I watch TLC's birth stories occasionally. Usually they just make me frustrated at the doctor's for letting a laboring woman lie on her back for hours and hours until Pitocin is needed and then the woman is so worn out from unnatural contractions that an Epidural is needed, or worse, a c-section (from lack of progression).
The birth story that I witnessed today was a woman who used a midwife and a doula. They were supportive and realistic. What impressed me the most was that the midwife sent the woman home when her contractions weren't progressing the labor, instead of introducing chemicals. The woman was a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesearean) so using Pitocin could have put her into the danger zone for needing a repeat c-section. Anyway, it was just nice to see her progress naturally, although it lasted 3 days, and get full support and encouragement by her doula to try new positions, accupuncture (done by an accupuncturist, not the midwife), rest and positive thought. The midwife was so cheerful, encouraging and the doula such a great labor coach. Made me wish I would have used a doula for all my pregnancies, not just the first one (we moved and I didn't think I needed it for the other births).
I share my strong feelings about this only because I need an outlet. It isn't fair to women for them to think that just because the intials "M.D." follows the person's name, doesn't mean they have the best intentions for you. C-sections are a necessary thing, but are used more and more for convenience, not just for emergencies. I've had one, and I still feel a pulling sensation in my side at times. I've had a VBAC, too. I've used a doctor, a midwife (two separate births) and a doula (for one birth), and my husband and mom (for labor support). So I speak not just from ideals, but also experience.
I would love to be an encouragement to any who knows that there is a better way for your health and your baby's. I've had several women tell me they "could not have had their child naturally," in reference to the magic that is the epidural. My reply, "Yes, you could have, you may have been miserable, but you could have done it." Remember, I'm not saying that there isn't a time and place and special circumstances for all medical interventions, but those should be more rare than the medical community would like.