The Pregnancy Diaries: False Alarm #1

Yes, we had a false alarm.  At 6am Wednesday morning it was scary.  By that afternoon, it was funny.  Now, I'm just a little embarrassed about the whole thing.  So here's the story:

Monday morning I woke up bright and early (6am) because I was soaked!!  My underwear was drenched and the sheet and the mattress were also drenched.  My first thought was that I had wet the bed.  I don't even remember the last time I did that (since I was probably like 3 or 4).  Right after that thought a less embarrassing but much scarier thought ran through my head: did my water break?  Since I still have ten weeks to go I knew it was really early for that to happen but I also knew it was possible.  I then smelled the mattress to see if it smelled like urine...nope.  It smelled like nothing to me.  So then I really started to worry that maybe my water had broken - WAY too early.

I tried to wake up T but was unsuccessful and then realized he would have no advice anyway.  So I called my mom.  Yep, at 5am California time.  On the house phone.  Nobody picked up the first time so I hung up and redialed.  My dad picked up and passed the phone to my mom.  At this point I was totally in tears so worried that my water could have broken.  I explained what had happened and she said I should call the doctor.  When I told her I had an appt that same morning in just a few hours (9am) and asked if maybe I could just wait until then she said no.  Then she started suggesting maybe I should just go to the emergency room.  She was really worried.  I decided I would call the on-call doctor first and see what they said.  So I dialed my doctor's office number and talked to the answering service who said they would page the on-call doctor.

Then I decided to attempt to wake up T again.  This time I was successful even though I'm not sure he really understood what was going on when I explained myself.  I'm pretty sure he fell back asleep while I waited for the doctor to call me back...haha, I guess he wasn't too worried!  A few minutes later and the on-call doctor called and I explained that I was 30 weeks pregnant and had woken up to a wet bed.  He said I needed to go to Labor & Delivery.  I told him I had an appt with Dr Harward at 9am, could I wait until then?  No.  Go immediately.

I kind of started to feel stupid and didn't really want to go to the hospital in case I really had just wet the bed.  But I knew I would feel more stupid if I didn't go to the hospital and my water really had broken.

So.  I told T we needed to go to Labor & Delivery and I started to get dressed.  He was still lying in bed with his eyes closed by the time I was ready so I asked if he was coming or if I was going by myself.  Don't worry, he got up.  He wasn't going to send me by myself.

By this point the tears were gone because I realized there was nothing I could do to change the situation.  I still wasn't really sure what the situation was but whether my water had really broken or not, crying wasn't going to help.  And also I had said a prayer which made me feel more calm.

On the way to the hospital I said to T "well, if it turns out to not be my water, at least this can be our dry run to the hospital!"  His response? "Too late to be a dry run."  Hahaha.  Always witty.

When we got to the hospital we checked in at Labor & Delivery and they took us into a room and had me dress into a hospital gown.

The nurse was so extremely nice and so personable.  She hooked me up to a doppler and also a contraction monitor.  They asked if I was having any cramping.  I wasn't.  She found the baby's heartbeat really quickly and he sounded perfectly healthy.  I wasn't really worried about that since I had been feeling him moving around since I had woken up.  The baby wasn't stressing about the situation at all - just his mama!

The nurse explained they would swab me (similar to a pap smear - ugh) and use a special tape that changes color if amniotic fluid makes contact with it.  So we went through the uncomfortable process of swabbing and then she rubbed her little q-tip on the tape and it did not change color!  Yay!  I had not ruptured.  I was so glad since it's way too early for the baby to make his entrance into the world.

Dr. Harward's office is just next door to the hospital so the nurse told me he had just come over and was going to come check me.  While I was waiting for him and for the nurse to come back in I suddenly really had to pee.  I tried to hold it for like two minutes since I was still hooked up to the monitors and didn't know if I could take them off but after that it was either take off the monitors or pee in the hospital bed.  Since I obviously had already wet one bed that morning I just took off the monitors and ran to the bathroom (in the room, FYI).  Thankfully, the nurse didn't care that I had taken the monitors off.  She just reattached them so Dr. Harward could monitor it for a minute.

When Dr. Harward came in he told me I had passed my glucose test (yay!) and said he would just check me here so I didn't have to go over to his office for my 9am appointment (thank goodness, since I still had to shower and get ready for work!).  He watched the monitor and said the baby looked great, etc.  I asked him if this same thing happened again how could I tell if it was urine or amniotic fluid and he said the only way to know is to come in to Labor & Delivery and be checked.

He gave me some things to watch for: a gush of fluid, a slow dripping of fluid throughout the day, slowing/stopping of baby's movements.  He said your water can break this early even though it's not common, of course.  He told me that usually when you wet the bed later in pregnancy it's because either a) the baby kicks you right in the bladder and your body just releases everything or b) you roll into a position where you're putting so much pressure on the uterus which puts pressure on the bladder that, again, your body just releases everything.

I still really don't understand how I possibly wet the bed when I had already been up twice in the night to use the bathroom.  First of all, why did I wake up twice just fine and then once just slept right through it?  Second of all, how did I possibly have so much urine after using the bathroom only two hours ago and also two hours before that? (and I hadn't had anything to drink since like 9pm).  It still baffles (and embarrasses me) but I'm still so glad it was that over my water breaking.

Now I'm just really hoping it doesn't happen again since Dr. Harward told me I would have to go back to Labor & Delivery if I woke up with a wet bed again.  The last thing I want to do is be making regular trips to Labor & Delivery for false alarms!!

Even though the whole situation is a little embarrassing I'm glad we went to the hospital because if we hadn't and I had told Dr Harward at my appt that morning that I had woken up with a wet bed he would have sent me over there anyway and then I would have been late to work and would have had to explain myself.  Glad I avoided that!!

The point of this whole story?: Baby is healthy & happy and hopefully not coming any time soon.  And also. I wet the bed.

PS The L&D nurse told me I was having Braxton Hicks contractions and showed me on the monitor.  But I'm not feeling them so hooray!!  Hopefully it stays that way.

PPS The title of this post says False Alarm #1 because you just never know how many you might have but here's to really hoping there's not a #2.

Thanks for baking a little bit longer, baby boy.  We're not quite ready for you yet.


  1. Marci, that would have been freaky! You definitely did the right thing. I'm glad everything is ok and you can laugh about it now. :) p.s. I don't know how you'll know when it's pee vs. amniotic fluid because your experience sounded EXACTLY like when my water actually did break! Good luck! :)

  2. I did the same thing Marci. I was out on a walk trying to induce labor when I thought my water broke. I got so excited because I heard only 20% of women actually break their water beforehand. We went in and it turned out to just be my mucus plug. When my water did break for real in labor, it was a massive gush. So I hate to say this, but if it happens, you will definitely know. Also, the nurse told me to do a cough check next time. Lay down on your back and cough really hard. If more liquid comes out, your membrane broke. Good luck!!


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