I had kind of given up hope that anything was going to happen before the due date. So, of course that night, my water broke. I woke up to a very distinct feeling that I was leaking. I tried to get up to check and felt a GUSH! Yikes! In my bed! Thankfully, we had the waterproof mattress cover on. I woke Jason to get me a towel, then called the midwife. I didn't have any contractions yet, so she told me to try and sleep and come in at 5 or 5:30 am. There was honestly no way I was getting back to sleep. Adrenaline kicked in, realizing that today was the day I was having this baby. We spent the time collecting all the last minute things we needed, and doing last minute chores. Within the hour my contractions started. At first they were weak, but then quickly grew stronger, and stronger. We called Shelley and she arrived about 3 am, and we left for the hospital about 4:30. They were getting much stronger and about 7-8 minutes apart. After arriving at the hospital they took me straight to a room and my midwife checked me, and hooked me up to the monitor. The contractions were spacing out a little, but she said that wasn't uncommon when you come in to the hospital. They soon became regular again and I walked and sat on the ball to help them along. Over the next couple of hours we just hung out, breathed and leaked. I can't honestly remember the time that the next few things happened. Just know that it ended at 6:47 pm. At this point we were still at 9 am. Somewhere in here the contractions were getting stronger, but not strong enough, or close enough to make things progress. The midwife said that she was concerned that we were not going to have success unless they picked up. She wanted to start some pitocin. I was concerned about this for 2 reasons. 1- A natural childbirth with pitocin sucks. It makes the contractions SO MUCH WORSE! and 2- The risk of uterine rupture goes up with the use of pitocin. But, after talking it over with the midwife, whom I trusted completely, we decided to go for it. I was still determined to last as long as possible without an epidural, because I knew that I needed gravity to help me, and I feared that once I was stuck in the bed, I was sure to end up with another c-section. During all this time, my antibiotics were running in for the Group B Strep, and thankfully, I did have plenty of time to get my doses in. As for the contractions, once the pitocin kicked in, they did indeed become more regular, about every 3 minutes and much, much stronger. At the same time, Charlie started having problems. With every contraction his heart rate would drop, sometimes extremely low. (80-100) They decided to put the internal monitors in to get a better sense of what was going on. During these hours I was essentially stuck at a 6-7 cm dilation, but 100% effaced. Charlie would come down to 0 with a push and then float back up to -3 station. The midwife was getting concerned. The midwife checked me as I pushed and I would get to 10cm and then as I stopped pushing he would move back up and I would be back at a 7. So frustrating. They wanted to up the pitocin some more, and honestly I was pretty certain at this point we were headed for a c-section. I told them that if they were going to turn the pit up, I wanted the epidural first. I wanted to end all this pain if I was going to end up with a section at the end anyway. I also figured, with the decels, if I needed an emergency c-section, then I would have the epidural in place, because if I didn't, they would have had to put me under for the delivery. Around 2:30 the Dr came in for the epidural and it was FANTASTIC! It felt amazing, I could feel pressure, and move my legs, but felt no pain. Much better than my last one. After that was all set, they came in to up the pitocin. A while later the contractions were getting closer, and stronger, and they had me push some more, and Charlie had more decels. At this point I had to stay on my left side all the time. He wouldn't tolerate me in any other position. It is very hard to push on your left side! Around 3 Dr Simmonds came in. He said he wanted to see what would happen if I didn't push at all and we just let me and the baby rest a while. They upped the pitocin a little more, and I spent the next 2 hours trying not to bear down. I really felt a lot of downward pressure though, so it was really hard not to push. At 5 the midwife checked me again and I was a full 10cm and the baby was at 0 station and fixed. I pushed a few times and his heart rate dropped significantly (Down to the 60's at one point). Dr Simmonds came back in and said that I was now at +2 and we could attempt a forceps delivery if I wanted to avoid the c-section. He said that I had a very good chance at it going well since the baby was now so far down. He wanted the epidural topped off before we started, and the baby to get a chance to recover so he said we would start at 6:30. The Dr came in to top off the epidural and my Blood Pressure bottomed out. It had been very low since the epidural was placed, but now I was feeling really awful and it was 65/45. I am sure that wasn't helping the baby either. They flooded me with fluid, about 2 1/2 liters in 15 minutes, and I started to feel better. They got me to 100/70 and decided that was good enough to get started. Dr Simmonds came in and started setting up at 6:37. I pushed with him for 3 contractions and Charlie came out at 6:47. Pretty great! Charlie came out looking terrible though, his APGAR was only 4. They did 3 rescue breaths, and he finally started crying a little. They were taking him to the NICU, which was what I dreaded the most, but they handed him to me for a moment first. He was so limp and blue. It was awful. I told them to just take him! I would bond later! My midwife was right there with me so she took him from me and gave him back to the team. Jason left with the baby and they finished up with me. I ended up with some 2nd degree tearing, but honestly, I expected worse than that with forceps. By the time Charlie got to the NICU he was already doing better, and the staff were kind of surprised they had even taken him there. Jason said he looked better by the time they got him admitted. Meanwhile I was in the room waiting for Jason to come back and let me know what was happening. I could hear someone in the next room delivering and the baby started to cry and so did I. Thankfully, I had Charlie back with me in a couple of hours and that made all the difference. I was very nervous that night and got almost no sleep, fearing that he wasn't really stable and that he would stop breathing. He spent most of the night nursing and looking around with a very alert little face. I am very glad that I ended up with a VBAC, but honestly I couldn't have done it without the support of my midwife, Dr Simmonds, the nurses, and of course, my Jason. The recovery since has been very rough, I am in a lot of pain, but it is getting better with lots of ice and ibuprofen. I would do it again though if I got the same reward at the end!