I'm not sure yet, but I am considering going natural for these reasons (not sure if they're good enough):
- With an epidural, you lose the sense in your legs. I want to be able to walk around during labour, and I might even want to give birth kneeling, sitting on a birth chair, or otherwise let gravity help me a bit.
- I hate losing control over my body. That's one of the reasons I don't drink - even when I get slightly drunk, the fact that I can't control my own movement in the usual way makes me very scared.
- I have been under general anesthesia twice and I found the experience very frightening and uncomfortable. Both times, I was very, very scared when I woke up, I was extremely cold and shivering and I puked for days. Both times, I felt recovering from the anesthesia was worse than recovering from the operation itself. I know that an epidural is very different from general anesthesia, but I'm afraid my body doesn't like anesthetics very much.
- They stick a needle in your back. I had a friend where they had to try twice, and her husband hated that part of the birth most, if it's his feelings you are scared about.
As you can tell, I'm afraid of giving up control. That's probably what birth and having children is all about, so I guess I have to get used to it.
That being said, it sounds like you would have the epi more for your husband that for yourself. Labour is not the time to comfort your husband, it is the time that he needs to comfort you. If you prefer natural, go for it. You can take classes together to get him more familiar with the process and to teach him ways in which he can assist you.