You can just picture it can’t you? An extremely pregnant woman. In public. Surrounded by people. Suddenly, the camera zooms in on her face and she stops… startled. “I think…” she says, “I think my water just broke!” Every sitcom or movie that stars a pregnant character has a scene like this. People rush to her side and she is whisked away to the hospital. And anyone who has never been pregnant blushes and thinks I sure hope that never happens to me. Having your water break, in public, when you least expect it, seems absolutely mortifying; like wetting your pants… but worse.
But did you know that only 10 percent of pregnant women actually have their water break as a precursor to labour? Most women either have their water break while they are already labouring (and therefore unlikely to be in public) or they have their waters broken by a medical professional. Some babies are still born in the amniotic sac.
I am one of these 10%. With Cameron, I woke up in the morning, my water broke, and labour started. It was simple, it wasn’t even very messy (I could feel it happen so I rushed to the washroom), and I knew that without a doubt, I was in labour.
Fun Fact: When my water broke, I felt a POP! It felt like a bubble bursting inside of me. I’ve also heard that some people hear a pop when their water breaks.
When my sister was getting ready to have her baby, she expressed concern that her water would break in public. It is a really understandable fear. I remember talking to pregnant friends when I was pregnant with Cameron about how to prepare for our water to break. But the reality is, we don’t live in a movie. Most women aren’t even going to have to worry about their water breaking in an inopportune way.
But here’s the thing: These days, I am really hoping my water will break. Anywhere. At any time.
As I type this, I am experiencing my first Braxton Hicks contraction of the day. It isn’t painful… yet. But as the day progresses, my contactions get more painful. This has been going on for days, and I am not in labour yet. When I first started experiencing these contractions, I hoped it meant that my body was finally getting itself ready to deliver a baby. But as these contractions have continued on for so long, I find them leaving me discouraged.
Each day, especially in the evening, I feel like I am moments away from going into labour. Contractions are strong and I feel painful twinges in all the right places. Then, I go to bed and wake up feeling perfectly normal. My hopes that labour is imminent are dashed each time I wake up and feel only pregnancy – not labour.
So now I am seriously hoping that my water breaks. I feel like at this point, I am never going to know when I am actually in labour without it. I feel like I’ve been pregnant forever and probably will continue to be so – forever – so a good gush of water might convince me that this baby will actually be in my arms at some point soon.
At this point, I will even celebrate wet pants in a grocery store aisle!
Did your water break? Or better yet, did it break in public?