I continue to be pleased with my experiencies
Both mine were born in a small community hospital that is, I now know, really unusual.
I went to a large combined OB/midwife practice, but saw only midwives for prenatal care (CNMs).
Hospital does not (didn't then, anyway) offer epidurals, mostly because they're so small they don't have an anesthesiologist to devote to the materntiy dept. You could get an intrathecal, but they told everyone interested in one to wait as long as possible because they only last about 90 minutes and wear off very quickly... *lots* of unmedicated birthers here, even very mainstream moms. All my coworkers with children had undrugged births. They also do a lot of VBACs, I think. My coworker's daughter who had a C with her #1 wasn't even offered a repeat C date - it was assumed she'd VBAC when #2 was born.
I labored in the tub both times, no rules about food and drink, non-obtrusive (to me) intermittent monitoring (came in quietly, asked if it was a good time to listen for a minute). Heplocks aren't routine (though I had one with #2 for abx for GBS - I discussed it thoroughly with the midwives and elected to go ahead with it) I picked my own position to birth, no coached pushing, no routine episiotomy. Meconium in the water with #1 wasn't a panic and no ped was called "just in case." Breastfed immediately both times. All exams of the baby were done in the room, most with baby in my arms. The nursery was empty both times because rooming in is standard. Many nurses trained as LCs, got *great* breastfeeding advice, and never saw a drop of formula, nor coupons. Went home with a medela manual breastpump, a baby t-shirt, "goodnight Moon" and (with #2), "Helping Mommy Breastfeed" for big brother
but no "breastfeeding success formula pack." Oh - and they use cloth diapers on all the babies in the hospital and all cloth chux pads.
All that said, if I have another, the only thing pulling me away from homebirth is the fact that I genuinely like the CNMs who delivered both my babies and would love to share another pregnancy and birth with them. If we were to move away from here I'd almost certainly be homebirthing, since I'm pretty sure that in many hospitals, #1 would have wound up being a C-section because labor got off to a slow start and never "got established" according to the charts in the Dublin Protocol. It was actually a short labor for a first baby, but it was atypical in a bunch of ways that would have freaked out a control-freak OB.