Lauren's birth was NOTHING like we had expected. On Christmas Eve around noon, I felt like something was leaking and I wasn't sure if my water had broken so I took a shower and went to the doctor to get checked and they said it wasn't amniotic fluid. I was thinking that I must have just peed my pants! Around midnight on Christmas Day I had the same sensation three times within a half an hour so I knew something was up. I called the doctor on call and he had me come in. We got to the hospital around 1:30 am and my water had definitely broken (it gushed on the doctor haha) but I wasn't dilated at all and only about 40% effaced. The doctor gave me Cervadil at about 3 am and said it would be in for about 12 hours. About 4 hours later my contractions were insanely strong in my back and starting to overlap each other. By 9 am I was acting delirious and poor Ben was already exhausted from putting pressure on my back. I got checked and I was only 3 cm! I was like you have got to be kidding me! Haha I was using every prop and position available. By 1 pm I got checked again and had only gone to 4 cm. I was so defeated and exhausted from the pain. It was like I was in transition the whole time. I think my body was reacting really badly to the Cervadil. Thankfully, Lauren's heart rate was great. I finally was like, "I can't do this anymore" and I had the nurse give me some pain meds through my IV. It lasted about 15 min and then I was back in a lot of pain. About an hour later I talked to the doctor about an epidural, weighed my pros and cons, and decided to get one. At first I was a little disappointed with myself but ultimately decided that I was well informed, had exhausted all other options, and was thinking that if I kept up the way I was that I would never have been able to push successfully. I got the epidural and was instantly so much more comfortable and relaxed. After that I went from 4 to 9 cm in just a few hours. By about 5 pm, I was 10 cm dilated and ready to push. I pushed for two hours. She was not budging, so they used the vacuum for three contactractions and she was born at 7:22 pm. I had a bunch of tears and the doctor actually said, "I had to be creative to get things put back together." Hahaha! I felt like Humpty Dumpty. While our birth was not at all how I had planned, it was awesome and we got a very sweet baby out of it. Every nurse I had mentioned to me what a wonderful coach Ben was! He was so well informed and helpful throughout the whole thing. All in all, it was an amazing experience!