I very rarely tell people my birth stories. I almost never mention how Adam was born. Why? I hate getting "crazy eyes". I know I'm not crazy though. I think I'm the normal one. Anyways, because I don't like getting "crazy eyes" or the flabbergasted "oh I'd NEVER do that!" in reference to birth w/o drugs, I thought I'd take my little space on the web to say what I never seem to have the words to say in person.
1- The pain of natural childbirth doesn't take anything away from your life. It adds to your life. Just like very hard exercise, while you are doing it you want to be done. You will sweat, and struggle, and maybe even groan or scream w/ frustration. But when it's over, even though you are exhausted, you feel amazing. You DID it.
2. The whole thing isn't painful. Mostly right before pushing. And you get breaks. I think people think you are in one continuous wave of agony for hours and hours. Many parts of labor/birth feel good.
3. Birth is a lot easier at home. No needles, no rude people (not that they're all rude it's just that there are no other people to contend with), no schedules, no beeping noises. You eat, drink, move, however you want. When you are birthing in these conditions you aren't doing the things that tend to cause problems. It is safer for mom and safer for baby this way. (At least in my view. I'm sure someone could argue with me about this.)
4. When things go wrong in birth it usually isn't the woman's fault. Drugs, interventions, interruptions, a staff who doesn't want to wait, a staff who doesn't believe in a woman's ability to birth, and bad prenatal care are usually at fault. I get sad when women blame themselves for a disappointing birth rather than pointing the finger at the intervention or drug or lack of proper prenatal counseling (on nutrition, optimal fetal positioning etc..) that caused the problem. It seems many cling even harder to medical management rather than abandoning the source of the problem.
I hope one day "medical birth" will get crazy eyes, and not normal birth!