That's a shame & I'm sorry that has been your experience. & I'm sorry if anyone has that experience. It's a shame. It's wrong.
I think the best case scenario is that we all can tailor our message to the person we're communicating with.
For example, if I meet someone who's already PG or already has kids, I'll be really delicate around the subject of birth if it comes up. Maybe just to say I had a natural birth & it rocked! Since, IMX, there just aren't that many people who say natural birth (or birth overall!) can be positive! The prevailing belief is, "Why go through all that pain if I don't have to?" as well as "Natural birth makes as much sense as natural dentistry!"
So here, standing in front of you, is someone who's not totally insane or hippy & had a natural birth she enjoyed. So ask me Qs if you like.
However, with women who aren't PG or even in the middle of trying, I DO admit that I WILL try to warn them! Again, I think warnings are necessary.
So if I say, essentially,
1. "Get educated or you may be subjected to bad things."
(Yet again, that is not to say that getting educated guarantees you will not have a bad experience.)
Do you think that's the same as saying,
2. "If you have had a bad experience, it is partially your own fault."????
In other words, is it even possible say sentence #1 without also communicating the idea of sentence #2?
Are they the the same message?
On the negative side, I do think when women are discussing their own experience, fears and thoughts, and the immediate reaction is the armchair quarterback response, ("If only you/this woman had X...") that is where the shame and blame really begin. It saddens me that a community that purports to be woman-centered and inclusive can actually be quite the reverse with anyone who doesn't toe the line.
On the positive side, I think natural childbirth methods are strong enough to stand on their own without the constant critiques of "all these dumb women" who actually are brave about sharing their realities. In other words, you don't have to deconstruct other people's experience. Sharing your own story (as you did here) is powerful on its own.
The last thing I think came to mind in your post is the question of how to talk to people who have had traumatic birth experiences. I think this is where I have come to believe the NCB has a lot of work to do on the side of evidence and decision-making in labour.
When a woman has had a bad experience - either iatrogenically, like this experience seems to have been, or through a complication or condition - the NCB response rarely seems to be "this is how we, as advocates for natural labour and delivery, would respond to that."
It's mostly either pulling out stats about why that wouldn't/shouldn't/couldn't happen -- to a woman for whom it did -- or something about trust or nature or what-have-you.
But the thing is, even if your c-section wasn't warranted or your complication was a 1:100,000 case, a woman who has had to make (or had imposed) what she at a vulnerable and physically difficult moment perceived to be a life-or-death situation, or experienced a total lack of control, these responses are not necessarily helpful.
I think this article and the response to it illustrates this beautifully. You take a woman who was held down while her membranes were stripped and tell her aromatherapy will work for her? Do you think she's going to end up respecting that? And then she gets criticized for rejecting that? I don't know. It's not a response I'm comfortable with. I wish the NCB would listen to women about why they get turned off - it's important.
I could hear 1000 birth stories about nuchal cords with happy ending but that will never, ever erase the my experience. It's always interesting to me how (in every medical field on all sides) some people get that, and they listen, and they can even still present all the same information, but over time and in a respectful way, but they are rare. Most people are perfectly willing to trample your experience and feelings in order to make their political point.