yes for natural birth!It's so great to really experience the birth of your child...on a spiritual level, there is something to be said for "being there" 100% during what is easily the most important experience of your life. The pain, which can be intense, goes away IMMEDIATELY afterwards, and you have the alert, happy, baby who can breastfeed immediately. As a La leche League leader i have seen so many babies who have trouble nursing right away after epidurals and demoral, etc. And there are ways to make the pain manageable...part of it ( a big part) is perspective... realizing that literally billions of women have given birth without drugs for all of human history, and even now in cultures where women aren't trained from a young age to be afraid of birth. Our bodies as women are about the most amazing thing ever created or evolved, that's for certain. I read that women in comas often give birth "effortlessly", the uterus being fully capable of pushing out a baby with our without our conscious help (it can apply 90 pounds of pressure per square inch, it's a muscle that strong). So much our difficulty in labor in "civilized nations" comes from our fear of it. It is interesting to note that some of the most active natural birth advocates say that it is Fear that leads to Tension of the body and subsequent pain, problems, etc. The way to stop that domino effect of emotions and physical responses is to arm yourself with information. Francis Bacon said Knowledge is Power, and in this case at least he is right...read as much as you can by authors who right truthfully and open-mindedly about labor...Childbirth Without Fear by Grantly Dick-Read outlines the fear-pain connection, Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way is a good one too, with lots of great pictures and diagrams that really teach you what your body can and will do in labor, so that you can help your body along in labor, rather than putting yourself in physical situations (like lying on your back) and mental sitiuations (where you don't understand what is happening to you or where you feel that birth is out of your control).
Check your local library for books by these and also Sheila Kitzenger to reall SEE and UNDERSTAND what birth without drugs really looks like.
Also talk to women who have had natural birth and get answers to your biggest questions..."What does it really feel like?", etc. or whatever your own ?s are.
Then you wil not only hear honest good things about it but you will know whether it is something you really want to do, which is essential to it working, i think--you making a conscious strong decision to avoid drugs in labor...like deciding that you WILL breastfeed rather than saying "I'm going to try".....birth is a vulnerable time and your decisions before the labor itself can be easily "persuaded away" by those around you who love you and don't want you to "suffer", as they may see it, or by medical helpers. What i am trying to say is that unmedicated birth can be a wonderful experience, but it takes a clear understanding of birth's stages and mechanisms for moving a baby out...a belief in your own body as capable and strong...and a willingness to make your ideas clear to others and make sure that those who love you understand your decision for your birth.
Anyway I didn't mean to write this long but maybe karma will reward me and someone else has replied to my question..
I wish you the best and I trust that whatever your decision will be it will be at least an informed one, which is very important...you need to feel like YOU believe in what you are doing most of all...more important than anyone's else's ideas, and also most likely to get you through it successfully..
Much love and light,