I answered yes. I wish I could say no, but I am terrified. Your birth experience depends a lot on baby's position. My guy was occipital posterior (sunny side up) and his head was turned up (I don't know if it was brow or not, but midwife said the largest diameter was coming through rather than the smallest). This caused the pain to be unbelievably strong. I had a fast intense labor in the beginning, getting to 8 cm within 2.5 hours (counting from when contractions got 2 mins apart, which happened in 1 hour from first contraction). I had the urge to push. The midwife thought he was coming. She suggested breaking my waters to make things happen, because the bag of waters was pushing against the cervix. That's when she found out he was posterior. That's also when labor stalled. My cervix began to swell, and I went down to 6 cm. Long story short, there was lots of pain, and it got stuck. Looking back, I think my body was trying to turn him, but once she broke the waters, all bets were off. Ended up with a 18 hour labor, in hospital with pitocin drip and epidural. (thankfully, was still able to deliver vaginally, with vacuum assistance) Prior to hospital transfer, my thoughts were, "get it out of me, now, I don't care how." I actually wanted a c-section at that point, just wanted the pain to stop. He had become only an "it."
For days and weeks after the birth, every time I closed my eyes to try and relax, I relived the birth trauma.
Of course, I wish I had had better capability of dealing with the pain, I wish I had had a doula, and I wish a lot of things had happened differently.
So, that is why I am afraid. I'm afraid of the pain. I plan to get help and a doula and hope to overcome this fear before labor starts, because I know that can also affect your experience. At the same time, I know that even in cases where the woman is prepared in every way, the pain can still be beyond overwhelming, if the baby's position isn't perfect. Birth can also be orgasmic, if everything is perfect.