Congrats on your pregnancy! I too was afraid hospital = repeat c/section so I when I got pregnant with my second child I first went to a midwife. In my state, midwives aren't legal to deliver at home (and there aren't any who deliver in hospitals either!) so I was driving 90 minutes to another state where a midwife allowed women to birth in her home (and she had a tub for water births!) I was leery and a little afraid of the unknown but I feared getting cut worse. I also was going to an OB to get the basic prenatal labs and U/S, and the medication for keeping my diabetes under control.
Unfortunately I developed a group B strep urinary tract infection. After alot of consulting with Dr Google and reflection I reluctantly decided it would be safer for the baby if I delivered in a hospital where I could get the antibiotics during labor- and since I had to go on insulin (sometimes the baby's blood sugar will drop and you can't check the baby with your regular blood glucose machine)
The OB I was going to was... scornful? disapproving? of med-free childbirth and she would "allow" trial of labor for VBAC only if the baby was under 8.5 pounds. My first baby's U/S day before birth said he weighed over 9 lbs and he turned out to be only 7 pounds 14 ounces so I had no doubt baby # 2 would turn out to be over this limit. So I started looking for another OB. I was a member of the national ICAN b/c the MW required her VBAC pts to join but I went to the My Tribe section here on Mothering and asked about who was a good Dr and was directed to the Atlanta ICAN site. I found out about the Dr many of the ICAN ladies go to via the reviews section and made an appointment (I was 34 weeks pregnant at the time.)
I got the hypnobabies home study course and hired a doula because I wanted to avoid getting an epidural.
The hospital was used to getting the Doctor's VBAC patients so they really didn't give me any hassles. My water broke before I went into labor. I went in to the triage and was only there long enough for them to do the test on the fluids to make sure they were amniotic. I refused cervical checks by the nurses. I got to the hospital about 2 in the afternoon and wasn't checked until the Dr came in, and I was a 7/8 cm. Most hospitals policies say VBAC's have to be on the fetal monitor continuously. I asked the nurse if I could shower before I had to be hooked up and she said "sure" so I had a nice long hot shower. Some hospitals have wireless fetal monitoring - you can walk around with it and even shower or get in the tub. This hospital had the kind where you are wired to the machine at the bedside, but I still was able to get on the rocking chair or walk around the bed. At one point my doula suggested I get up and go to the bathroom so we unhooked it and I labored on the commode awhile.
Having a doula was great, she really helped me concentrate and helped me through the contractions. She helped remind the Doctor of stuff in my birthplan when I was not able to think coherently. ( I wanted delayed cord clamping and didn't want them yanking on the placenta to get it out) I had wanted to do mother-directed pushing but the doctor felt the baby's heart rate was too fast so I had to do the count to ten pushing instead. I think I pushed for an hour, hour and a half and she was born. Even though it was in a hospital it was so much better than my C/S.
I think the most important thing is to get a provider that DOES VBACs not just give them lip service while planning all the while to steer you into a RCS. Getting a doula ( a good one) really helps too. Do all you can to stay low risk while you're pregnant- get chiro if you need it, be mindful of positions that can sometimes help babies not be breech or posterior.
Good luck, HTH