I choose epidural
I went into labor with my daughter with the "I'll see what happens" mindset. If I made it all natural, great! If not, I wasn't going to stress about it. I made 5 hours before getting a boost of iv pain meds to take the edge off. After 12hours and no sleep for 24hours I got the epidural just to get some sleep. It was great at first but it wasn't long before I realized it wasn't working. Something shifted and it was only working in my left let from about the middle of my thought to my foot! I delivered my daughter with no pain medication (at least none where it counted).
I'm glad I did it because now I know what it feels like and I'm proud that I made it through. I'll never have to wonder. But next time around I definitely want the epidural again. Hopefully it will work! I just feel like I was in sooooo much pain I hardly remember her even being handed to me. I want a clearer head next time.
Ihad pain killers and an epidural with my first and decided never again and I never did.
For me it was mindset and learning more about what my body was doing during the contractions. I still had pain but I managed it through breathing, whistling (yes for some reason a little whistling got my mind focused just so that it got me through the contractions at the end) and having a cold wash cloth to wipe over my face. I also learned I needed quiet and very few interruptions. I also chose to labor on my knees next to my bed for my home births, using a pillow when it got too hard. For early labor I liked to lay on my side in my bed.