Quoting xTJ:" <blockquote><b>Quoting Commander Shepard:</b>" I do believe that it's crazy over here ... [snip!] ... epidural are dished out like the first option and are fairly common? It is quite common to use forceps, vacuum, to cut?"
Yes to all of that, except OB's never witnessing births. Though, they probably have very little experience witnessing completely natural births.
The way most hospitals present the drugs used in labor and delivery, from what I've seen on TV and experienced, is not like an option. They say "we are going to start the Pitocin now" or "we're going to go ahead and use Cervadil."
It doesn't feel like you have a choice when they say it this way and that's what disturbs me the most. And a lot of women are emotionally vulnerable, which gives the doctor the upper hand.