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What Is It Like When Your Water Breaks?


Me at 40 weeks pregnant. Ready and waiting to go!

In reality, most women go into labour before their water breaks. I read that only 1 in 10 women will have their water break at the onset of labour.  In fact, when I was pregnant with my first, this was the fact I told everyone.  “It’s not like on television at all” I would say, “most women are already in labour, and often times it may be broken by the doctor”.

So, of course, I was that one whose water broke on its own.

I don’t have an exciting story to tell like my friend who was battling a door to door salesman when her water broke all over his feet at her doorstep. Or one of my colleagues, whose water broke at work and she insisted on finishing her work before driving to the hospital.

But, if you are pregnant I am sure you are curious so here goes.

With my first pregnancy I was overdue.  In fact, I was so overdue I was set to be induced (which I didn’t want).  Three days before the induction I was asleep on the couch (I slept on the couch for all my pregnancies because I couldn’t lie down) and I was awakened by something that felt like my baby had given me a sharp kick right down there (which is impossible since that’s where his head was).  Then it was a pop and I was wet.  I went to the washroom to see if I had wet myself, but it wasn’t urine.  My water had broken. I then felt my first, very mild, contraction. This was at 9am. I was very relieved because I knew for sure I was in labour since I had no idea what a contraction would feel like.

At least I thought I was in labour.

I got ready, put make up on, washed my hair, set up the stroller and waited.  and waited.  Around 4pm  I walked the dogs, ate, waited, nothing.

Finally around 8pm I called the hospital and asked what I should do.  They told me to come down because my water broke and get checked out.

So we gathered everything and bussed it down. Long story short, after 12 hours I was only dilated 1 cm! They told us to go home and come back in the morning and they would help get things going. I was so disappointed as we went back home empty-handed. I was happy that we would be going back in the morning though, because the nurse told me that you can go for DAYS after your water breaks before you actually give birth. Yikes!

Long story short, about 36 hours after my water broke, with the help of some meds, I gave birth to my wonderful son.

With my second pregnancy I had to be induced because they don’t let twins go past 39 weeks. This time I had contractions first, for about 10-11 hours or so. Again, I was sleeping and I awoke to a pop, and sure enough my water broke. Except this time, there was about five times more liquid! I got out of bed to let the nurse change the sheets and there was literally a flood all over the floor.

It was another eight hours before I gave birth. But it was twins and I wasn’t finished.

Baby B was transverse so after delivering baby A we waited for her to turn and come down. Once she had done that, the doctor reached in with a little hook and broke her water. She was born about a half hour later. I don’t remember much more about that one since I had already delivered one baby and it was just a hot mess down there. LOL

It’s funny how looking back on something as small as your water breaking was actually something I was concerned about, but perspective is everything.


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About Shannon

I am a university educated full-time working mother of four children. Proudly Canadian, I freeze my butt off along with my loving partner, two dogs and a cat. I hope you enjoy reading my posts as much as I love writing them, but if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.


14 thoughts on “What Is It Like When Your Water Breaks?

  1. Great to read your story, My water broke after mannyyyyy hours of contractions while getting checked at 6CM’s No hook just the midwife doing her regular check. Then after every contraction more and more pour out. He was born 2.5 hours later.
    I can’t wait to experience it all over again ! HA..

    Posted by journey2dfuture | December 21, 2013, 10:45 am
  2. I was one of those 10% too! At my 40 week appointment, I was neither dilated or effaced and since I was supposedly going to give birth to a big baby, my obgyn set me up for induction a week later. I researched induction later that day and decided that I did NOT want to do that so I tried some of the natural methods of induction I’d read about but didn’t want to try until I was at my due date.

    Lo and behold, at 3 am I was awoken because I thought I had peed myself. I did not get one big gush, but a whole lot of small ones.

    Posted by mommytrainingwheels | December 21, 2013, 10:54 am
  3. I love reading your birth experiences 🙂

    My waters broke both pregnancies actually. The first time I had contractions about 2 hours later and a baby less than 4 hours after that. The second time I had a slow leak. I didn’t even know about it until my csection 18ish hours after it started.

    Posted by Heather C | December 21, 2013, 7:29 pm
    • Huh, that’s funny. But you know with twins I felt like I was always leaking, especially at the end so I totally get that. I posted my twin both story a couple weeks ago, not sure if you read it (it was fairly brief). I guess it’s good that you didn’t go into labour after your water broke since you needed a c section (I have heard it’s worse if you are already in labour). Happy holidays to you (I have been following along on Facebook since your blog moved) cheers.

      Posted by Shannon | December 21, 2013, 7:38 pm
      • Oh I didn’t make that very clear. I was definitely in labor. I just had no clue my water had broken. They were working hard to try to stop the labor since I was so early so I guess it just eluded us all. Lol. I was 7 cm and having contractions every 2 min when I was rolled in for my section though. 😦

        Posted by Heather C | December 21, 2013, 7:51 pm
      • Oh, sorry I misunderstood. You are one brave mama.

        Posted by Shannon | December 21, 2013, 8:47 pm
      • No problem 🙂 And thank you. As for if csections are worse once you are in labor? My vote will have to be yes but I don’t have any other experiences to compare to. It has something to do with being cut open while your muscles are actively working.

        Posted by Heather C | December 21, 2013, 11:04 pm
  4. I wondered what it was like too (like the movies?)…but my water had to be broken by the doctors with both my kids, so I never got to find out all by myself ;(

    Posted by linbritt | December 22, 2013, 4:03 pm
  5. I had pre-eclampsia and so was going to be induced at 7 in the morning. Instead, my water broke at 1 AM and we had to head to the hospital in the middle of the night. No one told me that you could have more than one big gush. I thought it was just one big gush and was then over, but I had multiple gushes!

    Posted by thingsheatherlearnedtoday | December 27, 2013, 3:24 am

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