(I feel like I need to put a disclaimer here, as well: anyone who carries a baby for nine months and births the child [whether naturally, with pain meds, in a hospital, at home, through c-section, whatever] is amazing, in my opinion. I'm not critical of modern medicine nor do I misunderstand the hundreds of different circumstances surrounding the act of bringing a baby into the world.)
About halfway into my pregnancy, I made the definitive decision to try for a natural childbirth in a hospital with an OBGYN. My husband is a lawyer and has seen too many cases of childbirth-gone-wrong to be on board with a home birth. And in Memphis, midwives can't deliver in hospitals. So hospital birth with an OBGYN was the option we had.
During my pregnancy, I wanted to be as informed as possible about what was going to happen during labor. We attended a 4-week class on general pregnancy/childbirth info (offered by my OBGYN's office). We attended 2 classes devoted to natural childbirth (one at Methodist hospital and one at Baptist Women's hospital [and for any Memphians - the Methodist one was awesome and a must-attend if you want a natural labor, in my opinion]). And my husband and I read The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin (which I highly recommend) and Natural Childbirth The Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon-Rosegg (which I sort of recommend, but not wholeheartedly). Also, a quick shout out to Ricki Lake's documentary The Business of Being Born, which I found really interesting and powerful.
Both my husband and my OBGYN were 100% on board with my decision to avoid drugs and in my opinion, this made the whole experience possible. We came up with a birth plan beforehand and had a copy in my file and a few copies on hand when we arrived at the hospital. Overall I was so pleased with the way everything happened.
Here is the link to the birth story of my baby. It was such an amazing experience, I hope I conveyed that through my description.