pPROM is the abbreviation for preterm, premature rupture of the membranes. Also known as your water breaking before you are 37 weeks (Full Term). PROM is premature rupture of the membranes which is when your water breaks before labor begins but you are full term.
pPROM before 24 weeks (viability) boasts a very low survival rate for the child you are carrying.
Things that can lead to pPROM include:
- Untreated Infection
- Incompetent Cervix
- Multiple Pregnancy
- Risk Factors include:
- PPROM in earlier pregnancies
- Infection in the amniotic sac
- Infections such as Chlamydia or Bacterial Vaginitis
- Preterm labor
- Bleeding during the second and third trimester
- Certain procedures used to treat abnormal conditions of the cervix
- Lung disease during pregnancy
- Connective tissue disease
- Nutritional deficits
- Low body mass index
- Low socio-economic status
- Smoking during pregnancy
There is hope. There are resources. But you have to find them yourself. Most doctors will scare you into inducing or send you on your way.
I had NONE of the risk factors listed above. And yet, A year ago today at around 11pm I was sitting on B’s chair ordering cloth diapers for Baby #3 and watching Season 1 of Deadwood.
I started getting a pain in my pelvis area and it was enough to where I kinda had to move and rotate. My first thought was OUCH! Second thought? This must be the “Lightening crotch” that they July group is always talking about.
I sent the money for the cloth diaper via paypal and then got the pain again. And then there was a huge gush of water that wouldn’t stop. The pain (contraction) immediately stopped and I sat straight up and told B “I think my water just broke”.
We bother jumped up and I went and stood in the kitchen so I wasn’t on the carpet and I called my midwife. She asked me if I was sure it was my water, if it was still coming out and I just remember saying to her “it won’t stop, it’s my water”.
And she said to me “If it’s your water there is nothing I can do”
That’s around the time I started breaking down, I was shaking and cold and just said “I know”.
I stuffed a towel between my legs and started getting ready, my midwife was going to meet me at the hospital. I called a friend who came to stay with Mason, she was there within 10 minutes but it felt like an eternity, I sat in the car just praying that this wasn’t happening that my baby wasn’t dead, that she wasn’t going to die.
We got to the ER and I told them that I needed to go to L&D, they asked me how far along I was and I said 18 weeks and they told me “No, you don’t belong there”.
I wasn’t far along enough (20 weeks) to be considered important by L&D. Instead I went to the ER were there was no privacy as I waited for what seemed like ages for them to get a doppler and check for a heartbeat (there was). I had to sit next to people who were sick or had broken a bone while I wondered if my BABY was going to survive.
As we sat in the Emergency room waiting to talk to a doctor there were so many things running through my head. I wanted to know what we were having. I wanted to know what the chances were that we would ever even get to see her alive. When the sonogram technician came in I remember feeling anxious she started doing it and had the screen facing her and I mentioned that I couldn’t see. She got a little nasty with me, that it was most important for HER to see.
So I just said to her “Oh, I’m sorry, I just haven’t seen my baby in 10 weeks and this may be my only chance to see her alive”. Suddenly the screen was facing me a little more.
“Can you see?” she asked me?
I could. I could see that she was squished, that there was no fluid. Any sliver of hope that maybe I had in fact peed myself was out the window. Although in reality I knew that the second it happened.
The doctor took over an hour to get back to me and ready my results.
He was cold. He just said to me that the baby was alive but there was no water, so there was no hope.
Then he said to me “You do know the baby will never survive at this gestation”.
I remember thinking OF COURSE I KNOW, Do you think I’m an idiot? I’m pretty sure my attitude when I answered said as much as well.
Then he said, we can send you up to L&D and we can induce you. I declined.
My son was home, at this point I was still nursing him, I knew he would be up soon looking for me. And more importantly my baby’s heart was BEATING. How could I make the decision to induce labor when my own body didn’t even want to go into labor yet?
So we were discharged with the warning that I could go septic and die and papers telling me all about “threatened miscarriages”.
And now. A year later here I sit exactly Full Term with a baby girl who has provided more comfort to me than she will ever understand and yet I mourn her sister and wonder “what if”.