“The plural of anecdote is not data.”
-Dr. Stuart Fischbein, supporter of choices in childbirth and vaginal breech birth
But seriously, we tell stories as a way of both healing and perpetuating our own fear by planning to avoid the same hideous outcomes in our own lives. It’s healing because it didn’t happen to us and because we feel better about the crap that happened to someone else when we share the burden by telling the story again. It’s perpetuating our own fear by encouraging decisions based on fear. Making decisions based in fear is a good way of setting ourselves up for poor outcomes, continued fear, resentment, distrust, and misery.*
Instead, I choose to make decisions based on love. Or at least, I try to. I think about it sometimes. OK, I once read that somewhere. I do try to remember it in retrospect: Did I do that out of fear or out of love? The distinction can be quite difficult to make. It’s a valuable one to make, though, if you plan on continuing to be human. We tell stories and listen to stories and we take them in. We want to be warned about what bad things might happen and how we can avoid them. We want to have control, to think we can avoid all the bad things by just being informed and diligent enough. Well, I do. I really do.
I love my baby and want what’s best and safest for her and myself so I’m going to schedule a cesarean.
All your fears are lies.
Especially in birth and parenting, we make a lot of decisions that are fraught with fear and love. If we can pick our decisions apart and focus on the love, infusing them with more love, we will make better decisions. Bad things happen, but fear does not make good or smart decisions. Fear is not real. Love is. Life can be beautiful, perfect even. Things can work out in your favor. It can all go as you hoped and planned. With love, wonderful is not a ridiculous expectation.
Love hopeth all things.