I had horrible back labor both labors and contractions that topped the scale before I was even dilated to 3. Both of my labors lasted 12-13 hours. I caved in and took the epidural both times. The first I was only an hour away from actually delivering. And the second time I was 4 hours away from delivering. I didn't have naturally brought on labors either time. I had to be induced the first time because my water broke, but no signs of baby other then mild contractions. The second time I had to be induced because I had too much amniotic fluid for 39 weeks, so they were worried about him. When I went to deliver the second time I wasn't dilated at all just had a soft cervix. So just to dilate me to 2 took over 12 hours of the nasty gel they put inside. Then once I started showing signs of dilating they started the drip to induce contractions. I was completely fine until the Dr came in to check the process and I wasn't very far, so she manually stretched me! This was the worst thing I felt the entire pregnancy! Once she did that my contractions wouldn't stop. A couple hours later I was still only at 3, so I decided I wasn't going natural because it was taking far too long and I was already miserable with no one around to help claim me. (My mom, dad, and mother in law were on their way, but not until they were sure baby was coming because of work and many other things. My hubby had to tend to our 3 year old since he couldn't be at the hospital. Later in the day my step daughter came over to watch my toddler, but she had to wait until she was out of school and everything.) So, I was alone with the nurse in the room the entire time. After so long of those contractions I couldn't take it and took the epidural.
I originally didn't want the epidural because the first time I was given one; I couldn't feel anything. I mean I couldn't feel anything! Dr had to tell me when I had contractions so I could push. I had zero feeling in my legs, so my husband and my mom had to really keep a hold of my legs to help me push. I didn't even feel my son come out. However, the epidural I was given the second time was so much better. I really love that anesthesiologist. He listened to my concerns and set up the epidural for me to control. He gave me a remote to go with the drip and said if you start to feel pain hit this button. I never needed to hit it and I could still move in my bed because I had to change positions many times. (I spent the majority of this labor in doggy style because my son was caught on my hip bone. They thought I might need a c section, but moving around moved him.) And I could feel my legs, but most importantly I knew when my contractions were happening, so I felt them without pain. It was wonderful!
There is always going to be pain; you are shooting a watermelon out of a a small hole that has to stretch. It'll never be painless. However, you have options for your pain. You don't have to go natural and there is nothing wrong with not going natural. Your pain won't matter much once it's all done and over with. The endorphins rush threw your body once you actually give birth. This helps with pain.