Gushes and leaks

Oh boy. Two days until 37 weeks. I gushed fluid this morning. It partially filled cupped hands.Then again, and again, and again—smaller amounts, but still nothing like urine. Clear fluid, and came out all at once, and was nothing I could stop by doing a Kegel (as you can do with urine). I also had two very loose bowel movements this morning, which is unusual, and can be a sign of early labor. DH is home from work today (Veteran’s Day). We called, we’re told to come in, and did a very quick gathering of our hospital labor-day supplies, including our not-quite-finished hospital bag, birthing ball, and so on. You should have seen us. Laughing, then forcing calm, then feeling stunned. I had a couple of leak/gushes while packing. I also felt a kind of beautiful clarity that is difficult to describe, just a sense of total confidence and delight. We went in, and after what seemed like a very long wait, tested the fluid with litmus paper and (after a crazy-hard vaginal exam) tested fluid and mucous that was further up inside me on a microscope slide for ferning (ferning means it is amniotic fluid). Right before all this, the doctor (different one, same practice, my regular OB was not in) said that it definitely sounded like waters breaking, even though I’d had no contractions. She said that we could be having a baby within 24 hours. DH and I grabbed hands at that and laughed…

But it turns out it is not amniotic fluid! And not urine. Um…eh? This we did not expect. Then what was/is it?

Well, said the doctor, it could be that you are losing your mucous plug and there’s some fluid associated with the plug that is coming out.

Oh! I had never heard of this mystery fluid.

It’s still hard to accept, as it really does look and feel exactly like what is described as early labor clear amniotic fluid, and it is coming out in the same way that amniotic fluid does, in gushes or leak. But the baby’s amniotic sac fluid was measuring beautifully (12.5, I think she said), I am not dilated at all, and the baby’s head is still high up (but I could swear he has been hanging lower and lower in the past couple of days).

When DH looked in the little basin and saw the bits of mucous that the doctor had pulled out, he had an a-ha moment. Early this morning, he took out the garbage, a particularly nasty batch. When I saw what looked like (sorry, gross) mucous-spit on the floor this morning (no red in it at all, however) I’d thought it was just a bit of gnarly fluid leakage from the garbage. DH kindly cleaned it up. But at the clinic he pointed at the basin with bits of my mucous plug in it and said, “Hey, that’s it—that’s what I cleaned up off the floor this morning.”

What a trip! We are now back home, still a bit stunned. I’m wearing litmus-paper panty liners that will turn blue if this fluid (that is still leaking as I type) is amniotic. They say I could go into labor in a couple of days, or in a couple of weeks….I’ve got to walk, walk, walk and move this baby down and get this vice-tight cervix opening!

This ever happened to anyone?


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  1. How exciting!! Good luck!! :-) xxxx

  2. Danielle

     /  November 11, 2014

    Yes!!!!!! With this last pregnancy, I could have SWORN my water broke at 34 weeks. My water never broke on its own with my oldest, so while I had never experienced it before I couldn’t imagine it was anything else but that. I had to pee, so I was in the bathroom, and as I was bending over to plant my bum on the toilet seat there was a giant gush and fluid hit the floor. And it was a decent amount! And it was not urine. (I made a phone call to the after-hours OB/GYN hotline, as it was a Sunday afternoon — the nurse made me smell the fluid. Ick.) We beat a hasty retreat to the hospital, and I was convinced we’d be seeing the baby within 24 hours. I did not experience any contractions on the way to the hospital, but I didn’t know what to expect. Once we arrived, they admitted me to L&D because Triage was full. They did all the tests you mentioned above, only to determine it was just a crap load of mucus. Wha????????? I thought mucus was thick and didn’t, you know, SPLASH. Clearly I was wrong. The only thing they determined was that I had no eaten enough that day — they could tell by my urine. So they sent me home with strict orders to stuff my face. My husband stopped by Outback Steakhouse on the way home and ordered salmon, a loaded baked potato, and a loaf of dark rye bread. And stuff my face I did.

    So I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one this happened to!

  3. Danielle

     /  November 11, 2014

    P.S. Son was born seven weeks later at 41 weeks. But I’d say yours is definitely a sign of impending labor. :-)

  4. Sounds like you’re really close to me! I had a bit of mucous that was blood streaked come out a few days before I went into labour. Went into Triage, cervix wasn’t dilated and was still long so they sent me home. A few days later GUSH! No question what that fluid was. I had extra fluid (polyhydramnios) so even though a massive amount had come out, the ultrasound still showed a very full sack. The baby on the bottom had been super low for about a week at that point though too. I think losing a bit of plug was the thing that kicked all this off.
    I’m so excited for you!!!!!!!

  5. Wow! Good luck with everything!

  6. OOOh! So exciting, can’t wait for updates!!

  7. Been stalking here waiting for updates. Very excited for you!

  8. With my son, my water broke, which was confirmed eventually. But the litmus paper never turned blue despite several attempts; no one could ever figure out why. But I lost so much fluid they had to put some back to give the little guy a bit of a cushion dying contractions. Anyway, as I’m sure you know, do not take additional fluid loss lightly! Those papers can be wrong! Good luck!!

  9. The same thing happened to me with my son – almost exactly as you describe. My son was born at exactly 40 weeks (on his due date). At every single appointment I was told that I wasn’t at all dilated and it looked like my son would be a late bloomer. Then one night around 9:00 I felt a huge gush and swore my water had broken. My husband and I were so excited thinking I was going into labor. We got to the hospital around midnight and their test said that my water hadn’t broken and that I wasn’t in labor. I was sent home. (I began having contractions as we walked to our car.) I labored at home all night until the contractions became too close and back to the hospital we went at about 7:30AM. They did another test and said “Oh, when did your water break?” Hmph. I don’t put much stock in the litmus test. (It also tested negative when my water broke with my daughter.) In any case, from start to finish my son was born 17 hours after the initial gush I experienced.


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