We cannot make sweeping generalizations about birth. It's different every time, for every woman, regardless of caregivers, locations, whatever.
It will never be the same experience twice. How fun is that?
I had relatively easy births with my first 4, my third, and my biggest, was painless. even my first birth was only 5 hours, with only a few moments of, "Oh, my g-d, I can't do this!".
I went into my fifth birth confident, and a bit arrogant, I know how to birth easily, painlessly, and without trauma. Piece of cake, right?
My fifth birth was a hellish nightmare, so bad I tried to knock myself out by banging my head on the wall. I passed out from the pain several times. I prayed to die so I would'd have to do it anymore. My midwife and mother were the only thing that kept me sane (and from bashing my own head in).
Having my 6th, I woke up in the middle of the night terrified of having to give birth again. I dreaded it. Feared it more than anything imaginable.
She fell out of me. Never even felt a contraction or urge to push. Go figure.
It's unpredictable, it's marvelous, it's amazing and the most powerful thing most of us will ever do. My fifth birth taught me humility, (not right away, of course, it took a while to get the message!) and made me realize that not every birth is going to be the same, and just as in life itself, when you think you got it all figured out, Surprise! You don't!
It has been a great blessing to me, because as a midwife, if I had only had easy painless births, how would I know what a really difficult birth is like for a woman under my care? I know better than to think I know better, or to think all the answers lie in a single philosophy. Truth is, there are no answers that will fit every woman's birth. All we can do is respect the process and her own perception of her own experience.