My experience has involved the use of an epidural each time, and I have no idea what a birth without one would be like, but I can say without a doubt that drugs are the way to go.
I can see the monitor from where I am sitting and the contractions are coming quite regularly (about every two minutes) and Melissa is quietly eating a popsicle. I think she might take a nap afterwards. This is nothing like the experience portrayed in Knocked Up. I for one am glad, and I am sure Melissa is as well.