Although most women don't experience their water voluntarily breaking, those that do are quick to describe the experience as unforgettable. I'm one of those women, and like most women who have experienced their water rupturing before me, I may have panicked just a little. When I think about the women of days past, and how their waters probably broke while they were shucking corn in a field, I must admit that I feel like a wimp. For example, the texts every woman sends her partner when her water breaks are a much needed life line when they realize that they're going into labor; a lifeline that so many women didn't really have until recently. In other words, we're #blessed.
The technological advances we all too often take for granted, allow a pregnant woman to communicate with her entire family when her water breaks. She's able to keep everyone updated with just the swipe of a key, and for me, this was a huge relief since my water broke inside a Target while I was alone. Those women out in the corn field logging hours of physical labor while nine months pregnant got the short end of the stick in my opinion, but I bow all the way down to their strength and fortitude. Seriously, those ladies were some damn warriors, because I would have lost my sh*t if I couldn't communicate with my partner when my water broke.
I'll never forget what it felt like when my water broke. It was like a tiny water balloon had popped inside me, and like I was peeing in my pants in a very public place and at a very alarming rate. I didn't know it at the time, but I was going to have to be induced because my contractions never came, so I went into birthing mode and prepared to deliver my baby on the side of the road on my way to the hospital. The texts I sent my partner at that time are both hilarious and ridiculous, and they tell the story of a woman who was afraid and excited and determined in the hours before she became a mother for the very first time.
The Classic "Is It Amniotic Fluid Or Is It Pee?" Test
I had already experienced a couple of false alarms during my pregnancy, so when my water actually did break, I assumed that my son had kicked my bladder and caused me to pee on myself again. However, that "popping" feeling was new, as was the gush of fluid that completely soaked my pants, so it didn't take me long to realize that something entirely different was going on.
No, For Really Real
With every step I took, more fluid would start, um, "gushing." I know, it's weird and people don't like to talk about fluid leaking from their bodies, but hey, that's labor for you. That feeling of uncomfortable, involuntary "ew" is exactly the reason why I knew that I was really in labor this time.
I had been so nonchalant with getting prepared for the arrival of my son. My nesting phase is the only reason that he came home to a decorated nursery, because I honestly didn't really care all that much about a whale theme or a monkey theme.
However, when my water broke, I began to question whether or not I was actually prepared for my hospital stay, because I hadn't put too much thought into it. I wasn't (shocker). I hadn't yet packed my hospital bag, so that was left to my husband, who packed an entire suitcase.
I always picture a woman's water breaking in the exactly way it was portrayed in Nine Months. When Julianne Moore's pretend water broke, she immediately doubled over in pain, so I assumed that I would do the same. I didn't though, and my contractions actually never came. After speaking with my doctor, he said there was no need to come to the hospital until I started having contractions (or until about 12 hours had passed without them), so I went home and took a shower and a nap, which wasn't exactly the chaos that I had prepared myself for.
Seriously though, I feel like a lot of women might actually miss their water breaking if they aren't paying close enough attention, just because we've all watched too many labor and delivery scenes in movies. It's not dramatic, like, at all.
Even though my water breaking didn't happen in dramatic fashion, that doesn't mean that I didn't panic, because I definitely did.
Um, yeah. I had spent most of my pregnancy assuming that I had this whole motherhood thing in the bag, and then my water broke and I realized that belief was laughable at best. Suddenly I started questioning how my partner and I ever got to this phase of our lives in the first place, and whether or not we were ready or prepared. I even started to convince myself that we were ruining not just our own lives, but the life of our son, too, because we had no idea what we were doing.
...And Then Panic That Turns Into Adrenaline
That panic turned into adrenaline, and after I lost my breath for a few minutes I was able to put my game face on. I immediately began asking my husband about our preparations, which caused him to go into preparation overdrive, too.
You Start Turning Into A Mom
I began to recall all of the things that were on my to-do list on my drive home: the crib, diaper station, changing table, play yard, you name it. In preparing for my son's arrival, I was becoming a mom.
Determination Sets In
Seriously though, I wasn't going anywhere this time.
Hunger, Because Duh
#ProTip: if your water breaks and you haven't eaten in a while, grab a snack before you get into the hospital or birthing center. After you're in their care, your diet will consist of nothing but ice chips (usually) until you deliver your baby, and that could take a while.
Just A Little More Panic
I mean, I think even the most prepared women panic at least a little before they meet their baby for the first time. At least, that's what I'm going to keep telling myself to make myself feel better about flipping out.
When There Are No Words
Sometimes only a well placed emoji (or emojis) can describe what you're feeling.
When You Put Your Game Face On
When my doctor finally confirmed that my water had, in fact, broken, my husband sent out a mass text alerting our family that our baby was on the way. We were both scared, but we were ready. Well, as ready as a person can be.