I was aiming for a natural birth with my first. The idea of a needle in my spine was just about the most horrifying thing I could imagine. By the time I was admitted (after 10 hours of back labor), I wanted to die. If the epidural hadn't taken, I think I would be permanently deranged. It was literally the best feeling I have ever experienced in my life, preceded by barely a pinprick of pain. With my second, the pain was much more bearable, but the epidural still hurt only a tiny bit. I know sometimes they can go horribly wrong, but the average one doesn't.