Um, I read this and think I must respond. I'm no first timer. I had my first in the hospital almost 9 years ago. My second at a birth center, my third at home and baby #4 will be born at home in September. I can relate I'm a loaner and don't want the world intruding on my birth. I think it would be kind of nice to give birth unattended.
I was happy with my prenatal care with #1. I saw a medwife- um sorry midwife. I had 10 copies of my birth plan printed up and was comfortable with the hospital I would give birth at. I was told there would be no issue with me laboring in the tub, moving around, etc., etc. I did not have a doula. Big mistake! I took classes with my husband and depended upon him to be my support. Any concerns I had were met with positive responses from my medwife and a smile.
Here is how my first birth went.
I woke up in a wet bed and though my water broke. I was told to come to the hospital and get checked. I took my time. My husband was SCARED. He wanted to get me there asap. When I got there it was packed 17 other mamas giving birth. I waited in the waiting room for 45 minutes. I got into the exam room and had to put the dreaded hospital gown on. That's when the vomiting started. I though this would happen. Having suffered extreme menstrual cramps that made me vomit. Every contraction I vomited. They wanted me hooked up to the EFM. I started handing out birth plans that say NO EFM. They said they MUST get a read it is policy! It will only take half and hour. So I was strapped, vomiting and internally checked. 5cm no going home I was there to stay. I was sent to an available room, not a labor and delivery room. It had no tub! I walked, rocked, showered and continued to vomit. My husband completely became a bystander as soon as we arrived at the hospital. The only people helping me was the hospital staff.
Then it was time to move me to a labor and delivery room since one was now open. NO TUB! I was so pissed off. I had planned a water birth my entire pregnancy and knew that would be the only thing to ease the pain. I wasn't prepared to get a room without a tub and have no one care in the least bit that I didn't have one. I showered, walked, rocked, vomited, vomited, vomited. I was not allowed to drink, only ice chips and soon became very dehydrated. My MIL whom I do not get along with came. She helped me he-he-hoo. Which was hyperventilating pretty much. At this point the contractions were so intense I could no longer get out of bed. The nurses insisted since I was staying in bed I get the EFM strapped on. I was in so much pain I couldn't speak for myself so there I was in bed, super tight EFM on, dehydrated, needing to pee, vomiting, hyperventilating, pissed I had no tub, and alone in the sense of the word.
My regular medwife wasn't there that day another was whom I had only met once. She was overwhelmed with all the mamas giving birth that day. She popped in and checked me. "oh 7cm. Lets go ahead and speed things up, I'm going to break your water" At this point it seemed like I had been in labor for days and days. Really about 3 hours had passed. When she said 7cm my mind went crazy. - 7cm! 7cm! OMG! OMG! I can't do this! 3 more cm! I'm going to die!!!!!- As soon as she broke my water my pain went from about a 8 or 9 on a scale of 10 to about 1000. The contractions were so intense, instantly. I was in panic and asked her to return and I told her - I WANT AN EPIDURAL- She said 'I'm sorry sweetie your too far for an epidural, and beside your birth plan says you want a natural birth!" I said - I want something!! I can't do it! I want Demerol. - She laughed and said 'we don't use Demerol anymore, we use Stadol. I'll have one of the nurses get you some" I though I would get a shot in the butt or something and feel better like I had taken Tylenol or something only stronger. Nope. A nurse came in with the IV set up. I told her - I DON'T WANT AN IV IT SAYS THAT ON MY BIRTH PLAN. She said this is how the Stadol is administered. I was in transisition at this point. My contractions were on top of each other. I was still vomiting, had to pee, etc, etc. The nurse tried to stick me between contractions. She tried about 5 times. Then had another nurse try about 5 times. Then another and another. Finally my medwife came back in to see how the Stadol was helping me. She was shocked they were unable to start the IV and finally got it in a vein. I got stuck about 40 times. The sad part, that was the best part of my labor. It was a distraction from the pain. The Stadol made me sleep. However I was woken by every contraction and felt EVERYTHING. There was no pain relief whats so ever.
My medwife popped in again and checked me. "10cm! You are ready to have this baby!" I didn't feel pressure or an urge to push at all. The Stadol had already worn off since I was only given one small dose. They prepped the room. All the nurses piled into the room. One hiked my leg back as far as it would go, my MIL and another nurse did the other leg. EVERYONE STARED AT THE EFM SCREEN. "OK here comes a contraction, ready PUSH. PUSH, PUSH 1,2,3...10, KEEP GOING YOU'RE STILL HAVING A CONTRACTION" I was well educated in hospital etiquette. I knew that if it took me a long time to push my baby out they would use the vacuum or forceps on me. I had read about the bruises and brain damage and all the terrible things that could happen to my baby by using them. So I pushed, HARD. The pain was indescribable. The fact I peed and pooped myself in a room full of strangers was humiliating. I pushed her out in 20 minutes. She weighed 9.5lbs. I'm pretty small only 5'4". I tore extensively and required lots of stitches internal and external. I looked and felt like I had been hit by a bus after I gave birth. Both of my arms were extremely bruised from all the needle pricks. I had broken blood vessels in my face from pushing so hard and had 2 black eyes. The pain from tearing was unbearable. I also had hip pain and found it hard to walk for 8 months after giving birth!
I had my baby placed on my chest and all the newborn exam stuff delayed. However I did have issue with them removing the IV. They refused to take it out for several hours after birth. I also had an issue with one of the nurses. She tried to take my daughter out of the room and I told her she couldn't. She was very rude and said she prefers to do their checks down at the nursery and will bring her back in 30 minutes of so. I got out of bed and told her if my daughter leaves the room I will accompany her! She did the exam in the room and was completely nasty.
My story is not to scare you. My next birth was AMAZING!!!
I had heard great stories about the hospital I went to also. Maybe it was great for those moms, but not for me. You never know who or what your going to get at the hospital! I thought my hubby would be awesome, um no. I wish I had a doula. You got me there, but I've been told by other moms that their doulas didn't really advocate for them when they needed it. Nothing anyone says can prepare you for what labor feels like and how you will react. It is INTENSE. I can only suggest to you to go to a birth center or have your baby at home. If you want these particular things and are questioning if your going to get them LISTEN to that little voice inside of you. I never wanted a hospital birth, but I didn't have insurance and Medicaid payed for a hospital birth, there were no birth centers around, my hubby and family insisted on it, I was scared into believing it was the safest place, and my medwife promised me the wonderful birth I wanted. My first birth was thee most physically and mentally scaring experience of my life.
My second birth was in a birth center 2 hours away. I had a water birth. She was born face up which is suppose to cause extreme back labor, nope. It was intense (you can't expect it not to be) but there was no pain this time or tearing. It was calm and wonderful. I was able to be inside myself concentrating. No strangers, no shouting, no worries that anything I didn't want to happen would.
You need to read: Birthing From Within by Pam England I skipped all the art stuff, it's not my thing. But she gives excellent advice on the concerns you stated. Really go get it now!
Best of luck to you!