First let me say a few things: I loved being pregnant. I had a very easy pregnancy, with all the typical “symptoms” and “side effects” being relatively minor and manageable. I spent my first trimester with a chronic stomach ache, I had strong aversions to most green leafy vegetables and towards the end of my pregnancy the acid reflux got bad enough that I woke up throwing up bile. And all of that sounds like a bummer but honestly it wasn’t that bad at all. I loved being pregnant, I loved my baby bump, and I was excited about getting to my due date. I had convinced myself that Baby Snow was going to be at least a week late.
38 weeks pregnant, my last day of work before I went on maternity leave
So I was really surprised when my water broke four days before my due date.
I woke up at 4:30am on the October 10th thinking that I had to pee (which was true, I did have to pee, I always had to pee around that time while I was pregnant). I got up from bed and headed to the bathroom and along the way I felt a small gush. Having heard of many stories from other pregnant people around peeing their pants, I was definitely worried I had done the same, but I quickly realized that this was perhaps something different. I went back to our bedroom wake up Kourtney.
“I think maybe my water broke.”
We took out the amnicator from our home birth kit and it seemed to be positive. Meanwhile, I continued to feel tiny gushes as I walked around or moved, so I put down a towel before I got back into bed. I felt pretty sure that my water had broken, so I texted my mother who for some reason was awake at almost 5am and immediately called me to ask if I was in labor. I told her I wasn’t, but that I would let her know if things start to pick up. I remember talking to her on the phone that morning, laughing each time I felt a gush, thinking that it was such a weird sensation and still feeling so surprised that my water broke before my due date.
We called our midwife Cynthia and made a plan for her to stop buy later that morning and check in on us. By 5am I was having regular braxton hicks contractions, which transitioned into very mild but noticeably different “real” contractions. I got a little excited. I thought, I’m going to meet my baby today! However, I was still in early labor so I was trying not to get to too excited.
At 9 am Cynthia arrived and checked to make sure my bag of waters had indeed ruptured (it had). This confirmation got both me and Kourtney very excited. It’s baby day, we thought. But Cynthia brought us back down to earth. “This is your first birth, and you’re not in active labor yet. It could take a day or two before things to really get going. You could have your baby on Friday or even Saturday. How do you feel about having a baby on Friday?”
It was only Wednesday. I was already having contractions, I couldn’t imagine having them for days and days.
Cynthia told us to relax, get some rest and pretend it was just a regular day, and to call her when contractions were stronger and closer together. Of course, we tried our best to be chill but we were both very excited, and even though I wasn’t in active labor yet my mom decided to come over with some food and keep us company. I had already called my sister Alexis who left school to drive down to Berkeley for the birth. I contemplated going to choir practice but decided against it– I was afraid I would be leaking too much during the rehearsal which would have been a major distraction.
We spent most of Wednesday hanging out in our apartment with my mom and sister, cracking jokes, eating pizza, watching Hocus Pocus (an October tradition one must never forget) and timing contractions. It was an easy day. I wondered, is this what labor feels like? Because I’m rocking it. I felt the contractions move through my body and I was calm, relaxed. I didn’t need any of the coping tools we had practice in our childbirth class. I thought, wow! My body really knows how to do this!