I think that sometimes, our minds tell us that childbirth should be painful, when this isn't the reality.
With the boys, contractions were always milder than the contractions I had during pregnancy- the only indication I had that it was labour was my mind and intuition telling me that it was time. With Skye, I had strong painful ctx that last month, which were really quite hard work- and then excrutiating ones for an hour (17 contractions in total) that led to us calling the midwife and begging for the entonox. She came through the door in the middle of a contraction, the next one was painfree. Abd the next, and the next- and they spaced back out again.
I'm sure the only reason I had those painful contractions was to make sure I called the midwife- we needed help to get Skye out because of her nuchal hand and I'm sure part of me sensed that there was a potential glitch- and it was stress causing the pain and regulating my contractions. It's taken me three weeks to turn this round and accept that my somewhat disappointing, very prosaic birth was exactly as it was meant to be- that it was my expectations that were unnatural, not my birth- and that I'm probably never going to have the candles and soft music and birth pool- or even the deeply spiritual experience- because that just isn't right for me.
eta: we'd got to the point where we'd decided not to call the midwives until baby was out, because we were worried about pressure to transfer (due to postdates.) That was the big reason why it was such a big deal...