I'm a little late, but here's Gavin's birth story. I had my school Christmas program on Thursday Dec. 10 and afterward DH and I went to eat. The entire time I was in the restaurant I was having horrible back pain. When we got home I started having contractions, they were not very long, not very intense and were erratic---but I was confused because they hurt in my back, not like menstrual cramps like I was expecting. I had them off and on until 3 a.m. and then they just stopped. I stayed home from work and felt fine all day and was even thinking about going to my work Christmas party that evening when the contractions started again at about 7 at night. They were more intense, but they were still in my back and hips and were pretty erratic. We live an hour from the hospital and I was nervous about my water breaking at home so I started timing them. At around 11:30 they had been 6 minutes apart for one hour so we drove to the hospital. They were 5 minutes apart the entire time we were in the car and it was raining, but DH made it to the hospital in 35 minutes. When we got to the hospital the nurse was pretty relaxed about the whole thing and seemed to think that the contractions were brought on by dehydration. I drank tons of water and still had horrible contractions in my back and hips. Seriously it felt like someone was prying my spine apart with a chisel. They were going to send me home but the Dr. on call wanted to see me first so they just let me hang out. I was dilated to a 3 (which I had been at my dr. appt. the day before) and wasn't really progressing. I continued having contractions 5 minutes apart until about 5:00 a.m. I was begging for my epidural but they wouldn't give me one until I was dilated to a 4. I kept getting up to go the bathroom because it felt better in my back to sit up. I'm glad I did because when I was in the bathroom my water broke, they had me walk down the hall to a l&d room and that was the most awful pain ever, my back was killing me. The dr. came in at about 5:45and I had progressed to a 7 and they finally ordered my epidural. It took an hour to get my epidural and I having such horrible back pain that I started vomiting. At 6:45 I finally got the epidural and all was great as far as pain goes, but they started having trouble finding the heartbeat. They had me get on my hands and knees (which was really hard with an epidural) and they figured out that the baby was sunny side up. This explained the back labor. They put an internal monitor on him to find the heartbeat and luckily they did. I told my husband to go and get the camera and the nurse said "If he goes he'll miss the show!" I had no idea that we were that close. The dr. came in and said he'd be right back, but decided to check me first and said "we're doing this now" There were lots of people in the room, and the nurses were telling me that the baby was giving them some excitement. I can't explain why but I was very very calm and almost knew that everything would be ok. They got the vacuum on him and it came off, so they tried again and were able to turn him. They told me to push and 4 pushes later he was here! He was born at 7:21 a.m., weighed 6 lbs. 4 oz. and was 20 inches long. Recovery was fine, and besides a touch of jaundice the baby is completely healthy. I feel blessed that eventhough the pain was horrible and I only had the epidural for 40 minutes before delivery, I had a healthy perfect baby. I am loving every second of being a mom.