We are planning, Lord willing and if the creek don't rise, to have a home birth. :)
I am seeing a midwife who lives about an hour from me. She has attended the births of two of my friends. She has excellent stats--875 babies--never lost one. This lady knows when to transfer!!! I appreciate that kind of self-knowledge. She knows her limits.
My last birth lasted 4.5 hours start to finish. I'm hoping this one is as good. It was a good length. I had some great pre-labor pains that were irregular with Lucy that helped speed me along. Our nearest hospital has a crazy high intervention rate--60%. I am not entrusting myself to people who are more likely to cut me open than do anything else. Plus, I'm low-risk. If at any point we feel concerned, we will not hesitate to make other plans.
Some of you may be wondering if having a home birth is safe. Well, a doctor friend of ours who is involved in all kinds of research--Walt Larimore, M.D., spends his time writing and researching EVERYTHING--not excluding home birth. His blog is full of wonderful information: www.drwalt.com/blog. In a conversation with him about home delivery, he said, "The combo of a midwife and doula is (statistically) the safest way to go -- and the U.S. data on home deliveries looks pretty good."
In addition, I've done my own research and found that for low-risk women, homebirth has typically better outcomes and fewer interventions (forceps, vaccuum, induction, c-section, etc.). If you are looking for a good book to read on home birth, read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin, the nation's leading midwife.
If you're still skeptical, here are a couple of links with some great information:
Medical News Today
British Medical Journal (yes, it's British, but the study is concerning North American homebirths. This study is frequently cited in other works, I've noticed, and it is quite recent.)