My first birth was induced, and like you, I wasn't planning on the epi. but got it. I pushed for 3 hours, and my baby was delivered with forceps. My next baby was natural, and I pushed twice and she was born. I did tear where I had the episiotomy for the first birth, but didn't notice it at the time because I was focusing on getting the baby out. The tear just needed a stitch, but no big deal to me because I was holding/nursing my new baby. The same situation with my third baby- pushed twice, natural (home) birth, tore at the darn episiotomy site again. Still didn't notice as it was happening, and held/nursed baby again as it was being stitched.
To answer your question, pushing the baby out without meds was MUCH better. I hated the epi., even though it "worked" like it's supposed to. I LOVED my natural births because I got to move around. I definitely felt the pushing ctx., but it was so fast. Pushing for me did hurt more than labor ctx., but after my intense induced first labor, natural labor ctx. aren't a big deal to me. And I've had posterior babies with all 3 labors (just the way I carry them, I guess), and all my babies have been about 9 lbs. I hope you're able to go natural- SO MUCH nicer that way!
Carrie, mama to Jake (4), Lola (2), and Ike (3 months)