard of care is accepted as 'the norm'.
I know that in a little over a month when I give birth at home for the second time, nobody will be pushing me to have an episiotomy, medications and procedures will not be suggested or forced, I'll have the freedom to eat and drink what I please, I won't be hooked up to a bajillion tubes and monitors, I can go outside and labor in my yard, my chances of a c/s are practically nil, I will have the pleasure of reaching down and catching my own baby if I choose, water will be available to me to labor and birth in, I choose each and every person who will be in attendance, a hot meal will be waiting for me after I bathe and will have the comfort of nursing in my own bed while I enjoy my after-labor meal, the list goes on and on and on...
Above all, I firmly believe that my baby's health and safety will be protected by birthing at home with my trusted midwife.
I suggest having a look at The Business of Being Born
and Pregnant in America
. BoBB is available as a 'Watch Instantly' on Netflix if you have Netflix. Pregnant...
is available to watch for free online: http://www.ineedpopcorn.com/fetch.php?id=004188&part=1
I also recommend Orgasmic Birth
which I don't think is available online, but can be ordered and actually, there is a showing in a threatre here in my humble city this weekend - so it's out there. I agree that Pushed
by Jennifer Block is a great critique on medicalized childbirth. There are many many books...if you hang around this website long enough, you'll hear the recommendations enough to know them by heart.
Again, I am glad that you had a great hospital experience. But aside from considering that you may have just have had an awesome OB and hospital staff, remember that experience is relative and what fits one woman may not fit another. Lots of variables here.