Re: heres another question? medicated or non medicated birthing?
Pain from an acute attack like appendicities or gall bladder is typically constant and is pathological, i.e. abnormal and caused by disease. Pain from uterine contractions are intermittent and typically build in intensity and are not pathological.
If you are able to remain drug free during your labor pain acts like a feedback mechanism, and your body actually will make its own morphine like chemicals (endorphins) which help you cope with the pain and even after the birth give you a sort of euphoric (think runner's high) feeling.
As a childbirth professional I'm not against the proper use of pain meds and epidurals during birth. But each woman's experience is so subjective that to tell someone else what labor will feel like is useless.
I will highly recommend another book to you. It is called Creating Your Birth Plan:The Definitive Guide to a Safe and Empowering Birth by Marsden Wagner, M.d., M.S. This book and Henci Goer's will really help you make informed decisions about medications, and other pain coping strategies, as well as birthing positions. Its my new favorite "birth book."