How is homebirth different?
On average, there are differences between a homebirth and a hospital birth. For example, the rate of problems during labor is higher in the hospital due to the increased use of medical techniques to change labor. The type and amount of fetal monitoring is also different. Many women find their attitude changes to being a "patient" when they labor in the hospital, leading them to feel they must follow every command from the nurses. Many women also find there is less stress during labor at home not only because they are around familiar things and working with people they know, but because there is no rush to pack the car and head to some other location in the midst of strong contractions.
It is the same process whether you give birth at home or in the hospital. Your body must do the same work. My mind went to the same place during labor and I wanted to do the same things (I liked the shower and I liked the hands and knees position with both labors). The only real difference was that at home, no one was telling me what to do. I remember feeling frustrated during my daughter's labor because the midwife told me not to push, to get on the bed, to use her pushing position instead of squatting. I never yelled at her or screamed or got mean, just mentally I knew we were not working together on this.
At home I had the freedom to try everything I wanted. The pushing went longer than I expected. I believe it was partially due to my mind not being quite ready to push (I had only had about three good contractions), and my body not being able to get into a squat or squat-like position without sending a pain down my leg. But even that wasn't a problem because I could do other things, and I tried a lot of pushing positions.
The biggest difference was that my husband had to be just as involved as I did. He was challenged in ways that made him uncomfortable. He was the first person to hold our son. As much as labor made me a mom, attending me in labor made him a dad.
The Natural Childbirth Directory has a category for homebirth . You can find other sites about homebirth which will explain other family's understanding of the differences between homebirth and hospital birth.