I have been avoiding the DDC, so I just saw your post. I had a couple things to share
First, I was 75% effaced and a fingertip dilated for a MONTH with my son. And having enough contractions that showed up on a monitor (I was closely monitored as well) that they admitted me for possible pre-term labor at the beginning of that month! NO CHANGE to my cervix! And then *poof* went into labor. So your not being very dilated is NOT an indicator of ANYTHING.
As for pitocin and no epidural - I did it, but I have a couple caveats. I started out in labor, so I *can* compare my personal experience of natural labor to Pitocin. The main difference, in my experience, is that there is NO time to prepare to ride out a contraction. Whereas my contractions built up, peaked, and then subsided naturally, they just took off and peaked seemingly instantly with pitocin. When I had natural contractions, I even had these little mini warning contractions. They were even visible on the monitor. Nothing like that with Pitocin.
I also don't know if the fact that my body was already going made any difference. Pitocin seriously hurts, I won't lie. The contractions are more intense, but it was the shape of them that really got me. I just couldn't get myself in a good space to deal with them well. I was a big baby! And rightly so!
Also, I was on magnesium (which is what stalled my labor and led to the need for pitocin), so I'm not sure if that made it easier or more difficult to deal with the pitocin contractions because I was not exactly "all there." (but who knows what was labor and what was magnesium?)
So, it's totally do-able. Sucks that it could be your first labor and birth experience. Lots of hugs!
...And I hope I haven't freaked you out more. Really, it's do-able without an epidural - you need great labor support, and I think telling them WHY you don't want an epidural so they can remind you is SUPER helpful. I had (and again have) very specific reasons - things I can visualize (it makes me queasy to watch an epidural be administered) and things that really scare me about an epidural (like permanent damage to my way-too-loose pelvis if I can't feel a bad position). There are more reasons, but it was helpful for my doula to remind me when I was in the throes of transition and thinking an epidural sounded pretty darn good!