I'd like to follow up on my earlier post, from 6/13. I gave birth naturally on 6/19 to an 8 lb 4 oz baby girl! At about 1pm that day, I realized I was in active labor, and arrived at the hospital at 7:15pm, dilated to 6 cm. My daughter was born at 10:23pm. I can now say that natural is the way to go. Why? Because by the next day I felt great. No long, drawn-out recovery period. Some of the nurses and even my doctor commented that I didn't look like I'd just given birth (and I'm 43 years old, mind you). After my first birth (epidural and pitocin), it took my body a full year to get back on track. This time, nothing. I could've run a foot race the next day.
My only regret is having an OB deliver the baby instead of a midwife. At 9.5-10 cm, she told me I could start pushing, even though I didn't feel the urge to push. I suggested waiting, and she told me I could but that she recommended not waiting. I took her advice and started pushing, and remained on my back even though I desperately wanted to squat. At the end of it all, everything turned out just fine, but the pushing stage was a greater agony than it had to be because I wasn't ready and wasn't in the position my body craved. Caveat: Wait until you feel the urge to push, and insist on being in the position that feels right for you.