No... different people feel pain differently, and different babies are giving pressure in different places (ie back labor), they have different lengths of labor, different amounts of family to stress them out, etc.
I had short labors (2, 3 and 4 hours from first sign to end) with easy presentations. I felt almost no pain, especially with #2 and #3. Going epidural-free was an easy decision, they wouldn't have been there on time if they had tried. I know that is not normal!
Many of us are lucky. Many of us are tyring to prove something (which is not a moral superiority at all). The only thing I'd say is brave at all (and totally not me) is a woman who goes through a horrific labour without drugs because she really thinks the baby could be harmed.
I do believe epidurals, in addition to helping pain, can improve labours for some women, who stall due to stress/worry/pain
at 9:17 PM on Jun. 29, 2011