Before my first child was born, I probably read over 100 birth stories on the internet. That helped me prepare for childbirth quite well (that, and the Bradley birth education class we took), and I had a nonmedicated delivery in the hospital with a supportive OB/GYN. This pregnancy will be the first time that I give birth in the USA, which is likely to be a different experience than my last two deliveries, if only for cultural and technological reasons.
Instead of reading birth stories from mothers' perspectives now, I find myself drawn to reading experiences related on an OB/GYN nursing forum. Apparently, it's not usual in the USA to have a doctor be the primary medical person checking on the mother. They often just "show up to catch". Nurses seem to have a much bigger role in monitoring labor in this country than I have experienced thus far. Fortunately, I plan to be assisted by a certified nurse midwife this time. However, if she's not able to make it, I need to know all I can about the issues that will come up with the registered nurses in a typical labor and delivery unit. I don't want to clash unnecessarily with them just because of my ignorance of their expectations.