'Babe... my water just broke!'


‘Babe… my water just broke!’

Just to give you a little background before I get down to it…

The L word..


What every woman dreads when they consider having a baby or when they find out they’re pregnant. So what better way to eliminate fear (or scare you senseless..) than tell the story of my own. But first, let me explain something to you.

I am a complete and utter wuss. Despite what anyone may tell you, I am petrified of anything that involves pain, or the hospital, doctors, dentists… anything of that nature… and spiders, of course! So the idea of labour was enough to put me off… ‘I’ll adopt’, I’d say.

I had my first real insight into just how petrified I was when I went on a trip to A&E. I was 33 weeks pregnant, and suffering with tachycardia. In case you’re not sure what that is, here’s a definition for you:


An abnormally rapid heart rate

My heart is pounding in my chest 24 hours a day, and I’m honestly trying to understand how I’m going to stay pregnant for another 7+ weeks, never mind go through the stress of labour. Or, more importantly, if my heart will take it.

On arrival at the hospital, I have an overzealous nurse tell me that she has spoken to the doctor and if they cannot take my heart rate down using medication, this baby is being delivered at 33 weeks.. today!. This is when it dawned on me that I was truly terrified about giving birth.

It turns out, tachycardia is fairly normal in late pregnancy and as long as your heart doesn’t go over a certain figure, there should be little complication.

So I’ve moved house, and my waters break… at 3am..
The night we move in.
Thanks Theo.

We head in to the maternity ward, shortly returning home, because it’s a weekend and they won’t induce me until Monday.

Throughout Sunday, I’m contracting, but irregularly so I make the effort to go for out for a walk in the hope that it brings them on further. Anyone that has had their waters break, and not gone into ‘proper’ labour immediately will understand the trauma of moving around. You continue to produce more water, and it keeps coming out. Not to be graphic… but it’s very unpleasant! I also take a trip to ASDA; I started to notice that the contractions were getting closer together. I honestly couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry!

For the rest of the afternoon, I sat at my mum and dads until they start to come 2 or 3 minutes apart around 8pm. We call in to the maternity ward and head back in!

When I say we, that’s me…
 my husband…
and my mum.

Initially I explain that I have high blood pressure, before pregnancy not due to, and that I’ve been under consultant so should therefore be in the high risk ward… they don’t agree! GREAT!

I have a temperature, and on examination (along with a little stretch and sweep… thanks…) I am 3cms. A doctor comes in to take bloods to try to determine what may be causing my temperature to be up and takes a look at my monitor. It’s observing Theo’s heart rate, and my contractions.

She was a brave doctor. Brave because at this very moment, she decides to tell me that I’m not really in labour.
‘So Sophie, the contractions aren’t really proper ones and you shouldn’t currently be in any pain’.
Excuse me? I AM very much IN PAIN.

Fortunately she was not a midwife, and wasn’t planning on sticking around for long! I think this is where she gets her courage from!

They determine that I should be on the high risk ward, and have now been assigned a midwife to monitor me for the period of my labour. Yep, that’s what I said! I need to have an IV set up, with antibiotics and water to keep me hydrated so therefore need to stay on my bed for as long as I can. What the midwife noticed is that every time I lay down, my contractions would become irregular, sometimes 10 minutes apart.
Theo is back to back! And this seems to be affecting them when I lay down. My midwife leaves the room for a short period of time, while I have a little cry, to return shortly after, telling me that they’ve decided that they’re going to induce me so that I contract regularly!

Now any sane woman knows that if you’re being induced, you have an epidural. It’s only sensible! They make contractions 3 times as strong, and 3 times as a painful. But, because I hate hospitals, I want to get out as soon as I can. I decide to ‘do it alone’.

I hear you saying, ‘what a girl, she wanted to do it all natural.’ NO! I didn’t, I’ll have any drug going. It’s just that, at that very moment, my contractions were bearable and I HATE hospitals… I do not want to be in for days if I can help it!

My MW again examines me (and another stretch and sweep… thanks), I’m 6cm. She was really surprised because my contractions had been so infrequent.. She thought this would be an apt time to go through the available pain relief.

She was Polish! And I loved her, because she was rational and blunt which is what I need in situations where I feel vulnerable. But god, did she frighten me… ‘Sophie, you first can have gas and air.. that good for you because it does not affect baby. Second there is pethidine. Just to tell you, you are far gone and I had 2 babies this week, they not breath when they came out. Thirdly epidural. It take a while to wurrrrk, and it means you have to stay in for a while.’.
GREAT! I’ll take the gas and air then… GRRR!

To add to it all, the amount of water I’d been given through IV meant I needed to go the loo…. A lot! The gas and air was my best friend… I really didn’t want to do the walk to the bathroom alone!
 Anyone that knows me will know that pre-pregnancy, I had/have the smallest bladder in the history of the universe! Bad times.

Another frustration to add to the list is when medical officials say you are ‘labouring nicely.’ This isn’t nice… at no point in the world, ever, would I use that word to describe it! It’s horrendous, it hurts more than you can even explain and it’s pain that penetrates your very core. Not to scare those of you whom have not yet had children, but when people say it hurts a lot, they’re telling the truth!

I’ve reached the point that they call the transition… and I’ve lost control! I’m whaling like a banshee.. ‘I CANNOT do this any longer… no, I’m not kidding… I’m not doing it… oh my god… here comes another…’ And it goes on like this until I make an important decision in my deliria.

‘Babe… I need an epidural…’

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