Chris suggested that I should probably write a post about my waters not breaking for those of you who do not follow me on Twitter or Facebook and saw MTJAM’s comment on the previous post. So, here goes (but, be warned; as with so much pregnancy talk, there may be too much information)…
As you may have gathered, from The Mercedes Benz Pelvic Floor post, I have been having some pelvic floor issues during this pregnancy. So much so, that I am now obliged to wear panty liners constantly. Bear with me, this is important information.
On Tuesday, Chris had gone to collect Rosemary from nursery school and take her shopping for a dressing gown to keep her cosy on these cold autumn mornings (don’t you just love autumn, by the way?). I was putting the finishing touches to a set of 2nd proofs, sitting on my wonderful gym ball, which I wish I’d bought months ago. It doesn’t allow me to be completely pain free all of the time, but can allow me up to 3 hours sitting at my desk or in the living room. After packaging up the proofs, I was planning to crawl round to the post office to send them out – the post office is about as far as I can go without excruciating pain, and it’s nice to get out of the house for even a little bit.
When I stood up, I realised that I was much, much, much damper than usual. Could it be my waters? Surely not. I didn’t feel a gush like I did with Rosemary. But… with Rosemary I wasn’t wearing panty liners and already used to frequent dampness. I went to the loo to change the liner and realised I would have to check. Sniff, sniff. (Yes, I told you there would be too much information – but most of you have been pregnant yourselves, so know what it’s like. You do what you gotta do.) No ammonia whatsoever. Kind of sweet, almost perfumey smell. Ah! They must be perfumed liners! Sniff, sniff. Don’t seem to be. Read the box. Nope. Unperfumed.
“Shit! Shit! Shit! One more day! All I needed was one more day!”
So, I called Chris. Told him not to hurry back, as there were no contractions yet, and last time it had taken 7 hours between waters breaking and contractions starting. I then phoned the midwife-led unit and described everything. The midwife I spoke to agreed that it sounded like the waters. I told her I was one day off 37 weeks. And she made my day by telling me that, as it was only a few hours away and it was quite likely that nothing would happen until close to or after midnight anyway, we could go there. Yes!
This meant we could stay at home and wait until the contractions started, instead of rushing off to the big hospital and being strapped to monitors and then stuck in the maternity ward on my own waiting. Chris and Rosemary came back and Chris took the package to the post office. While he was gone, the DidiCar was delivered (our review of which you can find at The Great Toy Guide). I called my sister and she came round. Called my mum, so she could come and stay the night and take Rosemary to playgroup in the morning. Called my aunt to ask if she’d be OK to drive us to the midwife-led unit in the middle of the night, if necessary.
Rosemary was very excited about the DidiCar, so I decided that this was the best time to put it together, while Chris cleaned up the kitchen and got dinner ready (I had put the potatoes in the oven before phoning the midwife-led unit, as you do). While attempting to read (really quite clear) instructions, I had to contend with Rosemary trying to eat the parts, put it together herself, use it before it was put together, and Chris and my sister asking questions about hospital bags and the like. The DidiCar was assembled (what would probably take less than 15 minutes, took almost an hour with everything else going on) and Rosemary had a chance to play on it briefly before dinner.
At some point, Rosemary got put to bed. A little late, but not too much. We told her that we thought Eleanor was coming and that she might come in the middle of the night, so we’d have to go to hospital and so Granny would be here to look after her. She was more excited about the DidiCar, but said she understood.
Much rushing around on the part of Chris and Eva, and my mum when she turned up, ensued. Eventually, the hospital bags were fully ready, the house was in a pretty decently clean and tidy state and it was time for me to try to get some rest. I got into bed with my pint of ice and read a few chapters of Pride and Prejudice, then turned the lights out and tried to get to sleep. It wasn’t easy. I dozed on and off, but woke at every slight twinge. I was awake at midnight and Chris and I were both very happy that we had made it to 37 weeks. And then we did manage to sleep. Fitfully. Until morning, when Rosemary woke up and I got up, mostly like normal.
I seemed to be completely dry (in itself, a bit weird, considering the pelvic floor issues) and I had not had any contractions – certainly none that woke me, anyway. My mum woke up and helped out a bit – she gave Rosemary her bath, at least; I still made breakfast and tea and so on. But I felt pretty fine, so it didn’t matter.
When they were in the bath, I called the midwife-led unit (they’d asked for an update in the morning if nothing had happened) and they said we should probably come in for a check. They mentioned the possibility of a hind water leak, that could seal itself back up. So my mum took Rosemary to playgroup, came home and was handed Rupert to look after, while Emma (my aunt) drove us up to the unit. We had to wait a while, because I had misheard the time they wanted to see us (I heard ‘between 9 and 10’, whereas she had actually said ‘9.10’), but eventually got in and was strapped up to monitors for 20 minutes (all ‘textbook perfect’ readings, no contractions) and then had a speculum examination to check for waters.
Of which there were none. No sign of any amniotic fluid, either from forewaters or hindwaters. What there was was increased discharge. Which you can apparently get from hormonal releases in pregnancy. Often you get a lot shortly before labour, but you can also get a lot at other times, too, so it’s not necessarily indicative of things kicking off.
Back to square one. The waiting game.
But at least now we have passed the 37 weeks mark (37+2 today), which means we get to go to the wonderful Stroud Maternity Hospital and have a pleasant active birth with birth pool and birthing stools and minimal monitoring, instead of the not so pleasant experience we had last time.
Of course, after all my expectations of an early birth, now she’s probably going to hang in there and be really late.