I had a very positive birth experience, I was lucky enough to have a straightforward birth, 6 hrs in established labour and 40 minutes of pushing. My husband was present and supportive throughout and cut the cord when our daughter was born. The midwife who delivered our daughter was excellent, I was able to stay mobile throughout the birth which I think really helped and spent a lot of the time on a birthing ball. The midwife also showed my husband how to massage my back during the contractions to help with the pain. I was able to manage on gas and air which I think meant I was able to push more effectively and also recover quickly.
The only downside was the hospital administration, they ended up discharging us at 1am (I gave birth at 12.30pm) with a promise that a midwife would come the next day (there seemed to be no room on the wards and they were very busy). No one came the next day despite chasing up, and in fact no one saw us for another two days. Fortunately both our daughter and I were well but this could have been problematic, and I believe that it contributed to my failure to breastfeed effectively. I feel this is a real shame as the actual care during the delivery was outstanding.