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Waters broken but no contractions

(45 Posts)
debster Thu 26-Sep-02 19:11:30

OK here goes.

At 6.30am on Tuesday I felt my waters break. However, it wasn't a big gush but a steady stream that could be controlled using sanitary pads. I was 37 weeks and 4 days at this point. I rang the midwife who came round and immediately mentioned that the policy in Brighton and Hove hospitals was to induce if labour wasn't established within 36 hours due to the risk of infection. I was not impressed with this as I had been through this hideous experience with my first pregnancy and consequently was hoping for a home birth this time round. She then mentioned (when I made noises about not wanting to be induced again) that national guidelines stated that labour could be induced up to 96 hours after waters have broken. Anyway, she booked me to see the obstetrician this morning for advice. I went to see them and they basically agreed that I could go until Saturday morning if I wanted before being induced. They monitored the heartbeat and everything is fine. I am also due to go in tomorrow for monitoring again with a view to booking the induction for Saturday morning.

Anyway, 36 hours after my waters are still coming out but I am not feeling any kind of contractions at all. My dilemma is that whilst I realise there is a risk of infection I would like to try to go into labour naturally. Something that so far has eluded me. My experience of being induced first time round was so bad that I am very frightened of going through it again. (Not just the labour but the after effects as well). My instincts are telling me to just leave things for a few days and see how it goes but my head is saying what about this risk of infection? Can anyone offer me any advice or reassurance that leaving things 'up to nature' is not the ridiculous thing that everyone seems to think it is? Or am I being narrow minded and blinkered and should listen to the professionals? How much of a risk is the risk...IYSWIM?

I really hope you wonderful Mumsnetters can help, and I would especially appreciate any input from the midwives (Mears et al).

Thank you.

Enid Thu 26-Sep-02 19:16:23

ooh debster its a hard one, I don't know enough about it - if I were in your position I would probably go for the induction but obviously if you are determined not to its a different issue. All I can say is that I remember my MIL telling me that her waters broke on a Saturday and she didn't give birth until the Thursday after, with no ill effects. And I think the waters are regenerating - that is, you naturally make more, it doesn't just drain away - is that right any one with more knowledge than me??

Lots of love anyway debster and good luck with whatever you decide.

mears Thu 26-Sep-02 19:58:47

Debster - as long as the water draining is clear, the baby is active and you are monitoring your temperature, you should be fine. Have you had a swab taken from your vagina - if not I would ask for it to be done to exclude group B strep which can cause serious infection where the waters have been broken for a long time. I would expect you should have a scan to see how much water is remaining around the baby. Although it continues to be produced you may be losing it faster than you are making it which would make a difference as to how long you should be left. Research does say that in an uncomplicated pregnancy, labour will start often spontaneously within 92 hours.
If you do end up needing to be induced you could ask about oral prostin. This is a tablet that is given every hour for a certain number of doses taht acts in the same way as the drip. It works better in women who have laboured before. That means you could stay mobile and have a more 'natural' induced labour.
Hope something happens for you soon, good luck, mears

jasper Thu 26-Sep-02 23:15:21

ooh debster, how exciting!
GOOD LUCK!
Mears you are a positive goldmine of information! I think you should get a cut if the mumsnet books make a profit

Lizzer Fri 27-Sep-02 11:49:43

Debster, I WAS in your position. It was my first baby and I was 2 weeks late so just wanted to be induced as I didn't think it would be that different. BUT in hindsight, of course, I would do it again if I had a choice. The oxytocin I was induced with (after 2 failed prostglandin internals) was horrid and I didn't cope with the pain v well, it felt un-natural, I couldn't have an active labour cos i was strapped to a monitor. On purely personal choice next time I'd hold out til the last minute for induction. Apparently, as long as you don't have sex or insert anything into yourself then the risk of infection is v minimal - shower don't bathe too...
How exciting! good luck

pupuce Fri 27-Sep-02 22:11:01

Debster - how are you... I wish I had seen this before, I know some great doulas in Brighton who could/can help you....
If you read this... go to doula.org.uk (under find a doula) and look up Sussex and Sophia...
I think Mears is right about the swab but I know some obstetricians who would let you go on longer if all appears OK (one of them being Michel Odent)....

Ghosty Sat 28-Sep-02 08:15:30

How are you Debster? Don't really know about this from personal experience but I think I would go for an induction if I were in your shoes. My best friend's waters broke with no contractions. In fact she didn't realise they had broken but she knew that it was all a bit soggy down there. She went to see her MW who said that it was nothing, only normal discharge. 24 hours later my friend told me about it in conversation and mentioned that she was getting through one sanitary towel an hour. I said that I thought her waters had broken as how could that much liquid be 'normal discharge'? Anyway she phone the MW again who told her not to worry about it. Her baby was finally born another two days later. Although now fine both mother and baby had developed a nasty infection and had to be put on antibiotics immediately. I think that is a bit scary and personally I would not want to put my baby or myself at that risk but then I have never been there myself!
Good luck Debster, let us know what happens!!

leander Sat 28-Sep-02 08:49:09

Good luck Debster!!

pupuce Sat 28-Sep-02 09:20:01

Ghosty -
Induction can mean a managed labour (epidural, ventouse, forceps,...) if you are looking for a normal/natural birth than induction is the last thing you want... also as Mears said : labour usually will kick-off hours after the waters have broken.
Yes infections are serious and can be deadly but there are many things that can also go wrong....

Is supect Debster's has had her baby.,....how exciting ! Hopefully we'll get the story soon

debster Sun 29-Sep-02 19:57:56

Thank you all for responding, however, the story does have a happy ending which I shall bore you with

Friday morning I booked the induction for Saturday and went shopping. Decided to get some castor oil on a whim. Took some at 11am and at 1pm was on the bog. At about 3pm I was lying in bed when I heard and felt a distinct pop. When I stood up there was an almighty gush of fluid. I was literally standing with my legs open with fluid pouring out of me for about a minute! Anyway about half an hour later I started to get contractions. By 5.15pm the midwife was round. She examined me and my cervix was apparently quite far back and only 1cm dilated. Dp had by now returned from work and ds had been packed off to a friend's house for the night. Contractions were coming quickly but weren't very long - every 2 minutes but only about 30 secs long. Midwife checked again at 8.15pm and I was now 3cms dilated. This was good news as I was now in 'established labour' which meant she didn't have to leave to be with someone further advanced than me. (There were 7 midwives off sick that night!) If she had gone I would probably have had to go into hospital anyway.

Anyway, to cut to the chase, my beautiful daughter was born at 12.28am on Saturday morning, 2 weeks early. She weighed 7lbs 7oz and we are calling her Erin. I am so chuffed to have had a home birth with only gas and air (albeit 5 cannisters!). And I didn't tear at all. My midwives were fantastic and got me through the transition stage when I was screaming that I couldn't do it anymore. I am still on a high despite the sore nipples.

Anyway, thank you all for your advice but I am happy to say I didn't need to utilise it in the end

emsiewill Sun 29-Sep-02 20:00:15

Debster, glad it all turned out so well. Congratulations, and love the name.

MABS Sun 29-Sep-02 20:06:24

Brilliant Debster - beautiful name, well done.

bossykate Sun 29-Sep-02 20:07:57

congratulations! glad it all went so well. castor oil, eh? will remember that for next time...

Ems Sun 29-Sep-02 20:23:15

Congratulations Debster, another Mumsnet girl safely delivered. Enjoy .....

leander Sun 29-Sep-02 20:30:00

Congratulations Debster, I bet she's lovely.

Ghosty Sun 29-Sep-02 20:39:15

congratulations debster!

Rhiannon Sun 29-Sep-02 20:50:51

Wonderful news, well done.

jasper Sun 29-Sep-02 20:58:27

Wonderful news Debster, and well done.

ionesmum Sun 29-Sep-02 21:23:42

Congratulations !!!!!!!

WideWebWitch Sun 29-Sep-02 21:33:22

Oh that's terrific! Well done!

Zoe Sun 29-Sep-02 21:35:53

Congratulations debster and welcome to the world little Erin!

jessi Sun 29-Sep-02 22:24:59

Debster, many congratulations, and welcome to little Erin.

Snugs Sun 29-Sep-02 22:25:20

Congrats debster and welcome Erin

Tinker Sun 29-Sep-02 22:57:36

Congratulations debster!

mears Sun 29-Sep-02 23:30:40

Brilliant news - glad to hear all went well.

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