There are so many moments in my seemingly never-ending pregnancy I would love to forget. The nausea and the morning sickness and the constipation and the complications that landed me in the hospital numerous times; they can all be erased from my brain for all I care. One moment I don't ever want to forget, though, is the moment my water broke. It was incredible and exciting and a million things were racing through my mind, including what my baby was thinking. I'd like to think there are things your baby is thinking when your water's breaking; things that make the impending labor and delivery all the more real; things that prove your baby is just as excite dot meet you as you are to meet them.
Then again, there's obviously no way of knowing what in the hell your baby is thinking at any point in their baby-life. While it would be helpful, until you learn their cries, their mannerisms and until they're able to articulate their wants and needs with verbal speech, you're on your own, parents. The best you can do is pay attention, guess and — especially when your kid is still cookin' in your stomach — let your imagination run wild.
I know what was was going through my mind when my water broke (the majority of which I can't write about, because publishing an endless list of obscenities isn't really the name of my writing game). Now that my son is two-years-old and the days of pregnancy, labor and delivery are behind me, from time to time I like to think back, reminisce and wonder what those experiences were like for my baby. Here's my best guess as to what my kid was thinking when my water was breaking all over my living room floor because, well, there's no way I was the only person excited.
"Whoa, What Was That Pop?"
My water broke "naturally," as it on its own, so I didn't have to have my water broken for me by a medical professional. I was laying in bed at home after rolling on my birthing ball and laboring for a few hours. My contractions were pretty far apart, but I had a feeling this was the "real deal." Suddenly, while watching The Office (as one does when they're preparing to push a human being out of their body), I felt this "pop" inside of myself. I looked at my partner and said, "I felt something weird, we need to go to the hospital." I stood up and, well, let's just say I had to change my pants. Multiple times.
I can only imagine how strange that pop felt from the inside. My kid had to have been wondering if fireworks were part of the birthing experience.
"Hold On, I Didn't Push The 'Flush' Button"
I know I don't live in a cartoon, but I'd like to think that when your baby is ready to be born, they just push a little "flush" lever and get the show started.
I blame my parents and how often they had me watch Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Not my fault.
"Wow. It Really Keeps Going, Huh?"
I was shocked at to just how long my water continued to break. Thanks to television shows and movies, I thought my water breaking was going to be a "one-and-done" type situation; there'd be that dramatic, initial gush of fluid and then it would be over with. Nope.
My water continued to break and it was really uncomfortable. I kept changing my sweats until finally my partner said, "No one cares if your pants are wet, we have to go to the hospital." So I slapped on a panty liner, changed my sweats one more time and walked out the door. By the time we arrived at the hospital (about twenty minutes away) my sweats were soaked.
"Hold On. Wait. I'm Running Out Of Water!"
The "sea level" of my womb dropping in what I can only imagine was alarming fashion (but probably wasn't) had to cause my baby some concern. All of a sudden he was running out of water that had kept him safe and comfortable for month after month after painfully uncomfortable, pregnant month.
"They Sure Do Sound Excited Out There"
Babies can hear sounds while they're in the womb, and usually respond by moving, kicking or punching (your bladder, more often than not). I can only imagine my kid was startled when he heard the excitement that was my partner and I trying to race out the door and head towards the hospital. We were laughing and semi-yelling and calling our parents and siblings and we just couldn't contain our excitement. It had to have sounded like a 1999 New Year's Eve party.
"Um, Why Am I Moving?"
I can only imagine how strange it is to have some invisible force move you to the bottom of what was your home for over 40 weeks, sans your control. Labor is basically your body pushing your baby out of your body, and I have to think that your baby doesn't necessarily have any control over the entire experience. That has to be jarring, so that baby brain must be filled with questions, like "Um, what the hell is going on?"
"I Haven't Been Sitting At The Top Of A Water Slide This Whole Time, Have I?"
Were the last 40 or so weeks just one really long, anxious wait at the top of a water slide for my little one? Did he feel like he was being pushed down one of those jumbo, loop-de-loop slides with the tunnels and the water? The ones that are both exciting and kind of scary?
My vote? Probably.
"Whoa Whoa Whoa! Muscles Are Moving! Things Are Squeezing!"
Babies aren't claustrophobic, right? I mean, it's a pretty good thing they like tiny spaces that make them feel safe, because once that water breaks they're being moved to an even tinier space and that can't be pleasant, especially if you don't appreciate small enclosures.
"I Bet This Totally Sucks For Mom"
It did, kid. It did.
Then again, you were the end result, which made the labor pains and the contractions and the anxiety and the fear and the pooping on the delivery table in front of relative strangers, so very worth it. My water breaking in my tiny apartment was the beginning of an insane 26 hours that ended with my son in my arms. If I had to, I would do it all over again and forever.