Please note: This post is a bit TMI but I think it is important to educate first-time moms or even second-time moms who didn’t experience this yet.
Have you ever watched one of those movies where the pregnant woman’s water breaks in the middle of the shopping centre and then… thought to yourself this is so ridiculous and fake?!
I used to laugh at those scenes because it’s always so dramatic until…it happened to me on the 11th June at the Kyalami Corner shopping centre at Placecol.
I never thought I would experience something like this in public!
Most people assume that when your water breaks you will always have a dramatic pants-soaking moment, but it’s not always the case.
Did you know?
“Only about 10 to 15 percent of women actually have their membranes rupture prior to labor, and just a small minority of those experience a large gush of fluid,” says Ward Murdock, an obstetrician-gynaecologist from Fredericton and president of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.
Most women end up having contractions before the fluid-filled amniotic sac ruptures, giving them at least some warning but with me, it was the opposite way around.
My water broke… and hours later I started experiencing contractions!
It was the day before my scheduled C-Section (38 weeks pregnant) and like always, I had my day planned. My goal for the day was to get all the grocery shopping done and have a little pampering at my favourite beauty salon before the big day!
I never for once thought that I would go into labor because there weren’t any big signs and I was so confident about my scheduled C-Section day that I didn’t even bother to pack my hospital bag until the night before the 11th.
During the last 3 weeks of my pregnancy, I felt an immense amount of pressure down there. Could that have been a sign that baby wanted to come early?
My C-Section pains got worse (you can read my story about this here) and there were moments when I just couldn’t walk because I felt so heavy but I was really chilled this time around.
I felt as if I had everything under control but little did I realize that anything can happen during pregnancy!
To be honest, I think my amniotic sac ruptured a few days before the 11th of June and I just didn’t realize it because I assumed it was only a discharge. Well… it looked like it too! Even Google said so! 😛
I know what you’re thinking… How could I not know that my water broke? Isn’t it obvious?!
When I was pregnant with my first born, at 39 weeks 4 days, my water broke while I was getting ready for bed – it literally felt like I was peeing myself and I couldn’t control it. That was the dramatic pants-soaking moment that couldn’t be mistaken for anything else but this time, it was a different feeling.
It wasn’t a gush of fluid but instead, trickles.
Around 11 am, I headed out to the beauty salon for my treatment. Towards the end of my facial, I felt a trickle of fluid fall in my under but it wasn’t like the previous occasions which I assumed was only discharge or urine. This time it was so much fluid that my entire underwear and tights got wet (Thank God, I was using black).
After my facial, I told my mom that something didn’t feel right and that I needed to go to the toilet to check. After checking my underwear, I knew that this couldn’t just be discharge but I remained calm because I wasn’t experiencing any pains yet.
So, I decided to continue my shopping while googling signs and symptoms but I also decided to call my doctor.
Can you believe it that I didn’t have his cell phone number saved?! I ended up getting his emergency cell phone number from a mom on the Mamahood group.
He told me that he thinks that it’s just urine – however, I should go for a quick check up at the maternity ward. I decided to wait to see if another trickle would happen before I went to hospital but it didn’t…
Hours later… Labor began at Pick N Pay!
I will share my labor experience in my next post. 😉
What to expect when your water breaks:
When your water breaks, you might feel a popping sensation, along with a slow trickle of fluid. It can be mistaken for urine at first, but most of the time, amniotic fluid is clear and odourless; you’ll probably be able to tell the difference, but if you are unsure, call your healthcare practitioner who can do a physical exam and run tests to determine if you are leaking. Take note of the time that you felt the first trickle, also note the colour and odour. (If it looks brown or green call your caregiver right away; your baby may have had a bowel movement in utero and will need to be monitored, just in case he/she ingests some of it.) Once the membranes rupture there may be a risk of infection so use a pad, not a tampon, to catch the fluid, and avoid sexual intercourse. “You shouldn’t take a bath, but you’re safe to shower,” says Murdock.
After your water breaks, contractions usually follow within 12 to 24 hours, if they’re not underway already. However, in some cases, women have their water break before their bodies are ready to start the labor process. Premature rupture of the membranes (PROM) usually requires induction to get things moving. If your water breaks before 37 weeks (known as preterm PROM), your healthcare practitioner might be able to extend your pregnancy, but in most cases, the baby will be born prematurely.