by Pregnancy Humor editor-in-chief Candy Kirby
Originally published on July 15, 2009
I wasn’t even going to write about yesterday’s experience because, well, it’s kinda gross. Also, I feel completely spent and foolish. But then I realized we’ve already bonded over my prematurely celebratory mucus plug ejection — whether you wanted to or not — so, really, there’s no sense in holding back at this point.
It all started in the morning when, and there is just no delicate way to put this, I left a puddle on my car seat. Okay, perhaps puddle isn’t the right word. It’s not like ducks could have bathed in it. More like a wet spot. I didn’t think much about it, dismissing the spot as incontinence or sweatiness — two lovely and common side effects of pregnancy that I’ve experienced before. So I just quickly slammed the door shut and pretended I never saw it. And that was that.
Or so I thought…
Fast forward to the evening, when I noticed yet another spot, this time on our couch. (I’m sure you’re all clamoring for an invite to our house now!) Again, I just chalked it up to — as the medical experts would say — “pregnancy ickiness.” So I just armed myself with upholstery cleaner and rued the day Mr. Candy and I decided to forgo the birth control. And that was that.
Or so I thought…
Not even an hour later, I stood up and felt a SPLASH of liquid on my foot. Yes! A splash! Another common pregnancy side effect I’ve experienced is delusional craziness, so I actually bent down — not an easy feat at 38 weeks pregnant — and looked at my foot to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. There it was: a big ol’ drop of clear liquid. So I did what any rational pregnant woman would do… and Googled the heck out of “slow leak” and “water breaking” and “labor.” A search that made me realize it could mean absolutely nothing, or I was in the early stages of labor, or my baby was shriveling up in my now-dangerously dry desert of a womb. One of those.
“Go to the hospital,” instructed my doctor when I called. So Mr. Candy and I grabbed the bags and headed off to Cedars. Again. Only this time we could return home with our beautiful baby girl!
Or so I thought…
A vaginal speculum exam revealed that I was NOT leaking amniotic fluid. Or if I was, it was a “high leak” that they couldn’t detect or just a teensy Olsen Twin-sized hole that could very well seal over on its own. Or… maybe I had just pissed myself? Hard to say, they shrugged. At least, I think that’s what they told me, because I was too busy screaming “OH MY LORD, MY VAGINA FREAKING HURTS” over and over again in my head to pay close attention.
… Oh, are you an amnio speculum virgin? Good. I recommend you stay that way. My First Time was performed by a young nurse with a great deal of fear in her eyes and, as she admitted, very little amnio speculum experience under her belt. She was guided by a kindly and experienced midwife/nurse who kept correcting, “No, not there!” “No, no, no! Don’t touch the cervix!” while the cold and sharp metal tool felt like it was drilling for oil in my insides. A drilling experience that’s performed without ANY LUBRICATION, mind you.
Mr. Candy offered his hand to squeeze. And I offered him a look that let him know WE ARE NEVER HAVING UNPROTECTED SEX AGAIN.
It was the worst of all worlds: a sore vagina and NO BABY. Yet I managed to hold it together. Until…I called my mom. It was midnight on the East Coast by this time, but I knew she would still be awake, awaiting my update. What is it about a mom’s voice that makes you feel like you’re five years old again? Because as soon as she expectantly said, “hello?” I started blubbering like a big ol’ baby.
“Why are you crying? Are you in labor?”
“I WIIIISSSSSSSHHHHHHHHH!” I sobbed.
And poor Mr. Candy. He tried everything a sweet, supportive hubby could possibly do in this type of situation — from kissing my head to offering to make a frozen yogurt run for me (usually a no-fail offer) — but nothing he did could soothe this savage, pregnant and sorely disappointed beast. Operative word: sore. Sometimes a beast just likes to revel in her misery, you know?
The doctor said to return to the hospital if I notice any more drippage. ‘Cause a “slow leak” could carry risk of infection. But, as I later growled to Mr. Candy, I would have to be able to SWIM TO THE HOSPITAL IN A SEA OF MY FLUID before I’d ever go back for another speculum exam.
So to all of those leaky pregnant ladies who came across this story by Googling the heck out of of “slow leak” and “water breaking” and “labor,” I would like to impart this highly credible medical advice: just call a freakin’ plumber.