necia,you are one of the lucky few that did not experience much pain during a natural childbith, with no drugs. as for them scoring lower on the apgar test, i had an epi with my daughter, who is 22 months old now. her doctor has told me on numerous occasions that she is the most brilliant child he has seen in over 15 years of practice. my grandmother had all 4 of her kids without drugs, because that's how it was back in her day. she told me before i delivered, "they make epidurals for a reason, now, and they are totally safe. trust me, sweetie, you want one! you don't want to be pushing out a baby without drugs, it's the worst pain you will ever feel." after they broke my water, and gave me pitocin, i had extreme contractions. i was screaming at the nurses saying, "get off your lazy ass and get me drugs! now! i need drugs now, not 5 minutes from now!" within 3 minutes, i had my epidural in. didn't feel a thing, because i had contractions during the procedure, so i was just concentrating on staying completely still. i didn't want to end up paralyzed...i am now pregnant with my second child, and i will definitely be taking another epi if i have to have a vaginal delivery. i'm hoping for a c-section due to 4 slipped discs in my lower back.