I have always envisioned experiencing a natural childbirth, from a very young age. I've also always eschewed traditional Western Medicine, preferring natural remedies and/or letting my pain (in the case of headaches or menstrual cramps) take its course. I have no idea why, but it appears ingrained in me!
My husband, on the other hand, grew up loving and respecting science and Western Medicine. He knew from a young age that he would become a doctor, and he grew up in a household happy to badmouth "hippies". His mother is vocal about having epidurals for all six of her births.
So, while we agree on most every issue/lifestyle choice, we came at the idea of childbirth from very different places. I desired a homebirth, or at the very least a midwife-attended birth at the nearby birthing center. My husband, now a medical student, desired a hospital birth for me (his concern being my safety) and expressed wariness at not having an OB-GYN attend the birth. He is extremely skeptical of midwives, to say the least.
I'm now nineteen weeks tomorrow and we've determined the best compromise for each of our comfort levels: I will switch providers to a more natural-birth friendly and female OB-GYN (the one I have now is male, and for some reason I'm uncomfortable with that; additionally, he's totally unsympathetic to any concerns I have as a woman. He once laughed at me for expressing concern over my weight gain- a totally normal issue for a first time mama who's struggled with body image issues and disordered eating!); I will hire a doula (to be an extra level of support in case my medicine-happy husband is too quick to push an epidural); I will labor mostly at home, but ultimately at a hospital that is generally supportive of natural birth, eating/drinking during labor, intermittent monitoring, movement during labor, and rooming in; and my husband will be more than happy to advocate for me and express my desire for a natural birth.
It feels so good to finally come to a compromise on this! And to get my husband to agree to hiring a doula! Our goal is to have both of us feel as comfortable and peaceful as possible on baby's birthday, and I think these plans reflect that. (Though I've told my husband that I might fight to have any future births at home! I really think that his immersion in the medical/pathological side of things, coupled with this being his first child and first birth experience, has made him fearful of any complications, but that once he sees the process and result of a normal healthy labor/delivery, he could change his tune.)
Any other ladies birthing at a hospital and hiring a doula? I just contacted the local doula co-op so I'm a little in-the-dark about the whole thing.