How My Water Breaking Turned Into Pregnant Comedy

niagara fallsLike most aspects of pregnancy and childbirth, the experience of one's water breaking is sadly misrepresented in TV and movies and never in my life had I witnessed the actual breakage of a pregnant woman's water (probably because it's actually fairly rare). For this reason, I had absolutely no idea that when my own water broke, a natural-disaster-sized frenzy of pure comedy would ensue.

At the finale of my pregnancy with my youngest son, my water broke -- and I mean BROKE like an overwhelmed levee breaks -- and I had no idea what was coming (as in waters and seas and rivers frickin' galore). For this reason, I am about to share the details and tell you the truth about when a woman's water full-on breaks so you can prepare yourself -- and get your flood insurance lined up; just kidding!!! sort of ... -- in case you end up one of the lucky ones.


One reason I think I was so shocked when my water actually broke is because of the much different (and much less soaking wet) water-breaking experience of my first pregnancy. You see, that time my OB/GYN accidentally broke my water at my 38.5-week prenatal appointment. She was doing a routine pelvic exam when she said, "Whoops, I just broke your water!" Or so she thought ... which I bought ...

After a mad dash to the hospital, hours of waiting for contractions to begin followed by intensely fast Pitocin, and then much too late, at 10cm, as I was pushing, my midwife announced that my water was, in fact, NOT broken (she concluded that my water bag must have had a small bubble that broke earlier in my doctor's office). That was, of course, right after the assisting nurse looked down in my nether regions and said, "Ohmygod, what's that???!" and I momentarily panicked that I was birthing Rosemary's Baby. But alas, it was just my adorable bag o' waters bulging out.

In other words, I was about to deliver my baby based on a nonsense water break followed by a totally unnecessary induction. That's right. The same dumb nurse even had the nerve to look at me compassionately and say, "Water bag still in tact? No wonder you're in so much pain!" It took every ounce of strength in my full-on laboring body to keep fiery flames from shooting out of my eyeballs, burning her to a crisp where she stood. But I digress ...

At about 38.5 weeks into my pregnancy with my youngest son, I was experiencing the typical pregnant insomnia and moved from bed to the couch for a change of sleepless scenery. After a cat nap of sorts, I was awake again and moved to change positions. Right then, I felt a distinct *pop* and the tiniest of trickles. After a few minutes of disbelief, I rolled off the couch, walked two feet, and out gushed a few cups of water. I called out to my husband, "My water just broke!" I heard him running around, running into walls, running to me.

I walked two more feet and GUSH. I tried to cross my legs, hold it all in, and water literally poured out everywhere. I’m talking gallons of water. So much that it was spreading fast across the floor, and I seriously started to worry about not having flood insurance (and to thank god we have hardwood floors). At the same time, I could not stop laughing because all that water seemed so unreal, but that simply made more water come. My husband kept gently urging me toward the bathroom while I was busy chuckling and trying to come to terms with being a human waterfall and so began a slapstick skit akin to Laurel and Hardy chasing a quickly leaking water balloon.

They sure didn't show THIS in the movies! My belly was HUGE, but how much more could there be? Finally in the bathroom, I sat on a towel that was then suddenly soaked through and I moved onto another one, which I sat on in the bathtub while I called the hospital.

The nurse who took my call listened patiently to my giggly, exasperated explanation about ALL THE WATER before telling me that the bag of waters continually regenerates in there. WHAT? Why did no one explain this to me before? Had I not paid attention in one of those prenatal classes? She said I could expect more water (!!!) and also told me I should shower and head on into the hospital.

So I took a long, hot shower and I swear my stomach looked half the size it was the night before. I was pretty sure I was now the proud parent of a small ocean that I had allowed to be mopped up in old rags and there was really no baby in there at all.

I know I've already explained this, but it was A LOT of water. In fact, it continued to be so much water that by the time we arrived at the hospital, the towel I was sitting on, the sweats and undies I was wearing, AND the king-sized bath towel I rolled up between my legs were soaked through. On the walk into the hospital, I stopped walking every few steps because it was really hard to walk and completely gush water at the same time. It just didn't feel right, you know? Funny thing is stopping didn't stop the watershed. Pretty sure I left a dappling of small puddles all the way across the parking lot.

Did I mention that when your water breaks, it can really mean A LOT of water? Well, it can. And now you know. You're welcome.

Are you worried about your water breaking? Has yours ever broken in a previous pregnancy? Was it what you expected?


Image via laffy4k/Flickr

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