oh my gosh! i am so sorry for you. reading about your experience sent me on a trip down memory lane. seems like our first births were so similar (really, it is quite amazing how much in parallel we seem to have been)...right down to the lack of sensitivity to the complete insensitivity to the epidural! i had an awfully traumatic first birth - very much like your's and i didn't recover from that trauma - both physically and emotionally until i had my vbac when my first born was 2.5 years old.
honey, it will happen for you too. this time around, you are more informed and will be more savvy.
in the hope that this might be of some help let me recount my second birth:
i was so worried about how i would manage two under five that for my second birth i knew that i had to get my vbac. like you, i think my first birth didn't end in a C because of some structural issue - it had to do with rapid interventions in the hospital that do nothing but stall the natural process of birth.
i joined ICAN...helped me locate and interview doulas. speaking with doulas and other natural birth advocates got me in a space of support and understanding. and i think you know that you will need tons of that.
i joined a hypnobirthing class - which further illuminated me with regards to understanding more about birth and how medical interventions these days that stack the odds against it. bolstered with the information and the support from other like-minded families, i was more demanding of my OB. my OB conned me into thinking that he was supportive of the VBAC but when he started hemming and hawing about the kind of stitches i had from my previous C (BTW it makes no damn difference) and not considering my birth plan, i found a doctor that was known to support VBACs (the most amazing and wonderful dr robert biter, san diego) and changed providers. i ditched my OB at 39 weeks and interestingly enough his office never even followed up to see what had happened to me when i stopped going.
i went into labour the day after my "due" date. i laboured for 10 hours and almost got to pushing at home but then stalled and everything stopped at about 6am. my doula was with me.
for the next 5 days, baby's vitals were fine and there was no sign nor sight of labour. everything was completely quiet. i did some visualization with my doula - and very strangely got the distinct impression that my unborn second baby "said" something like, are you really ready to have me? lol!
i went into labour 5 days after that first one and stayed home until i was at the final stage of pushing. hypnobirthing techniques and sitting in a tub of water helped me deal with the pain. when i felt like the baby was engaged - this, like you, was my first vaginal birth and so i was going through these phases for the first time - i told my husband to drive me to the hospital.
as soon as we got there, they hooked me up (because we are vbac moms, they have to monitor) and it immediately caused a shift in balance for me. i was previously calm and ready to push out the baby, but i immediately tensed up and landed up pushing for 4 hours. i think my baby had shoulder dystocia so it was really hard to get her out. her head kept popping out and then going back in....
i birthed without any medications and without a single tear (and no, i did not do anything like perineal massage, etc, in the months leading up to the birth).
the pain was intense, i felt like i was going to die, but my OB kept me focused (every one else was freaking out). i had my vbac, and they handed me my darling immediately and she did not leave my side until the next day when they came in to release us from the hospital and bathed her prior to the release.
no formula, no shots, no separation.
recovery was insane - like i mentioned, we were out of the hospital in less than 24 hours. i was at the park with both of them (2.5years and younger one) in 2 days, by myself. i am a lightweight when it comes to recovery and general hard labour, and i have to say that if i was up for taking the kids to the park two days after birth, it is a testimony to what vaginal birth can do for you.
i honestly felt invincible.
but also, it felt like my body finally got the closure it needed after that butchering of a C section that i got with my first born.
my first born made me a mother, my second one, in a way, re-birthed me.
i am rooting for you. you will get your VBAC! best.