And now for a bit on hospitals - this is where I chose to have my baby. It's very common in America, and somewhat controversial because hospitals are where sick people are treated, and some people think that having births in hospitals leads to too many doctor interventions. They're probably right.
My experience was great though. I gave birth at the Wesley Hospital Birthcare Center in Wichita, KS. It's technically part of the hospital, but it's in a separate building across the street. I felt good going there because I really liked their policies. They encouraged mother-baby bonding immediately after birth, and said that any exams or procedures they'd do to the baby would be done while you're holding him. The classes we took there were taught by knowlegable, open-minded instructors.
I even took their class and used their simple birth plan template, you just circled things you wanted to happen during your birth. At the end there were five lines for "anything else?" and I wrote, "Don't cut me, and if I start backing out of this natural birth thing remind me that I can do it." Turns out that was enough. I had my episiotomy-free natural birth with no extra confrontation needed, the hospital staff was very supportive (in fact they said episiotomies aren't that routine anymore anyway, so I really didn't need to be nervous about it).
The only thing I didn't like about the hospital was that the food wasn't that great. If I give birth again, I'm having my family bring me some exotic plate of whatever my little heart desires. I was STARVING after I had Jo, so I really didn't care that much about the cardboard-tasting pizza on my plastic tray, I could have eaten about anything. But don't we deserve better, ladies?