In the end, what was MOST important to me turned out to be the caregiver I chose, because in hindsight I REALLY REALLY don't think an OB would have had the patience for my labor (which was 3 days long, involved 2 hospital admissions, and a baby in distress at the end that was STILL delivered by VBAC). However, I DID make my needs/wishes known to my midwives and reinforced them (sometimes even being pushy about it) at every visit toward the end (I think they probably rolled their eyes when I left each visit LOL). I developed gestational diabetes, and then high BP at the end, and my midwife, altho vigilant and slightly paranoid about baby size, my BP, my diet etc never considered sending me out to OB care and in the end was the most patient, understanding, compassionate and skilled caregiver I could have asked for. (see my post on my VBAC several threads below).
I also took Bradley classes with the intent of going completely non-medicated, not so much out of desire to be granola (altho that was a huge part of it) - but because I felt that my BEST shot at a VBAC was being completely non-medicated, especially in a hospital setting.
I agree SO MUCh with hiring a doula. Not just having her there, but knowing that she WOULD be there and advocate for me, help to release MUCH of the tension and agony I had in the early months of pregnancy worrying about whether or not I would be "allowed" to freely VBAC by my caregivers, or if it was just a show. The burden of having to fight my way through the VBAC was relieved somewhat knowing I had a strong advocate. My doula was a very crunchy, homebirthing doula who is an herbalist and aspiring midwife. I did not wind up using her for the actual birth, which was 3 days later because things moved so quickly at the end but she did labor the first 24 hours with me which saved my sanity and she did go to the hospital with me during my *first* transition LOL when we THOUGHT I was gonna have the baby the first time LOL but then I was in phone contact with her the rest of my labor. I didn't feel the need for her in the hospital for the 2nd admission because (if you read my birth story you will understand) at that point I was NOT going the non-medicated route and DH was enough support for that. I will also say that by the end of my labor I was completely UNABLE to make any decision on my own and couldn't even think straight enough to go pee without prompting so thinking that you WON'T need somebody really may be unrealistic because DH wouldn't have been enough to get me through those first 24 hours. He was exhausted, and he was losing his ability to cope and comfort me. She was a godsend in intervening and helpign with comfort measures (and letting DH rest). Dh was very emotionally stressed by the whole labor it was more intense then he thoguht it would be. And he is VERy strong and very supportive.
I read all the alternative books, Spiritual Midwifery, Silent Knife, Suzanne ARms books' etc etc, thinking Womans' Guide, etc which really helped to place me in an alternative mindset.
I went to a hospital, thank god, that is still accepting of natural birth choices and allows VBAC without blinking. I was allowed to labor unmonitored and without even a saline lock in place, with no arguement and encouragement from the staff.
I followed the Brewer diet, and then later the brewer diet modified to a very low carb diet due to the GD> I felt great until the end.
Baby crying, need to nurse, good luck.