I know a lot of you read Linda already, but if you haven't read her post today about birth and what the experience has come to mean in our culture, please go and read it now. The comment section, too, is fantastic. (Also, you may notice that someone named Sarah commented no less than THREE TIMES in said section...)
Basically, I just want to blow big kisses to Linda and say RIGHT ON. Also, to reiterate what one of her commenters said, and which I SO need to be reminded of sometimes: "We get pregnant to have a BABY, not a birth experience." After watching The Business of Being Born and and reading Dooce and ob-SESSING about both of my births, of in fact continuing to obsess about possible FUTURE births and how I could make them even more natural and perfect and empowering, I have definitely fallen into the trap of thinking that achieving one's ideal birth experience = perfect mom.
Now, I don't intend to imply that the birth experience wasn't meaningful to me or that it's not something I'll remember forever. Nor do I think it shouldn't matter to me, or that I won't hope for a beautiful, straightforward, natural birth the next time. Maybe even a water birth! I also still think lots of women get bullied by the medical system and that it definitely IS valid to do some research and know your options.
I just mean that I think I may have, in my borderline OCD way, turned my past births into something to agonize over and plan and analyze like I would a spreadsheet or a business presentation. I made it something at which I could succeed or fail, which shames me now. It was never meant to be that. If I had developed high blood pressure and been advised to get pitocin to hurry along the birth, or if the baby's heart rate had dipped for quite a while and the doctor had advised a c-section, I have to admit that I would be here, two and four years later, still wondering about whether I could have done something different- better, braver- to change the situation.
I also have to admit that one of the things that scares me the most about the possibility of twins is that I might be forced to have a c-section. My body would be housing and growing TWO WHOLE BABIES and yet, I'm afraid of feeling weak and unwomanly because I might not get to push my babies out the old fashioned way. That? Is just silly.
Here's the thing: you make the best decision you can with the information and the circumstances at hand. And hopefully, you don't look back. Except maybe at your baby's newborn pictures. They're the only details worth obsessing over.