The thing that sucks is all pain relief except gas has side effects, and most slow labour down. I found natural techniques very effective, breathing and position etc, and the gas is great for taking the edge off. If you feel in control the pain doesn't feel as bad, the main thing is to have a good midwife and try to keep yourself calm and focused, and I kept telling myself I could do it and every contraction down was one closer to meeting my baby. Don't let the doctors push you into anything, I was pretty much forced to have my waters broken with my first, even though everything was progressing steadily, and I felt really upset and violated, and it went downhill from there as labour went into full force straight away. I was in full control with the second though and it was a breeze, though the second is usually easier. Don't feel bad if you have something though, it's what's best at the time, and the birth is a very small part of your life with your baby. And yes, you do forget the pain pretty much straight away anyway!
Kelly, 22, 1 @ 25/1/04, 2 @9/3/05, [email protected]/4/06