I also am not pregnant, but I decided to pop in and check it out and saw your thread and thought I'd respond.
I have had two unmedicated births. With the first I always intended to get the epidural. I had been in labor for 12 hours when my water broke and we went to the hospital. I was at 5cm when we got there (I had been at 4cm for a month so I was pretty bummed.) All the sudden I went into transition, although I didn't know it at the time and I was in so much pain all I could do was try to make it through the contractions that were coming one on top of the other. Twenty minutes when I was checked again I was complete. That was the absolute worst twenty minutes of my life. No, I take that back, my kidney stone was worse than that. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. I don't want to scare anyone, but I swore that I would never go through that again. That was in the heat of the moment. Natural childbirth is such a wonderful thing that I did decide to do it again.
My second labor was half the time, only seven hours, and SO much easier. I was positive for GBS so I was to be at the hospital four hours before delivery. Looking back this was a blessing in disguise, because otherwise I would have had an unexpected homebirth
: . I never dreamed that when I arrived at the hospital at 7:05 in the morning that I would be at 9cm. I figured maybe 6cm if I was lucky (again I was at 4cm before I even went into labor.) Imagine my surprise when I was at 9cm. My son was born at 8:05am. I pushed for only ten minutes, and for the first eight I didn't put all my effort into it because I didn't feel the urge to push, but the nurse was badgering me (I had come in so dilated that I pushed back a scheduled C-section and she was irritated.) Once I felt the urge he was out in one contraction. He was 9lb, 22 inches with a 15 inch head.
I won't lie and say that there was no pain, but I would never have asked for pain relief. It was really easy IMO the second time. My first son did a great job of paving the way (he also had a huge head and a big ole body.) Only one mother I know hasn't felt that the second was amazingly easier than the first, but her second came out face up rather than face down -- ouch! Other than her, all the moms with two from my BFing support group felt that the second time was so much easier. Some got epidurals because they got them the first time and they were scared to try it with out, and some went natural the second time and found it to be much easier than they expected. Epidurals are pretty popular in my area, of my large group of mommy contacts only myself and one of my friends have never had an epidural. The moms that go natural with number two are overwhelmingly glad that they did. It is such an amazing experience to feel it all happen.
If you would like to talk further, please feel free to PM or email me.
Sorry to all to crash your board. One of these days I'll be here again, just not TOO soon I hope. The two I have keep me on my toes.