When I first became pregnant with Gabriel I was ecstatic. Everything was so new and exciting and I never thought for one moment that my pregnancy would be anything but boring, and routine. I wholeheartedly believed that I, like most women, would carry full term and probably even past my due date. No one I had known had ever had their water break early or lost a baby in the second or third trimester, and I was woefully naive to the possibility that this occurred in normal, healthy pregnancies. When I was 12 weeks pregnant and entering my second trimester my cousin Krissy (who is like a sister to me) was already in her second trimester and we talked every night. I would ask her what it was like to feel her baby kick, and what it was like to feel him move, and asked how many weeks she was when she felt those first flutters, and if I would know when it happened. Then one night, as we were discussing what sex we thought our babies would be she told me about a dream she had dreamt the night before.
She said that she had delivered her baby in Boston Pizza where she worked and her boss put her baby in the walk in freezer and she wasn't allowed to bring him home. She also told me that my baby had been there but that I was allowed to leave with my child. I immediately equated the walk in freezer with a morgue and felt chills. I neglected to tell her my thoughts and we just laughed it off as one of those weird pregnancy dreams.
That night Krissy woke in excruciating back pain and went to the ER. The doctors almost didn't look at her because they were convinced she just had a kidney infection. Two hours later they determined she had spontaneously dilated. I got a call from my mom who told me that Krissy had delivered her 21 week old son, and that he had died during delivery (they named him Chance Cal-Gary - as he was their Calgary Chance at happiness). I cried for days. I knew the last person she would want to talk to for a while was me, and I knew there wasn't anything anyone could do to make things better for her.
I automatically thought back to what now seemed like a prophetic dream and worried about my own child. My naivety was shaken from me like leaves from a tree and I now realized that pregnancy was anything but routine. I was terrified the rest of my pregnancy and wished so much that the distance that was now necessary for Krissy, didn't exist. I needed my best friend to talk with, and she just wasn't ready.
At 33 weeks and 6 days my water broke and Krissy's dream came thundering back, sweeping me away in a complete panic. I knew it was too early for my son to enter this world and although the chance of losing him completely was low, I couldn't help but think about my cousin, and the possibility of a second trimester loss also being ridiculously small. I spent two days in the hospital trying in vain to get a hold of my mother (who was in Puerto Vallarta) and was surprised to receive a phone call from my cousin. I hadn't spoken to her since she lost her baby, nearly 6 months earlier, and she did the most gracious thing. She offered me her support, and love, and said she could fly down if I needed her.
She understood more than anyone how scared I was. We've been close again ever since. So every subsequent pregnancy I have had, and the one she just recently carried to term, has been tainted a little bit. Worries that most women don't have surrounds us at every turn. It was determined that Krissy had an incompetent cervix and that she would need a stitch if she was to carry her future children to term. I also knew that having a preterm premature rupture of membranes only occurs in 5% of people and after having one your chances of having another rise dramatically.
I did not have a preterm premature rupture of membranes with my daughter, but I did have a premature rupture of membranes (which basically means I ruptured before I was in labour, although I had managed to carry her to term). It has now been established that I rupture before labour (which again is very rare) and it makes every new pregnancy another desperate run to make it to full term before that inevitably happens. The doctors keep a close eye on me and I am, like my cousin, considered a high risk pregnancy.
So although I'm thrilled to be pregnant again I'm also afraid. I don't let it get me stressed, nor do i sit there and worry hour after hour, but I do catch myself thinking from time to time whether my water has just broken. It's a fear I wont ever shake and normal cervical fluid changes will always keep me wondering, and no doubt, will like last pregnancy, drive me to seek out doctors to confirm or deny the possibility of a possible rupture of membranes. It's just the nature of the beast when it comes to my pregnancies...something that unfortunately, I have learned to live with.
But I also have hope, that I can carry this baby to a safe, new life, and that my baby will be born healthy and strong, without the need for doctors, nurses, or NICU's..something that I have yet to accomplish (Edie was born with an infection thanks to me rupturing 24 hours before, and was in the NICU for two days on antibiotics), but am determined to do.