I have been worried about this day for weeks, reliving the trauma of February 13, 2017. The day I started to learned terms like PPROM (preterm premature rupture of the membranes), the undeniable importance of fetal movement, and who in my life I could truly count on. That day changed a lot of things for me and my romantic notions of motherhood. That day marked the end of innocence; the day that the curtain was pulled back and I began to learn how many things have to go just right to have a healthy, full-term baby.
This is the day my water broke suddenly, without warning, as I laid on my chiropractor’s table. At first, I thought that I had peed a little. Then a little more came out. I began to worry that it was noticeable through my yoga pants, so I tried to sit up, explaining that “I just need to use the bathroom real quick.” As I did, “urine” came rushing from my body. I was mortified. I stood up to try to run to the bathroom and even more came out. It stopped me in my tracks and I stood there in horror, tears streaming down my face and apologizing profusely to my chiropractor for pissing all over her office carpet.
But I couldn’t stop.
No matter how tightly I squeezed or how hard I tried, it wouldn’t stop. I started to get confused, thinking that there was no way my bladder could hold this much liquid. What was going on? I cried, I begged my body to stop for what felt like an eternity, and finally my doctor said “I think it’s your water — I think your water just broke.”
Her words hit me like a brick. I knew she was right. And I knew it was too soon. I was barely in my third trimester. We had just taken maternity photos the week before. I didn’t have a hospital bag packed. We hadn’t had the baby shower. We, she, I wasn’t ready.
My chiropractor grabbed towels, sat me back down on the table and put a trash can under my body in a futile attempt to catch the fluid. My pants were soaked. My shoes were drenched. It smelled sweet. An ambulance was called and I tried to reach my husband. He didn’t answer right away and when I finally got ahold of him (note to husbands: ALWAYS answer your pregnant wife’s phone call!), the paramedics had arrived. His office was close by, and he pulled up as I was being loaded into the ambulance. He followed us to the hospital in his car.
Nothing hurt and I wasn’t having contractions — but I was so, so scared. Every move I made, every bump in the road, more amniotic fluid came out. I willed my body to stop leaking fluid. I begged all of the Gods to stop this from happening. It didn’t work.
I wasn’t ready to be done being pregnant. I enjoyed my pregnancy and other than some mild back/hip/side pain, hadn’t had a single problem up until that point. I was placed on bed rest in the hospital and educated on the dangers of infection for me and my unborn child. They informed me that I would only be allowed to stay pregnant for 3 more weeks due to the risk of infection and that the first week was most crucial. If I didn’t go into labor by then, I’d likely last another 2 weeks. I made it to the 3 week mark, and my daughter was born at exactly 34 weeks, on the day of her (cancelled) baby shower.
When I had PPROM, it was a Monday morning and I had gotten up as usual, taken a shower as usual, and fought with my husband about gluten-free pizza (thankfully unusual) before going to my usual chiropractor’s appointment for pain in my hips, back, and sides.
It was a sunny, but crisp February day then. I was 31 weeks and 2 days pregnant with my daughter.
Today is a sunny, unseasonably warm October day. I am 31 weeks and 2 days pregnant with my son.
Today I got up as usual, fed my daughter breakfast as usual, and took a shower as usual, before going to my usual chiropractor’s appointment for pain in my back and shoulder. Today, instead of watching my husband pull up as I was wheeled into an ambulance on a gurney, precious amniotic fluid pouring from my body, and whispering to myself “it’s too soon, it’s too soon, she’s not ready,” I got back into my car, with the windows down, the sun on my face, and drove myself home feeling thankful that history did not repeat itself on this day.
This article was originally published on