Thursday, August 16, 2012

Perhaps a case of pickle jars would suffice.

Photo courtesy of  fstorr

The past several weeks with a surprise niece arriving and several loved ones set to give birth very soon have prompted much baby talk among family and friends, along with the reliving of birth and labor stories.  (Why do we never tire of discussing this?)  And for some reason, several of these recent conversations have lingered on the experience each mother has had when her water broke.  

(Fair warning:  I’m going to talk about this now.  Read on, men, at your own risk.)

Many stories about pregnant women and amniotic fluid sound sort of cute.  “I just felt a trickle”, they say.  “I wasn’t even sure what it was at first!”.  Or the infamous tales of it happening at the grocery store, complete with charming little jokes about breaking a pickle jar.  I just never really thought it would be a big deal.

With Maya, I was in latent labor (my definition: labor that does absolutely nothing productive but does make you want to die) for 36 hours before my OB graciously broke my water with something that looked like a glorified crochet hook.  I don’t remember much of anything from that day (48 hours with zero sleep will do that to a person) but I was so grateful to know that somehow, some way, this baby was coming, that it was all sort of a blur of relief.

So on the night of my due date with Noah, I crawled into bed giving no thought whatsoever to anything of note actually happening at home.

At 3:00 AM, I woke up to a tiny *popping* sensation.  Not even fully awake, I had the presence of mind to jump out of bed, and I immediately flooded the floor.  Drenched and in shock, I heard Mark ask what was going on and told him he should get up and start making phone calls and packing the car.  When he asked if I was sure, I whisper-screamed a few choice things to convey my certainty.

What I didn't know, though, was that this water thing?  It wasn’t done.  Oh heavens, no.  I sat on a bath towel on the way to the hospital, and when we got there the thing was done for.  I stood up and flooded the parking lot.  They stuck me in a wheelchair, and when I got up again in triage, there was another gush that sent them running for towels.  I was so bewildered and soaked and uncomfortable that when the cheerful nurse came with her little testing strip “just to see if this is amniotic fluid or urine”, I blinked several times before gritting my teeth to inform her that if this is urine, she might as well be admitting me anyway, because in either case there is a serious medical situation happening. 

And right about then I thanked God that this hadn’t happened in the grocery store because I would never have been able to shop there again, and I really enjoy their produce selection. 

So.  You tell me.  What was your situation?  Did you have a cute, dainty little trickle?  Did your water break in the delivery room?  At the mall?  Or did you also flood the hospital and almost kick a nurse? 

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