Not starting a war! But those who birthed ALL natural unmedicated

So, my mother had 4 children, all of them natural child birth. I wanted to live up to that and at least try to do it. Problem is, my pain tolerance is total crap! I've had bad teeth as far back as I can remember and I always break down when I get pain. Because of this, I wasn't expecting anything.

Day before I got into labor and I'm having what feels like random braxton hicks contractions. About 6 am the next day I've gotten almost no sleep and I've noticed the contractions happening every 15 minutes. I lay there a bit longer and go run to my mother (was living at home at this time) to tell her what was going on and to be prepared to leave work if needed. I then call my doctor, they tell me to drink a tall glass of ice water and take a warm bath. If it was false labor that would stop it. Nope, it made it worse. I was going in. At this time, my pain was relatively decent. I had tears once while going through contractions, but mostly they felt like awful period pains.

I go in and find out I'm dilated to 4. My contractions at this point are every 10 minutes and it's close to 1 pm (after the bath and my mother getting home at least a few hours had passed).

I tell the doctors my plan: I'd like to TRY to do this without the epidural, please let me know when my last chance to get it put in arrives.

After this I just go through the day. I do some walking and I'm all over that birthing ball (that thing is AMAZING), but my pain never increases and neither do the frequency of my contractions. At about 7 people leave because they aren't expecting anything soon. No one was, nothing had increased or changed. About 7:30 they check my cervix for kicks. I'm dilated to 9.5! What the hell?! I would have never guessed that from my pain level.

My water hadn't broke so they did it for me, but before they did the doctor said "Okay, this is your last chance for the epidural." Having had no pain increase and dealt with the first part of my labor with flying colors, I decided to go for it and do things natural. I was kicking butt!

After they broke my water, everything got intense. I was in a lot of pain and my husband had to sit down just because he felt week watching me in pain. The good news was that, while I was scared I would be in constant pain for a few hours, I actually had down times where I was in no pain at all. It was a roller coaster: Going as far up as I could get, the hitting the ground and having relief. After about 4 ups and downs, I picked up a decent breathing rhythm and learned how to catch my breath when I hit my down time. Once I figured that out, everything became easy. No lie. It was a relief to have my breathing down. It made all the difference. Now I was laughing and cracking jokes and, eventually, got my pushing down as well. Before I knew it, he was out.

Would I do it again? Yep! I'm confident I can now and I know that while I'll go through pain, I'll be able to handle it. I went to labor and delivery at 1 and had my son after 9. All in all I'd say I did well. Even my mother who knows of my pain tolerance tells tales of my victory to this day. I wasn't expecting anything and told myself there was nothing wrong with getting an epidural if I needed one (so I went into it with a level head and not pressuring myself) and I'm glad everything worked out :)

/r/Parenting Thread