Peeking in from May DDC ~ you can TOTALLY do it!
I will say that I have had one medicated birth and four non-medicated (inc. a pitocin induced due to water beaking and labor not starting). Were they pleasant? NOOO!
However, my recovery with my medicated birth was so much worse and I swore that I would never do it again. That was my first...and I've not done it again. With my subsequent pregnancies, I was up and around immediately and other than there being a baby in the room, I didn't feel like I'd had a baby.
I agree, take one contraction at a time. Think of them coming in like waves...they come in...but then they always go back out to sea. With this last one, the thing that got me through them (this was my pitoin labor which I admit is not easy at. all, but it's still doable and does not last foever!) was "blowing them away". I wasn't just breathing and blowing to get through them, it actually made me feel like I had an active part in the labor and blowing those dam* things away!
Don't think about the past contractions...once they are gone, they are gone. Don't worry about the future contractions, it'll just worry you for no reason, they may not be as bad as you anticipate.
And remember that it's completely normal to go through an "I can't do this.", "I want to go home.", "I don't want to do this." stage during transition. Generally transition is the shortest part of labor (in my experience) and I wish it wasn't the case, but a lot of doctors will still give meds during that time. When transition hits, just keep in mind that it's almost over!
Last, I love this quote
"We have a secret in our culture, it’s not that birth is painful, it’s that women are strong." Laura Stavoe Harm