I know I'm fast-forwarding a bit here, but one thing that has been terrifying me lately is the actual labor and delivery. You'd think with being on my fifth kid, I'd be a pro at this. And I honestly wouldn't be so scared, but I've had an epidural with each of my other births and really don't want to get one this time around. I had complications with the last three epidurals I got, but the one with my last baby was the worst. I won't go into the gory details, don't want to scare anyone, but it ended up turning into an emergency situation which scared the hell out of myself and DH. DH and I are both medical professionals, and although I don't remember much of it, he says that he was really afraid that things were going to turn out much differently. There were other issues as well, that weren't as bad, but the whole experience was enough to keep me away from it this time around.
Anyway, my question is this... How much does natural labor and delivery hurt? I guess that's a dumb question, because I can only imagine that it hurts like hell, but just give it to me straight. And how did you get through it? I definitely plan to labor and deliver in a hospital, but just hope to stay away from as many pain medications as possible. Any tips, advice, or just the honest-to-God truth would be much appreciated! Thanks!