My most recent hospital birth, I arrived in a comfy knit dress, and I was in really late labor. The gown was there, I think, but nobody was trying to *command me* to change into it. In fact, the nurse was quite possibly the coolest labor nurse I have EVER met.
Anyhow, I had to have the monitor for a few minutes, because I had just arrived and it was necessary to see how baby was doing. I fully agreed with this, but asked if it could be done with me standing up. Nurse said OF COURSE! and I labored beside the bed, leaning over a table and kind of rocking my hips during the intense transition contractions. Still in my dress.
My midwife arrived, very kindly suggested I get a quick check to make sure baby was head down (she flipped A LOT the last few weeks of the pregnancy, and my previous child had flipped at 41 weeks, so her concern was warranted). I agreed, and asked again if I had to be on the bed. She said no, got down on her knees on the floor and checked me. She said head's down, and you can get in the tub if you want.
My dress went one way. I went the other, totally naked.
About 5-10 minutes later I was holding my gorgeous baby girl.
I did put on the hospital gown after getting out of the water just because it was there, it was easy, and dry.
This time, I am planning another hospital waterbirth, and I kind of hope it goes similarly. Not really enough time for the hospital BS to get in the way of me doing my thing and having a baby. Not that I think there WOULD have been much hospital BS last time, as I said the nurse was cooler than cool, and she totally "got" me. I just dislike the whole hospital package. Everything from the chemical smells of disinfectant (don't get me wrong, I'm GLAD they use that stuff, it just stinks) to the floor tiles and fluorescent lights. Ick. Not that laboring in a minivan in rush hour traffic is a picnic, but it's not a hospital bed, right?
Anyhow, if I'm not naked, I may have a sports bra thing or a tank top, but probably not much else.