My first delivery is nothing like any one else has posted. I am not sure why, maybe it's the state and town it was in but it was awesome even for a regular ob/gyn and hospital.
My oldest was delivered in Jan 1998 in a suburb of Portland, OR. My birth room had a tub (never got to use due to have fast I hit 10 cm) and I had in the room the entire time:
DH, my mom, my sister, my 8 year old niece, my 2 year old nephew and my step dad. No one had to leave at all. They were all there for the pushing and actual birth (yeah mom took some candid pics of baby's head).
My second was in a pretty liberal state and at a Catholic hospital. Up until the moment when they decided I had to have a c-section, all the same family members were allowed in the birthing room. No one was going to have to leave. For my c-section, only DH was allowed in the operating room and I am happy that was the case (he took some fantastic pics too).
My third was 8 weeks early and due to the emergency of the situation, they were running around like chickens with their heads cut off, I had to be convinced to sign a form to negate having my tubes tied. There was more time (my fault as I had to understand the ramifications of why they wanted me to sign it...this is what I said "...so are you asking me to sign this cuz for some couples who loose a child at birth, one of the ways they get over their grief is to have another child...?" The answer was partly but found out later it was due to other reasons) spent on informing me the baby was not going to make it, that she probably would not be born alive, etc etc etc.
I have to say, I'm grateful of how the ER ob/gyn and one of my ob's discussed the reality of the situation with me. The only thing they weren't telling me was I had lost 3 pints of blood and I might not make it either. Through out the entire process all decisions were discussed with me prior to any staff doing anything, like the anetheologist discussing my spinal versus epidural, giving me the spinal to the actual operation of the c-section. They (the hospital staff) discussed everything with me, getting my ok's and what not. When they took my youngest out, she had flat lined a few minutes before hand, there were no screams, nothing and about a minute later she let us all know she was here. I never had a transfusion or anything (a miracle I've been told). The nicu was very family friendly, breastfeeding friendly, kangaroo bonding friendly. My 8 week premie came home at day 14 (more due to my involvement than anything else).
But I just wanted to point out not all US Births or doctors are as horrible as what is being discussed here. Maybe it's due to being in the Pacific Northwest, maybe not.