Oh, I agree with you!
In my sis' case, her water broke and she went immediately to the hospital (she was two hours away, and also I think she felt safer at that point at the hospital -- family strife going on can do that to a person.) They probably didn't even call, just went it.
I was actually surprised (after talking to her doc after) that they "let" her labor as long as they did (@15 hours in the hospital) b/c he had already determined (during her last prenatal) that she would be c-sectioned. Of course, he never told her that. So, no matter what her progress was, I think he had a time in mind for the operation, and that was that.
She also really wanted an epidural, but can't have one, due to her back being very messed up (a car accident that wasn't her fault. She got a settlement, but never healed properly. That was a few years before she was pregnant.) I think that also contributed to a lot of her pain, in fact. Like I said, I wasn't there, so I can't say for sure, but she has to be really careful about it, even now, and is in pain a lot
Still, I think that the psychological factors were really not working in her favor, given the crappy situation she was in with her family and bf. We relate very differently to our family.)
BTW, she was seeing midwives in the beginning, but for some reason switched to a doc/ hospital 2 hours away. I can't remember exactly why (it wasn't $ b/c she didn't pay for the birth at all. It was state paid. But she went out of county, which I don't think they normally do. Anyway, I think the midwives determined her to be too "high risk" or something (?). I try to avoid the drama in my family, so I never pay as much attention as I should.
In my mom's case, they actually "made" her walk up and down stairs, as there was a lot of worry about an x-ray she'd had that showed me being too large, but they let her have a "trial of labor" anyway, since she was so athletic and they thought she might be able to do it. For a doc in the 70s, I guess that was pretty progressive.
Ya know, I never did ask her how long her stages were, except I know she pushed @ 2 hours...
I do know that her main memory is being wheeled into surgery and cursing out my dad (who had been taken to the waiting room). She has a sailor's mouth (like me) and apparently it was really creative swearing at that point, which she is proud of.