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The short answer I give when asked is that I had a natural, vaginal birth. If asked further, I normally say I had a 'pain-med free birth', but technically speaking it wasn't entirely 'natural' - I had Pitocin in the last half hour when my contractions fell away after 2.5 hours of pushing. (This, by the way, is an example of APPROPRIATE use of Pitocin - it was only used when really necessary and probably saved me from a c-section. And no, it didn't increase my pain levels at that stage.)

To me this is still 'natural', although I don't get hung up on these terms. If I had been induced from the start I would NOT have considered it natural. And yes, I felt incredibly proud after my birth. Not so much because I did it 'almost naturally' but because I coped so much better than I expected. More than anything, I was proud of my body, which in many ways has let me down in the past (needed help getting pg, for one).

On the other hand, if I had been induced and got through it WITHOUT an epidural, I suspect I would probably have been even prouder than I was after my 'almost-natural' birth! Because I don't know many people who can take pitocin-induced contractions without calling for some major pain relief!

ETA I am talking about me PERSONALLY here. For me going pain-med free was a BIG DEAL because I have always had major issues with pain - or rather the fear of pain. To overcome that during child birth was a huge experience in my life. It is by no means a judgement of women who do have epidurals.
 
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