I, too, have cried over some of the horrors I've seen at births. The first one of my friends that I saw give birth was when I was 16. So was she. It was a textbook handled, over-managed all-Amurrican birth trauma. That experience was what sent me running for a midwife from the very first time I was pregnant. I didn't 100% know about midwives or home birth, but I knew I didn't want that!
I only have one hospital birth experience of my own. With my 4th child, I had bells palsy. That almost always means delivery 4-5 weeks early, and thus I was remanded to an OB. The doc herself was quite friendly, understood that I was used to birthing naturally and quickly at home, agreed to my every whim and concern about birthing in the hospital. I thought I was gold, that I could have another phenomenal birth experience despite the hospital. I went into natural labor, 4 weeks before my son's EDD. It was 4 am when I went in, my doc wasn't there, and because I had no signed birth plan, I was subject to the demands of the nurses and the on-call doc, who basically made no bones about the fact she viewed me as just one more cow for the cattle chute. It was humiliating. It didn't matter what I wanted or what I said, it was control and interference from the get go. Trapped on my back, strapped to machines, the whole nine yards, pumped full of pitocin, for no medical reason. It was horrid. Still, I was sure when MY doc got there, things would change. Ha. In reality, I should have known better. I really should have. I've done hours, days of reading and research. I'd read thousands of "what went wrong" kind of stories. I knew, but it was head knowledge. In my heart, I didn't know yet, how brutal, how mechanical and managed birth can be here. I do now. In its own way, it was a lesson I can look back at and be thankful for, in that, I now have a taste of what is the only birth experience some women ever have. (God, what a painful and frightening thought!) Hopefully, it will make me a better birth assistant in the long run.
And yay! Now I just have to scare up the money for my certifications... heh.
Women and cats will do what they want, men and dogs will have to get used to it. ~~ Heinlein