In my first birth the epidural (got it at 7 cm so I waited to get it too) definitely slowed down labor. The came pitocin, which I want to avoid. So, planning for birth number 2, I'm not against an epidural in theory, but having already had my body react against it, I'm nervous about getting one, but also nervous to go without!

I read some things from the natural birth community stating that it usually slows down birth and then other things that say the effect is minimal. Your experience?