I had a natural childbirth with LD, and this time around (due in October) I'm not so sure. While I know second births tend to be a bit faster and easier, I'm not sure I'm up for it. The laboring process was much more intense than I had prepared for, and the pushing excruciating. I never used to fear pain that much, but after going through labor, a difficult postpartum hemorrhage, 8 IV attempts, an infection from a IV site, and breastfeeding (which I think for a long time was more painful than labor) it really scares me to think of going through that much pain again.
The main reasons I opted for a natural birth were to:
1. Stay mobile - which didn't end up mattering since I stayed on the birth ball for 80% of it. I hoped being able to move would allow me to also find a position that didn't hurt quite as much, no such luck!
2. Decrease likelihood of tearing - thinking that if I were more in control if pushing and utilizing gravity (squatting) that might help... Nope!
3. Avoid a c-section - especially since it was my first birth, I really wanted my body to get through it intervention free. So I am happy in this regards. Though now that I have done it, I would feel less nervous about an epidural stalling my labor to the point of needing a c-section.
Anyway, this is getting long! We've also moved and only have access to a small community hospital (98% epidural rate, no natural birth amenities like a tub, etc) and no doula (loved our last one and can't imagine finding someone else). There's also no midwives here, so we're seeing an OB.
So to sum it up - those with rough natural labors, did you do it again? Opt for an epi? I'd love your thoughts or advice!