hi nicii, i am having my 5th baby also, with my first 3 i had little pain relief but the 3rd baby for some reason was really fast and aggressive birth and labour i was so panicked when i fell pregnant with the 4th baby (6 weeks later) that i had to opt for an epidural to keep myself calm, although i didn't get it straight away.. anyway i was just lucky that the midwife had had 3 babies and knew that her 3rd one was the killer for her as well, she told me anyone else wouldn't give me the epi as i hadn't had one with any of the others. i was sucking on the gas, when the aneathisist came in he told me to hunch right over and put the needle in i felt nothing as i was still sucking gas, it was absolutely brilliant, i couldn't believe i had not had one before, i felt nothing at all, and when you start to feel sick that's when the baby is ready to pop out(pretty much)so 2 midwives came in told me to pant and about 1.5 mins later out he came.... now the downside. the wardies have to come and take you up to the maternity ward as you cannot walk, you can't get up and have a shower straight away the midwife sponge bathed me and it was a couple of hours later that the catheta came out, which doesn't hurt either.... that is the only thing stopping me from demanding the epidural as soon as labour begins this time, i like the freedom after birth to do my own thing. other people have different stories but that's how my epi was handled. i will see how i go without the epi but believe me, i am not going to knock it back if i can't handle it again. good luck.