I had both of my children in hospitals. I had my first without drugs and vaginally, and I generally call it "natural," even though being hooked up to a monitor and an IV doesn't seem all that natural. But I feel proud that I managed my labor pain (only because I begged, and I mean begged, to use the rocking chair for most of the labor - I had to do the transition labor on the bed on my side because my blood pressure was high), and it felt like I was really giving birth when I pushed my dd out.
This is in contrast to giving birth to my second child with the epidural. Yes, it was pain-free (numbness would be that), but it seemed wrong, weird, and surreal to be lying in bed, strapped to a bunch of things, watching Oprah and waiting until it was time to push - until they told me it was. And when I pushed, I felt nothing! (It was amazing I was able to push my ds out - I had no idea what I was doing.) So, that birth felt a lot less "natural."
Ironically, my older child, the one I delivered "naturally," didn't nurse, and my younger one did. That's because the second hospital was "family friendly," at least when it came to nursing and making sure it happened.
I'm envious of all you who did homebirths. If I were to have a 3rd, that's how I would do it. But, I'm too old and don't have the energy for a 3rd.
I'm not sure what my point is. I guess it's that, even in a hospital setting, the birth without drugs felt a lot more natural than the one with. I guess I'd argue for defining "natural" in degrees.
Oh, yeah - I feel I have to correct my dh when he calls my second birth "natural" when he should be saying "vaginal."