I wanted to make mention of a great blogpost and resource I just read. While most women plan ahead of time where they will give birth, sometimes birth happens too quickly to make it to the planned location or before a birth attendant can be present. There are also natural disasters or other emergency situations where women may be unable to reach or find space in a hospital. Though these situations are rare, they are still possibilities, and the best course is to be prepared. The American College of Nurse Midwives has a great resource-"ACNM Giving Birth in Place"--explaining how to give birth under emergency circumstances or wherever you may be--"in place."
My first labor went fairly quickly (less than 6 hours from start to finish). My second was a curve ball because my baby was posterior (27.5 hours start to finish with periodic stalls in labor). So I'm feeling fairly anxious about this next birth because I have absolutely no idea what to expect. It could be extremely fast. My sister's third child was born an hour and a half after the first contraction! Or maybe this one will also be posterior and take its time? I have no idea once the first contraction hits whether I need to rush or relax. It's nerve-wracking now... I can't even imagine how nervous I'll be in late March/early April.
But I plan to study up on "giving birth in place" and take whatever precautionary steps I can to prepare for the possibility that we have to give birth unattended. Maybe I'll even get us an "emergency birth kit" like this one--it'd probably be good to have around anyway for emergency preparedness in general. I hope these precautions will bring me at least a little peace of mind. I think they will.