Circumcision: we had a girl, so we happily did not have to continue this discussion after week 20 (DH is Jewish. I was not sold on circumcision).
Cord blood banking: nope.
Placenta encapsulation: nope. Actually, at the hospital I gave birth in the placenta and cord are automatically donated to the blood bank unless you say otherwise...which I thought was nice. Shame for all those cells to go to waste otherwise. I asked the doc to show me the placenta though - and it was pretty impressive. I had no idea it would be so large.
Meds: one of the nice things about having never come to a conclusion about meds is that when I realized I couldn't go any further without them, I faced no arguments with the staff about receiving them. I showed up at the hospital with contractions about 90 seconds apart and about 8 cm dilated. At first I thought, you know, I could do this for a few hours...about 10 minutes later, when I was getting maybe 30 seconds of rest in between contractions and they were so forceful I thought my head might explode, I sent DH into the corridor and told him not to come back until he had an anesthesiologist in tow. He came back anyway (brave man), but the doctor followed about 10 minutes (approximately 7 contractions) later.
I feel no shame in saying this - the yoga ball did jack s#$% for me after the contractions ramped up in force. This kid was in the perfect position. I was well dilated. I am tough as all hell when it comes to pain and I really couldn't take the pain anymore. I have no idea how anyone does this naturally with losing their minds. My hats off to anyone who has done this naturally. You are a better person than I.
The epidural slowed my contractions eventually and in the last 30 minutes of a 2 1/2 hour transition, I agreed to a shot of pitocin. I had not planned on that.
Episiotomy: I had to do a little project once on episiotomy history and complications etc.. The outcome of that little project was that I figured if a control tear was needed to avoid tearing the pudendal nerve/a sideways tear, I would be totally on board. Outside of those specific circumstances, I had no interest in having one. There I am in the last 5 minutes of labour being told I have to have one for specifically this reason. I agree and lo' and behold, I unpredictably tore in a completely different area and very, very badly. This is the one unexpected thing that really did bum me out. It made caring for LO next to impossible without a lot of assistance. I've been on crazytown meds for the pain, and side effects of the pain meds since.
In the end, I have a great DD and had such minimal problems, that I've come to terms with how the last 5 minutes went, injuries and all. Eager to heal, but otherwise feel we had a good birth.