Here is the link to a website which focuses solely on positive birth stories. If you’re like most women, you’ve heard many more negative than positive stories, so this is a nice counter-balancing website for you. It’s how birth can and should be. All those stupid soap operas and movies you’ve seen that show birth as a fearful race against time, or terrifying, or dangerous, or excruciating can set you up for a self-fulfilling prophecy. While some people think of a good birth experience (which is defined as whatever the speaker is thinking) is entirely a matter of chance, others think that preparation has a lot to do with it, and some indeed believe that thinking bad thoughts or thinking about negative or sad stories will create that reality when you come to give birth. I think that preparation has a lot to do with how your birth ultimately ends up; but there is some element of chance (after all, you can’t guarantee the circumstances of when you give birth, no matter how much you may plan); yet I am not so superstitious as to believe that “thinking happy thoughts” is all that is necessary for a good birth.
For some reason, the quote by Thomas Edison, when he was working on inventing the light bulb, just sprang to mind — that he hadn’t had 1000 failures; he’d merely learned 1000 ways in which it didn’t work. Reading negative birth stories can be beneficial, if you learn one of the many ways in which “it didn’t work right” so that you avoid common mistakes. For example, if all of the negative birth stories take place in the hospital, while all positive ones take place at home, maybe there is an element of hospital birth that is negative. If all the women who talk about labor being excruciating were restricted to lying on their backs in the hospital bed… then maybe you ought to realize that such a position creates a more painful labor. However, by reading positive stories, you learn — by other women’s examples — 1000 ways in which labor works right.
I heard this the other day, and can’t remember whom to attribute it to; but I didn’t make it up: “To learn from your own mistakes is smart; to learn from other people’s mistakes is wise.”