after six hours that seemed like forever I had progressed from 2 to 4 cm, and more gel was what was prescribed. So there we went again...6 more hours of the same routine. Lay still, sit up, walk, and "rest." For the first couple of hours, the contractions just got stronger, longer and closer together as they are supposed to. I eventually asked for some sort of pain meds simply because it was painful and I was already exhausted. Knowing that I still had potentially 12 hours or more ahead of me, I was given steydal (spell?). It was supposed to make me very drowsy and "take the edge off" so I could rest. This was a miracle drug for me! It would last 1 hour only put in my IV. I slept for 40 whole minutes and woke up to severe contractions and the urge to push. The meds had moved me to 8-9 cm, and so started the next phase.