Before I begin, I’ll warn you, this post is more for me than you, I want to be sure to remember everything about my daughter’s birth so there will be some not-to-pleasant parts to this. If you’re squeamish, this might get to you and it’s entirely possible some of this isn’t work safe.
2:30 AM, January 14, 2010. I was well into my nightly routine of sleep an hour, wake up, bathroom, change position when it happened. I flipped my turtle-ish body to sit up and as I did thought, oh, that’s strange. We all know things get leakier as the pregnancy goes on; that night it seemed like there was a bit more of a leak than usual. And then I stood up, and again, thought ok, that’s REALLY strange. But that was all I felt, and things didn’t really seem different than “normal” so I wrote it off as just one of the leakier moments, besides, Bob909 had a big day at work that day and I didn’t want to wake him and cause him to be tired for no reason. I got up, did my thing, went back to bed but I couldn’t get back to sleep. Rather than lying there useless I decided I might as well get up and work on my umbrellas since I had an order for 4 come in just a few days prior.
At 6am Bob909 woke up and went to work at while I painted; as the day passed I kept asking myself, was that my water breaking? And frankly every time I asked, my answer to myself changed. I finished my umbrellas and waited for him to come home. At some point during the day, I decided that I should tell him what I thought and get his opinion on the situation – but I wasn’t going to do it until he got home. Every time we talked on the phone that day was murder, I was dying to ask him what he thought, but somehow managed to hold off.
It was around 5:30 or 6pm when Bob909 finally got home. He came in, told me about his day and then I said, “Honey, it’s probably not, but I wanted to tell you what happened this morning.” I could see him run through the list of possible subjects and I honestly don’t think he landed on what I was about to say. I barely got my description out when he told me to call the midwives.
“Really,” I asked. “I mean, I haven’t been having any contractions or anything. It probably isn’t even my water breaking.”
“Don’t you remember what they said? If your water breaks, you’re essentially on a countdown. You’ve got 12 hours and it’s been 15.”
I didn’t recall that at all, but luckily for me, Bob909 has repeatedly proven to me that he retained more info from our class than I did. So I called and had the midwife paged. They quickly called back and I explained what happened. Sure enough, they told me to go in to triage and they’d check.
So we grabbed everything that was left on our to-be-packed list and got it into the suitcase. You know the things like the computer, camera, phone cords and such. During this time I noticed that I sort of felt like I was having contractions but I was unable to tell the time between them and how long they were lasting so I figured I was just experiencing Braxton Hicks not the real thing.
Bob909 called for a cab and as we made our way down Lake Shore Drive to the hospital we phoned our family and told them what was going on. We sat in triage for about an hour before going back to be examined. The exam which would allow them to run 3 tests to determine if my water had broke. The first test was to see if there is fluid pooling in the cervix. The second was to take a swab of that fluid and if the swab turned blue, it was likely amniotic fluid. The third test is the absolute – take the fluid dipped swab, rub it on a slide and if they see ferns, then without question your water broke. Test one said yes. Test two said yes. Test three was inconclusive.
In addition to the tests, they of course hooked up a fetal heart monitor as well as a monitor to watch my contractions if there were any. There were, they were a steady 8 mins apart during the two hours we were in there so imagine our surprise when instead of running that swab/slide test again, they decided to send us home. You see normally, if it’s been 18 hours since your water broke, you’d be induced and the baby would be on its way. Not for us. The midwife decided to send us home since we had an appointment the next morning at 9:15.
So home we went and sat around wondering what we should do. We opted for burritos from Mr. Salsa and a walk around the neighborhood. Bob909 was able to get sleep but I only managed about 3 hours thanks to contractions and overall nervousness. It was possibly the hardest night of my life because we were pretty sure that the next morning we’d be sent directly to the hospital, do not pass go and do not collect $300.
All three cats knew it too. They all curled up with me on the couch keeping me company through the night.