Re: pain free labour?
I've had two completely natural labours and deliveries; one went very smoothly and while it hurt, it wasn't unmanageable and I never felt out of control. With my second, though, I had some serious anxiety issues and I experienced the pain much more intensely. Interestingly enough, when the issues were discussed and resolved towards the end of the labour, the pain decreased DRAMATICALLY.
I think it's key to realize that IT WILL HURT, but that the pain of childbirth is different from say the pain of breaking a leg. Labour serves a purpose, and each contraction serves a purpose; you always get a break between them to recover and prepare for the next. And there is an end in sight.
I seriously recommend getting the book "The Completely Guide to Pregnancy And Childbirth" by Sheila Kitzinger; her chapers on labour and pain management are EXCELLENT; it's one of the few books I've read that helps describe what the pain feels like in terms you can understand and prepare for. Lots of great techniques for coping with it, too.
Bethany, wife and sweetheart to Steve since 6/03/00
Mommy to: Joey (6/13/02), Bryan (6/23/04), Caden & Ellyson (10/04/06)