I really appreciate your thoughtful and compassionate response, kaatya. Having an injury from VB can be so isolating, embarrassing, and depressing. It's rare to have anyone acknowledge it or offer support, so it's very meaningful to me that you took the time to do so. I agree that it's something people just don't talk about.
No one ever mentioned such a thing to me when I was pregnant and it certainly wasn't mentioned in any of the many books I read or the class I took in order to "educate myself" as everyone seems to advocate. Sadly, I've found that it's not that uncommon at all; most people just suffer in silence.
Thank you for supporting other women in their choices, even if they differ from what you would want. I wish you weren't saddened by their choices though. Maybe those choices are the right ones for them and thus have the potential to result in the same feelings of empowerment and energy for taking on new motherhood as natural birth does for some women. I read a lot about natural birth, but it really didn't resonate or appeal that much to me. I simply wanted to have a healthy baby in the least traumatic way possible. I think that being able to make a choice that honored my own needs and values would have been just as empowering as a natural birth would be to a woman who valued the things that go along with that. It's interesting how much people can differ.
It's funny you mention EFM. I've heard a lot of women say they dislike it, but I always found the idea of having the baby's well-being monitored throughout labor to be something that I'd find very reassuring and would absolutely want. It probably does raise the intervention rate, but it probably also helps people react quickly when there is distress too. Here is a study: http://download.journals.elsevierhealth.com/pdfs/journals/0002-9378/PIIS0002937811004807.pdf
I take your point about it being a shame when a normal healthy labor is unnecessarily interrupted and a mom ends up with a bad experience as a result. I wish every woman could have the kind of birth she would find most empowering. I just feel compelled to point out that not all women want natural birth, and that's ok too.