Well, my second birth was a breeze, relatively speaking. I had about two days of very mild early labor with contractions 15-20 minutes apart, and then things started to speed up a bit, and I had to start focusing and concentrating on relaxation to get through them on the afternoon/early evening of the third day. When we arrived at the hospital that evening, I was already about 6 cm dilated, which is further dilated than I ever got with my son.
At that point, I did get an epidural even though I didn't really feel like I needed one, because it was hospital policy, blah blah blah, and I wasn't in a mood to argue with them. (I'm more prepared this time around and will have a birth plan and doula in tow to help me avoid the stupid epidural.) But, they gave me a very light dose, I still felt contractions and was able to move, and a few relatively short hours later, I pushed my daughter into the world.
Seriously, it was like night and day from my previous labor, most of which I spent wishing I could just throw myself out the window.
I am hoping that this third birth goes more like my 2nd. I honestly have no idea why my first baby was asynclitic but suspect it may have had something to do with the fact that my water broke very early, before labor had even really started, and that he was possibly not ready to be born. He had signs of prematurity even though I was 38.5 weeks.