I felt the same way, horrified wasn't even enough to describe how I felt. I was induced at 38 weeks do to complications. After about an hour I had back to back contractions, which lasted for about another nine hours before I was rushed in for an emergency c-section. Contractions hurt, a lot. But I am a firm believer that it's a lot of mind over matter. I never took any sort of lamaze classes, but I was already aware of relaxation breathing techniques. They definitely helped me a lot. I sort of blocked everything out and focused on nothing but my breathing. I wanted to try to avoid an epidural, but was willing to give into the idea if the pain became unmanageable. However, I did get a spinal block for my c-section and I now have back/leg pain. They pinched my syatic (spelling?) nerve when they did it and not I get sharp shooting pain from my lower back, down my left leg, all the way into my toes. I don't say this to scare you but it's something to consider before hand, because when you are in the midst of labor pains you aren't really in much condition to be paying attention to the side effects of the epidural. Best of luck to you!