I tried to go natural
My water broke several hours before my contractions started so they insisted on putting me on potisin(I have no idea how to spell it). Because of that I was hooked to an IV and monitors, which I had wanted to avoid. I did have pain killers, but no epidural. The pain killers didn't do much for the pain but they at least let me get some sleep. The part that drove me crazy was that I was asked at least six times by numerous people if I wanted an epidural, when I stated from the beginning that I didn't and would let them know if I changed my mind. I'm looking for ways to have my next child with less interventions.
Once I got the epidural.. I was able to walk to my husband and joke with the nurses and talk to my sister on the phone.. I was able to look around and make eye contact, acknowledge the time, the room, the sounds... I was excited and happy and having a baby... Once the pushing happens... of course they turn the epidural way down and it hurt like you know what, but I was in the moment.. I was THERE... where as before, my eyes were closed and I was just focusing on getting passed it... I remember everything now.. the moments with their dad, the doctor, ... maybe that was just for me.. but taking that amount of pain way down for me, made me a better mom.. a better woman in that moment and I actually enjoyed (most of) the whole 16 hours...
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.