Epidurals are so appealing to people because they promise to take away all pain....in the majority of cases that is exactly what happens and Mum can experience labour without so much as a twinge.
They also take away all feeling....so you cannot walk about or go to the toilet if you want to. You won't be able to control any bowel or bladder motions and you are basically confined to one spot for the entire length of labour (which can also be longer) and honestly, who likes to poo in a pot?
However, epidurals can leave Mum with problems after the birth, such as back aches, pain where the epidural entered the body and even full and partial paralysis.
Whilst full or partial paralysis is rare, is it something that any Mum should risk?
I personally believe that there are a great deal of women who feel that they cannot cope with the pain of labour and opt far too easily and quickly for epidurals and do not consider any long term effects enough before doing so but as women we are all made strong enough to cope with childbirth......and indeed have done so for many many years.
I also believe that we (as humans) are designed to experience that degree of pain during childbirth for psychological reasons and for reasons of our wellbeing that we may not fully understand as yet, afterall, if that wasn't the case we would have far less painful births like so many other animals. Do we really fully understand what we may take away from our inner learning curves by opting for epidral birth?
I honestly don't think that this is a question that can be answered by anyone else's opinion and relies solely on our own beliefs and feelings.
OP....good luck with whatever you decide....whichever way you go, you know your bundle of joy will be with you very very soon