I have had 5 hospital births, 2 horror stories (at two separate hospitals) 1 so so story and 2 amazing fantastic woo woo stories!
(the last three all at the same hospital)
Don't worry I will spare you the first two.
You have got to got to yes
got to have a person in there with you from beginning to end that really believes in you and natural birth. When T was born I was super nervous, T was my first natural birth, but my midwife really believed in me. It helped that she had several natural births of her own under her belt. When I thought it was getting too intense (during transition) she would lean close to me and remind me softly "Sasha, you can do anything for just 2 minutes" and I really listened because I knew she had been through the same thing, kwim? I looked at doulas but ultimately decided that mine and my dh's relationship was deep enough for him to be my birth partner, I am so glad we did. During early and mid labor we swayed together, that wonderful laboring woman dance, to Bob Marley in the background, just the two of us. Occasionally my midwife would come in and listen to my baby and she would check my cervix when I asked but other than that it was just the 3 of us (me, baby to be, and dh). A couple of times a nurse came in, but she quickly left looking embarrassed to have intruded. No IV, no beeping machine, it was wonderful. Later a nurse commented that she loved watching our birth, she had honeymooned in Jamaica and it made her nostalgic.
When T came it was to squeals of joy all around and he was immediately in my arms nursing within moments, after taking a good look at him of course.
No pit shot necessary. No tear, not even a skid mark. After a while Dh went with T to the nursery (the hospital demands a certain time back there after the initial bonding period.) and stayed with him the whole time he had to be back there while I had a nice long shower, he got a few odd looks but no one said anything. I got a small amount of gruff from one nurse just before we left about not getting the hep B shot or circing our son, but she was easily shooed away. Go in knowing your rights for after birth procedure or they will walk all over you.
When A was born our midwife was not available that day.
Dh was super supportive but the OB on call was not. It is pretty hard to keep saying no when you are in transition and every few seconds a nurse or the OB is in your face telling you "you don't have to suffer, take something to ease the pain." I eventually caved, less than one hour later A was born. I consider it a so-so birth only because it was my fourth birth and only lasted a total of 4 hours from beginning to end so I only had to put up with stupid hospital staff for a short amount of time. I now appreciate so much more how much interference my midwife must have been doing behind the scenes for me when T was born.
With E (our newest bundle of wonder) labor hit hard. I walked into the hospital not thinking I would make it to the labor hall. Less then an hour later baby E was born. They had not even gotten around to getting me an id bracelet yet. My labor hall nurse helped with the delivery, cord was wrapped several times ,although loosely, around dd's neck. My midwife walked in just in time for the delivery of the placenta.
: E was born to a room of amazed people, her momma chief of all. What a wonderful experience.
Find support, find a hospital your support is known and respected in and know the procedures and your and your little ones rights.
Congratulations on your growing wonder child.