I would not recommend a birth center. I would recommend birthing at home instead.
I planned for a natural birth at the birth center. I invested a lot of time and money going to the birthing classes, and appointments with the midwife. I believed that the environment was not as cold and sterile as a hospital environment, but I was wrong.
When I was in labor, I showed up at the birthing center as soon as they opened. They gave me a vaginal exam, and determined that the baby was "sunny side up" and that I was 1cm dilated. They were well aware of the fact that I lived an hour away, but sent me on my way to go labor on my hands and knees (to turn baby) elsewhere. All this despite the fact that they could have provided me a room to labor in. Luckily for my husband and I, we had a doula that lived locally and she invited us to her house to labor. When we returned, once the baby flipped, I had another vaginal exam where they determined I was still 1 cm dilated and not in "active labor." They sent me to the hospital.
I was still able to have a natural birth at the hospital, but it was not the experience I had hoped for. I knew that there was a possibility that I could be sent to the hospital for a number of reason, and yes, I accepted that. However, in the end I still felt cheated. Maybe it was because the hospital did not do anything that the birth center could not. The birth center sent me away because my water broke, and 16 hours later I was not in active labor. However, once arriving to the hospital I was not administered drugs to expedite the labor. The labor actually progressed rapidly and four hours later my baby was born.
I had the option of returning to the birth center to rest with baby, but I was done with the birth center at that point. I did not like how they "kicked me out" to go labor, and then when I returned they "kicked me out" again to the hospital. It felt like that cold, sterile environment that I was trying to avoid! I didn't want to have to get in the car again, also, at the point. Laboring in the car was not a pleasant experience! I did not want to get back in the car! I just wanted to stay in one place, and rest!
With all that said, next time I have decided on a home birth. I want to be in control of my situation. I do not want to have to get in and out of the car a million times, and I want to avoid negative people. I want to be in the comfort of my own home.
I hope this helps!