Thanks for sharing your story and experiences thus far, Kathleen.
My wife and I are expecting our first and are about as far along as you. We saw Abby and Ricki's movie early last year and loved it. I then went on to read Dr. Marsden Wagner's book Born in the USA and my wife read Naomi Wolf's Misconceptions and we've both decided that a natural childbirth with a midwife is the way we'd like to have our baby.
My wife is 39 and worried her age will negatively affect her pregnancy and the birth. Those worries are compounded by the same comments you hear and that Abby warned about: that a natural childbirth sounds like a good idea but why risk your child's life and experience a level of pain when you don't need to. Hearing these kind of comments make my blood boil.
I suppose all of us feel like we know what's best and we have our own fears, but I don't understand why some people feel the need to share their fears by telling others what to do. It seems to happen at every step of having a baby, too, from choice of doctor or midwife to choice of name to how to discipline a child, there's no dearth of unsolicited advice. (I wish that advice was channeled into the financial realm instead.) We're only 8 weeks in, but I hope I can learn to better ignore the self-appointed nannies and save the decisions for my wife and me.
The biggest lesson I've learned from the movies and books I've read is that women are amazing. You contain within yourselves the miraculous power to nurture and deliver a human life. That is so awesome. Congratulations, Kathleen!