Just today I came across two UC stories. They illustrate the wide range of experiences women can have. One story is happy (she is a blogger I recently came across, and LDS too!); one is not (not because of anything that went wrong with the UC per se, but because of how people treated her when she decided to transfer to a hospital).
The second story illustrates some of the potential downsides of UC'ing in our current medical and legal climate. Some UC transfers go quite smoothly, and the hospital staff are respectful of the woman's wishes and of her birth experiences. But others can be nightmares. (The same can be said about midwife-attended home birth transfers.) I'm not sure what can be done to prevent this from happening to other women. In the second story, the physician's treatment of the woman precipitated a major obstetrical emergency. Legally, it would be considered assault and battery. The woman was screaming at the doctor to stop, yet the doctor persisted, ignoring the woman's very vigorous protests.
Both of these stories illustrate the benefit of having people to call upon during labor if the need arises. In the first story, the woman called a friend over to lend assistance with practical stuff like boiling water for the birth pool, so her husband could focus all of his attention on his laboring wife. In the second, the woman knew she needed another person's assistance when she was pushing, but had to call the EMTs and eventually transfer to the hospital because she didn't know anyone she could call on.
I had a friend lined up for my own labor in case I felt the need for female companionship. She was a mother of four children, two younger boys and two teenagers. I felt an instant affinity with her, and she had this very motherly sense about her that I really liked. It turns out I didn't need her company, but it was reassuring to me, and especially my husband, that we had someone we could call.