Since the birth of my little grandson I have had some time to think about the experience. Jill asked me and her sister, Kelli, if we would like to be in the room for the birth. In my case I was excited and happy to share this experience although a little apprehensive about seeing my daughter go through the pain. In Kelli's case I know she was completely in awe and very moved when the baby was born but I don't think she is in a hurry to have a child any time soon.
When I had my four children the thing to do at that time was to have your baby completely drug free and natural, in our case using the Lamaze breathing method. In my experiences the focus and breathing were helpful but certainly did not put me completely at ease or lessen the pain, especially at the end of long tiring labors. It was also very difficult to concentrate on your focal point, breathe and not smack your husband up side the head when there was another mom in labor in the room at the same time making noises and in one case, screaming. In fact at one point I really wanted to get up and drag the screaming mom to the delivery room myself.
My point is that now the thing to do is have an epidural. I know there are risks but if done at the right time it can be amazing. Jill chose to have one and I must say if I had the choice to do my deliveries over I would say "BRING IT ON!" I would drink the stuff if I could, knowing that my deliveries could have been more like Jill's.
Here is Jill on the birthing ball in full contraction mode. This was right before the epidural and she has her teeth slightly gritted. After the epidural she played video games on her phone and just hung out seemingly not paying much attention to her contractions. Although she felt the sensation of the contraction it was without pain.
Little Ayden was a big baby and Jill did fantastic. Her doctor was amazing, so calm and working with her through the process.