Hello all...my first post in a while, cos my laptop is broke, but this is very interesting so I´ll pipe in, not least because I´M PREGNANT!
Here in Spain whilst childbrith is on the whole very very medical, much more so than the UK, my local hospital has a 42% CS rate and when you do have a CS you are not allowed anyone in the OR with you or to hold your baby (in fact it is common practice to take a baby away from ALL mothers, for at least 12 hours).
However constitutionally, it is the right of any mother to have who she wishes attend the birth....which allows for non-medical midwives to operate in the gap between medical birth and unassisted birth (UC), allowing the woman to use HER choice and judgement, and ultimately take responsibility for what happens. I personally know a few UCers who chose to do so after having multiple naturally non-medical midwife assisted births (and why not, by that time you´re gonna know the drill well enough). I had non-medical midwives attend me at home, my baby was breech (which we knew) and after 48 hours of labour (inc 12 hrs pushing) we made a decision to go to hospital (2 hours drive away) where I was given a routine CS (i.e. non-emergency). My experience, is that whilst I didn´t the HB I tried so hard for, it did me and my babe no harm to try (and actually made dealing with the psychological after effects of a CS much easier - I have fewer "what-ifs?" to deal with). My time spent with my midwives (whom I saw weekly from the second trimester) was peaceful and calm, and we and they still consdier our babe to be one of "theirs", I wouldn´t be able pick out the OB who actually delivered LO in an uncrowded room (though the b!tch who shaved my pubes will get mown down if I ever see her crossing the street LOL!).
The point of all this is that contrary to what a lot of people think (and have expressed to me), a failed HB is not necessarily an emergency. I would argue that attempted HB is less likely to end as an emergency, if your midwives know you well (as they should) then they will know if it is time to quit, they will know if you are not "quite right".
As for me this time, I don´t know, I´ve grieved for the possibility of having a baby at home, though that doesn´t necessarily mean I will have it in hospital, I´d rather not.