I am 26 and expecting my third baby. I am planning a natural hospital birth with a midwife. I have had one natural birth and one which didn't go as planned. I'll put the stories below (The first was a little scary... skip it if you want to stick with optimistic thinking!)
DS1, Dec 2007, was a planned natural hospital birth with an Ob. But, my water broke at 39+1, labor didn't start on its own, and monitoring indicated fetal heart decelerations, so they induced with continuous monitoring. I reacted strongly to the pitocin (they had me on a low dose for a few hours then had to turn it off). Fully dilated in less that 6 hours, pushed for an hour and 40min. He was almost crowning for a long time and an episiotomy didn't help, then his heartrate started dropping quickly, so I had a vacuum assisted delivery. His Apgar was 3 and he got oxygen and went to NICU. Turns out he had the cord around his neck twice really tightly and he got stuck on the way out because he had a compound presentation, hand up by his face, and his head was 14.5"! Owwww. I ended up with 3rd degree tears (on top of the 2nd degree episiotomy). DS spent a few hours in NICU, then I got to hold my little boy and he nursed like a champ. I wasn't entirely happy with the birth experience, but it did get me a healthy baby (who is now a wonderful almost 3-year-old), and that's what really matters. I was also happy to avoid a c/s, especially with such a big head!
For the first few months after DS1 was born I was worried they might have been too slow and he might have suffered some oxygen deprivation, but he hit his milestone perfectly... for a while. Then his speech was delayed and I began to worry again. He's quite the talker now, but it still hits me occasionally. Not a day goes by that I regret the interventions.
DS2's birth, in Aug 2009, was another planned natural hospital birth with an Ob. it was perfect. Woke at 39+5 at 5am with the first contraction, around 6am decided it was labor and woke DH. Labored at home with a birth ball and contractions 5min apart until 8:45am when they jumped to 2min apart. Made sure we had everything and left for the hospital. Got there around 9:15 and checked in which DH parked (still tolerating labor very well) and the guy at the desk assumed I was there for an induction. It looked like he didn't believe me when I said I was in labor. Got checked pretty quickly and was at 5cm. Monitoring showed baby was doing very well. I hated being on my back for the check. I had to be on hands and knees. Walked to the L&D room when I continued to labor on my hands and knees hugging a birth ball and rocking. My mom joined us there and helped DH support me. After a bit I started feeling pressure. Since I had an epi with #1 I thought it might be baby and had the doc check me. I was 7cm and my water was bulging. With my permission she broke it and the relief was amazing. It did make the contractions harder, though. I went through transition in a very intense 20 minutes the started pushing involuntarily. I was 10cm, but baby wasn't rotated to the ideal angle, so the doctor had me do some painful contortions (okay, lying on my side instead of kneeling) to get him to rotate. After about 15 min pushing (while baby kicked the heck out of me) it was clear to the doc baby had a big head again and I wasn't stretching well, so with my permission she did an episiotomy. A few pushes later I had another beautiful little boy with another 14.5" head. He came out kicking and screaming and pink and I helped lift him to my belly. I snuggled him, then let DH hold him. He rested a little then nursed at 45 minutes old. The whole experience was painful, but amazing.
ETA: I didn't use any special method or attend any classes. I just used optimism, family support, and determination.
So, #3 the plan is natural again (with a possible episiotomy depending on head-size), and I'm really hoping it works out that way, but I know those plans can change very quickly. I'd love to join you ladies and cheer on those who have the perfect birth and be there for those whose births aren't exactly what they imagined.