The perks of being a GOOD HUSBAND? When it’s almost time, your wife calls you instead of calling them at the labor and delivery. This is the third time this week I’ve had to deduct one from my leave credits. That, too, for a terrifying good beginning.
I was almost done with half of my day’s work, and Tiffany called.
“Hey Shawn, how much water comes out when your water breaks?” (Rasping)
“How am I supposed to know?” – I said.
“But babe, I think my water just broke. Can you hurry up?” Yeah. It was more confusing because Tiffany watched “Sex And The City,” and she thought it would be something like Charlotte’s water breaking. Too much of Sitcom – I know. But life is no sitcom, and your boss won’t let you off the hook that easily. So, here’s to a good life and easy leaves.
How Much Water Comes Out When Your Water Breaks?
Yes, this is Tiffany’s first question. Because she loves to self-examine herself and be her OWN FIRST AID – ‘Women!’
Head Over To The Hospital
After Tiffany was done with me, it was labor and delivery’s turn. She started question after question.
“I think my water just broke… Did my water break? How much water comes out when your water breaks?”
The staff answering her call could not assess everything on the phone. It’s only natural; they don’t have a magic wand – even if they had, I wouldn’t leave my would-be baby momma to some magic wand.
So, I took her, called an Uber (I still don’t get paid enough to afford a car), and rushed them to the hospital. That’s exactly what you should do – HEAD OVER TO THE HOSPITAL. It is not possible to say if your water has broken; or how much liquid comes out when your water breaks. It is best to leave things to the experts or your OB.
The floor nurses answering the call can only explain the situation after examining you first hand. So, whoever you see around you, ask them to escort you to the hospital. That’s the SAFEST WAY.
So, we came to the hospital and helped Tiffany up on a bed. A floor nurse soon came. But, Is this nurse crazy or what? When the floor nurse asked Tiffany to stand up straight, I was freaked out. But she said it was fine.
Once Tiffany was up, more water started to leak. The nurse smiled and said –
“Standing up puts more pressure and helps amniotic fluid to come out.”
Yes, I swallowed my overprotectiveness and understood – if more fluid leaks when you stand up, it means your water has indeed broken. This got me teary-eyed. Yes, Tiffany made a father out of me, and I have a sweet baby daughter.
Is It Water? Is It Mucus?
I went to the doctor’s cabin. HE (yes, a male Gynecologist) said that it could also be mucus. But for Tiffany, it was water breaking. When someone is close to their due date, the cervix softens, making women lose their mucus plug little by little.
It gets more frequent during the last few weeks before the due date. Also, you might want to use light sanitary pads.
“But how do I know it is Mucus, not water? Or is it water breaking or pee” the inquisitive bug inside my head scratched. The doctor said when the fluid is thicker and whiter, it is mucus, not water or pee.
The Water Has A Name; Doctors Call It ‘Amniotic Fluid’
The doctor started to remind me how much his medical degree cost him. No, he was not direct. But he preferred saying amniotic fluid instead of just calling it ‘water.’ He added, “if the water breaks, it will be without odor and color.”
“So, how much water comes out when your water breaks?” I asked the doctor. He answered – “600 to 800 milliliters or roughly around 2.5 to 3 cups.
Gushing Waters Like Hollywood!
No, the water does not break in gushing all the time. It may also come with a giant gush. But, usually, they leak slowly and, for some women, subtly.
“It is something like a water balloon pricked by a needle” the doctor started to run his mouth again. But it does not have to burst. Also, the amniotic fluid is thinner than the mucus plug.
That’s also how you tell the difference between water, I mean amniotic fluid (that was effortless) from mucus.
Nurses Know Better
Yes, actually, they do. They had different ways to confirm that Tiffany’s water broke. They took her water and put it under a microscope to confirm that it was amniotic fluid (wow, I’m smart).
One of the nurses said, “Yes, it is taking the “ferning” pattern similar to rows of fern leaves. So it is amniotic fluid.”
Tiffany was ready for labor. This made me overwhelmed, terrified, anxious, and happy at the same time.
Back To Home? Or To Labor Room?
Tiffany was close to her due date, and as the nurses confirmed, it was the amniotic fluid. Do you know what all this means? It means that tiffany was going into labor. That was QUICK. The nurses said labor kicks in right after the amniotic fluid starts leaking. In fact, Amanda did not give tiffany much time to ask when the contraction was starting. Wait, who is Amanda?
Does The Water Seal Back Up?
Amanda is my daughter. I would not have written this one unless she was in such a hurry to come out to this cursed world. But you must know that the water can actually seal back up. It is indeed rare, but it happens (yeah, it happens…) Frustrating, right?
Don’t Wait For The Drama
That day I learned a pretty good deal about water breaking. The water does not break sometimes. Some women have to progress well into their labor for the water to finally break. It also happens right before someone gives birth to their baby. It is not always a dramatic gush of water like in Hollywood.
After the drama was over I was left with two questions in mind. The first being what does water breaking feel like and the second was what about premature water breaking?
What does water breaking actually feels like?
I never knew this, that even though water breaking is common for all pregnant women during pregnancy, the feeling is different for all. For some people this might be something like a tickle or a feeling of discharge, where as for some it is like that Hollywood water gush, something similar to peeing.
Some people might even feel a little bit of pressure or even hear a pop for that matter and then the water releases from the bag, while some do not feel any of it, at all.
Premature Water Breaking
Premature water breaking is something that happens even before the woman has gone into labour. These phenomena is known as premature rupture of the membrane (PROM). Generally water breaks when a women is about to give birth or goes into about, but here it happens when before the time.
But this is not very common, only 10% of women experience premature water breaking. This tends to happen when they have reached at least 37 weeks of their pregnancy.
Pregnancy is really an enigma, and there is so much that I never had any idea about. This 37 weeks marks the full-term of pregnancy. If water breaks even before the full-term then there is another term for it. It is known as preterm PROM. this is something which is very rare. This happens to only 2% of women.
Reasons Behind Premature Water Breaking
As I have learned, there can be various reasons behind premature water breaking. I have put together a few.
- If you have somehow managed to get an infection in your uterus, vagina, bladder, cervix, or kidney.
- If your baby is a bit large and heavy, or if your are carrying twins, and the amniotic sac couldn’t handle the pressure, it leaks excess fluid out of it.
- Poor diet and dehydration is another reason behind this.
- Unhealthy recreational practices like drinking and smoking.
- If you have gone through any prior surgeries in the cervical region.
- Any form of external accident can also cause premature water breaking.
- If the membrane enzymes are activated early.
- False contraction also often causes PROM.
- Any sort of development defect can also be responsible for premature water breaking.
So, that was my experience. I learned about how much water comes out when your water breaks. If you have gone through my experience, you should also know how much liquid comes out when your water breaks.
But, when it comes down to facing such an event, you should always seek professional help and visit the hospital (just like Tiffany and I did). The solution to water breaking before labor cannot be given over phone calls. This dramatic article is only for your information about the most common cases and signs of water breaking. But if you are facing such a situation, please call the labor room, and you can repeat Tiffany’s questions.
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