I figured my comment about home-birthing might cause some stir.....and I think I was right. Let me just say up front (again!) that this is MY OPINION. It doesn't mean that it's the only opinion or heck, even the right opinion! It's just how I see things through my eyes.
Someone asked what we have in a hospital that wouldn't be available at home. I'll admit that I've never been to a home birth, but from the research I've done here's a small list (not all inclusive) of things we would have in a hospital (not necessarily at every delivery but available within seconds) that usually wouldn't be available at home:
~ 5 L&D nurses
~ 4 NICU nurses
~ 2 Neonatal Nurse Practitioners
~ a full team to take care of mom after delivery and a separate team to take care of the baby after delivery
~ a labor bed that can be adjusted to many different positions to facilitate McRoberts maneuver (plus lots of others)
~ a full OR team/equipment (including anesthesia) ready for an emergency C/S if/when we decided we needed it
In my situation I think the things that helped the most were having all the (very experienced) hands ready and able to help. If it had been just the doctor and me in the room things could have turned out very differently. There is also no way that I could have taken care of the critical condition baby after he was born AND taken care of mom at the same time.
I know the great majority of births (home and hospital) turn out fantastic, happy healthy mom and happy healthy baby. I know midwives are trained and many have more experience than some doctors. I know that sometimes in hospitals decisions are made because of the extra monitoring that lots of times happens and that lots of times in the hospital we err on the side of "preventing" instead of "reacting." My experience over the weekend reminded me how quickly a situation can go from normal, routine, and uncomplicated to emergent, critical and life or death. The thought that keeps running though my head is "why would I want to take the chance of the one birth that doesn't go as planned being MY baby's?"