Ellie’s Pregnancy Journey Part 8: Waiting for the Waters to Break

ellies pregnancy journey waiting waters break

Since the beginning of my pregnancy, I’d always been dreading giving birth. Even before I got pregnant, it had always been one of my biggest fears for quite some time. I guess this is because I’ve heard so many horror stories about it and so many bad experiences. It also probably doesn’t help that I’m awfully scared of blood and guts. I can’t even bare to watch fake operations from a TV soap opera!

My previous post was about our baby shower. After that joyful event, my mind switched to the much less enjoyable fear of my waters breaking. I’m not too sure why. I guess it’s because it’s all very unknown. My due date was getting closer and closer, and this was making me a hell of a lot more anxious about them breaking. The thing that I worried about the most was that I might be on my own when it happens and, knowing me, I would just completely panic. Another thought that went through my head was ‘what if it happened while I was out in public, like at the shops or something?’ Questions running through my head. ‘What would I do?’ ‘Would everyone stare at me?’

I hoped so much that my waters would break at night, since then my partner would be with me and probably everyone I care about would also close by, hopefully making everything simple and easy. In fact, I got so nervous about it that I ended up staying at my mother-in-law’s two weeks before my due date just so I wouldn’t be on my own when it happened. Plus, that way I had someone to take me to the hospital, as I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to drive or not. This was my first pregnancy and I think that’s why I was extra nervous and scared. Essentially, I didn’t know what to expect.

My due date was getting closer and closer. At this point, I was a even scared to go out too far or to go out to the shops, especially on my own, just in case anything happened. I know that you’re not meant to rely completely on your due date, as it is almost never 100% accurate (they told us this at our antenatal classes). But I waited and waited until it was my due date… and nothing was happening! By this time, I was starting to get frustrated, in a way, because I was so eager to meet our little girl and because I was getting very uncomfortable being so large. Plus, we were going through a very bad heat wave in London, and it was literally becoming unbearable as each day went on.

A week had now passed since my due date and I had to visit my midwife. A few days before this, I had to visit her as well and, while I was there, she did a membrane sweep on me. This is when the midwife gently sweeps her fingers around your cervix to try to help release the hormones and get your labor started. The midwife told me that membrane sweep almost never works with first time moms. A membrane sweep can also take up to 48 hours to work. So, I waited and waited with a bit of hope that it would work. But, the 48 hours were up and nothing had happened! When I saw my midwife again, she talked about being induced. I had already done some research about the different types of procedures for induction and I knew that there is a pill that can help you start labor. Also, the midwife can break your waters. And there is a hormone drip that can start off your labour. I had researched all of these methods and their side effects as well. I decided that I did not want to have the drip, purely because I did not like the risks that are associated with it. We had been told about being induced at my antenatal classes, so I had an idea what it was all about.

When I attended the appointment with my midwife, she told me that I had two options: 1. I could be induced at the hospital, or 2. I could wait and see if my waters would break on their own. The latter has risks. If I decided to wait, I would also have to be monitored more closely, as the placenta may slowly stop working after 42 weeks.

I did not want to wait, so I decided to book in to be induced. Unfortunately, my hospital has a policy that they can only do this once you are 41 weeks and 6 days pregnant… In the end, I didn’t have to anxiously wait for my waters to break. All that anxiety wasn’t necessary. But, how could I know?

Read how the story continues here.

Ellie Style
Ellie-Louise Style has just finished her Master's degree in Broadcast Journalism at City, University of London. She is a new mum to her three-week-old daughter. She currently lives in London with her fiancé, and enjoys writing about her pregnancy and parenting experiences.

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