@TheFutureMcBride: Agree completely.
Also, don’t forget to take into considerations of what might happen in an emergency. It isn’t UNcommon for the umbilical cord to be wrapped around the neck, or a breach birth, or other problems that can and do occur.
Now, I’m not saying it WILL happen, I’m saying there is ALWAYS a chance it COULD happen. That is why hospitals are recommended and why home births, though increasingly popular, are also dangerous.
Remember: at a hospital, you CAN REFUSE medications and you can also say what you do and don’t want. Don’t forget to have your husband/FI/SO or whoever is going to be there with you (I recommend your husband or who has the right to take over if you aren’t able to decide what medical decision to make) to MAKE the medical decisions that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to.
If you’re undecided, I highly recommend a practice with midwives AND doctors for the reason the midwife can call in the doctor if the delivery requires an emergency c-section or other help the midwife can not give.
It’s impossible to know if you’ll need a c-section or not or if you unborn will end up in fetal distress for any reason or not. This is NOT to scare you, but to let you know it can happen.
Talk it over with your obgyn. Ask if she has a midwife she can recommend.
If you decide to go with the birthing center, ask questions about what happens in an emergency. Prolapsed umbilical cord (where it’s wrapped around their neck), labor isn’t progressing, or if the unborn baby starts having fetal distress, and any other emergency where a c-section will be required.
There are lots and lots of problems that can occur, but they don’t always occur. The Boy Scouts motto is a great thing to live by: Always be Prepared.
A great book to read is “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”. It’s a great book and often given out in the little gift bags you get at your obgyn. At least, that’s what I got with both my kids… along with coupons.
And ALWAYS asks lots and lots of questions and don’t be afraid to argue with your doctors.