Friday, December 9, 2005

What happens now and what happened earlier

O.k. now that I have the time, I will give a little more detail about today.
Last night I was at my work Christmas party at the Rideau-Carleton Raceway. Greg and I had a blast and I was very tired. I went to sleep fully expecting to go into work the next morning. At about 2:45am I woke up because there was hot gushing fluid pouring out of me, and I was just soaked. I had a strong conviction of what was going on, but I still wanted to be sure - I woke Greg up, and then I proceeded with a number of tests to confirm the nature of the incident (the reason there could be confusion is that women at the end of their pregnancy sometimes have trouble with their bladders - I haven't, but I still wanted to be sure). First off - amniotic fluid tends to be clear (not yellow). It also smells nothing like urine - it smells like very mild bleach. Furthermore, it is alkaline, while urine is acidic. I did not conduct a pH test though - although, I did consider it. Anyhow, the intial gush was quite substantial, but the amniotic fluid is regenerated, so once you have a tear, the fluid will keep leaking at unpredictable intervals. You have no warning that it is coming and you have absolutely no control over the flow. I have heard it said that the quantity generated per hour is one cup. At any rate, I called the obstetric triage number and we were advised to go in. When we got in, I handed over my precious sheets of paper and was asked to get a drop of fluid on a microscope slide. The alternative was that they would take a sample using a speculum (no thank-you!). Getting a sample was not a problem. The sample was confirmed to be amniotic fluid due to the charactertistic ferning pattern when observed under a microscope. Next, they placed fetal monitors on my belly (basically belts measuring heartbeat) with a dab of ultrasound gel. They also periodically measured my blood pressure. Greg was enjoying every minute and taking pictures. Rebecca was quite active during this time, and my blood pressure was a little high (due to excitement). What the nurses and the resident really wanted were the results from my group B strep test. Since I had the test on Monday, they could reasonably expect the results to be at my OB's (but obviously not accessible at 5am). Once your water has broken, the danger is that the baby could be exposed to infection. Prior to water breaking, the cervix is sealed off by a mucous plug and the baby is further protected by the amniotic sac. If you are group B strep positive, those particular bacteria could pose a risk, and they want to commence labour ASAP. Even if you aren't GBS positive, breaking your water is a point of no return. They want you in labour within 24 hours. Ultimately, since I wasn't having contractions, I was given a choice. I could go home or I could walk the halls for a few hours and see if the contractions kicked in. I opted to go home. If my GBS test was positive, I would go back to the hospital and be induced with oxytocin and antibiotics. If my GBS test was negative, I would wait for regular contractions spaced 5 minutes apart and then come in OR I would come in if there were irregularities in Rebecca's movements OR I would come in if there was heavy bleeding OR I would come in at the 24h mark to be induced.
As expected, my GBS test was negative.
Now I am waiting for contractions to be regular. I am having some, but they are irregular, uncomfortable but not painful. I will probably be induced at around 3am to get my labour going.
So, Greg and I are just hanging out, trying to get sleep, watching DVDs. I have gone through an untold number of pads to account for the amniotic fluid leak, and I am not really able to sleep comfortably.
More to follow when there is more to say.

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