Iris, you definitely can still have the natural birth you want even in a hospital with an O/B you never see before the delivery - I did! I think educating yourself and knowing your options (as you do) are more important than anything. I would just stay out of the hospital as long as possible so that there is a limited opportunity for monitoring and so on, and then just practise saying no! (easier said than done.) I got the same episiotomy answer - I think they have to say that - but I had pretty bad tearing and it was only second degree (no episiotomy.) I think fourth-degree tears are pretty rare.
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