Breaking Water

My wife is pregnant, and in a few months, her water will break. I’ve been made aware of this. As I tend to fear what I don’t understand, let me say that I am terrified right now.

Let’s start with the choice of terminology. Her “water” is going to “break”. First off, how do you “break” water? Is breaking water like breaking wind, only infinitely messier?

And why are we tiptoeing here? Her “water” is going to “break,” huh? Ok. Will her “spatula” do the “limbo”? Is her “curling iron” going to “operate a bulldozer”? Why are we combining nonsensical nouns and verbs together to totally mystify the birthing process?

Sadly, I think I know the answer. I’m afraid that the term “water” is a euphemism. Let’s be real here. I’m sure whatever comes out will be maybe 70% water, but what about the other 30%? My wife isn’t a camel. It’s not like she’s been storing a supply of water in her hump these last six months.

And how much “water” are we talking about here? A glass? A gallon? How involved will the cleanup process be? Will this simply involve a roll of Brawny or will I have to bust out the wet/dry vac from the garage? Should I look into renting a Hazmat suit?

It just seems like it could be a tremendous mess. And normally, tremendous messes are my wife’s department. But once the water breaks, that’s it. It’s time to go to the hospital. What about the huge mess on the floor? Who’s responsible for that? Since she’s the one who actually made the mess, it seems logical for it to be her responsibility to clean it up.

Unfortunately, she’ll be going into labor. How convenient. So what do I do? Rush her to the hospital, or start cleaning a massive stain before it sets? We’ve got some nice furnishings around our house that I would hate to see ruined by “water” damage. Our carpet still looks new. We’ve got some leather upholstery in the basement. I guess I should plan ahead and start covering all our furniture with tarps just in case.

Needless to say, I’m really hoping she saves me the hassle and just breaks water at the office.

19 thoughts on “Breaking Water”

  1. You state that your wife is not a camel. And yet she repeatedly spits in my face when I am around her. Odd behavior for a 100% non-camel woman, wouldn’t you say?

    I do see some of your points about the euphamism, but it need not be as mysterious as you might think. In your almost Amish-like insistence on not using Google or the Internet in general to answer some of life’s minor quandries I present you with the details of amniotic fluid (the “water”) via wikipedia:

    Amniotic fluid is the watery liquid surrounding and cushioning a growing fetus within the amnion. It allows the fetus to move freely without the walls of the uterus being too tight against its body. Buoyancy is also provided.

    The amnion grows and begins to fill, mainly with water, around two weeks after fertilisation. After a further 10 weeks the liquid contains proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and phospholipids, urea and electrolytes. By the second trimester the fetus can breathe in the water, allowing normal growth and the development of lungs and the gastrointestinal tract.

    The forewaters are released when the amnion ruptures, commonly known as when a woman’s “waters break” or “spontaneous rupture of membranes” (SRM). The majority of the hindwaters remain inside the womb until the baby is born.

    Which brings up another post, what the hell are hindwaters? Ok, back to wikipedia…

  2. Unfortunately for carpet-cleaning companies the world over, not every pregnant woman has her water break in a spectacular flood of epic proportions. In fact, sometimes it doesn’t break at all until the doctor does it in the hospital, in what I hear is an incredibly painful procedure. (Somewhat akin to someone sticking a tool up somewhere we don’t want it and just poking it around a little until something gushes out)

    Needless to say I think the best course of action would be to have Jeannette wear a Hefty bag around her knees for the last month of her pregnancy. That way no worries…

  3. Wow, this is a whole newleveloftomuuch information. I could have livedmy entire life in bliss without ever reading that definition of amniotic fluid. My wife is going to shipped away to a nunnery to give birth.

  4. Excellent research Captive Lion.

    Is there any mention on Wikipedia on how to remove a proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and phospholipids, urea and electrolytes stain from leather furniture?

  5. I’m pretty sure amniotic fluid goes great with placenta; it makes for a great placenta stew! Just look for it next to Cambell’s Thick and Chunky Beef and Vegetable Soup.

  6. There is nothing more I enjoy than a healthy discussion of bodily fluids. Even more so, making a reference to Gatorade. I think Matt needs to scream at the time the water breaks, “WHOOAAA NELLY! We’ve got a barnburner here!”

  7. I would definitely invest in oxy-clean. I’ve seen the commercials for that can confidently say it will clean anything.

    Oooo, OOoo, check this out:

    I just found a great book you might start reading. It’s called “the handbook of hazardous materials spills technology”.

    It talks about safety, risk assesment, hazardous materials programs, nuclear emergencies, disposal…

    If you want to take the necessary precautions you’d better invest in this.

  8. Having been present for the delivery of two children, as well as an as yet uncalculated number of diaper changings, feedings, and other baby-induced messes, I can assure you that “breaking water” is the least of your worries in the clean-up department.

  9. It would be nice to have a running forum on the side. So if i wanted to post my jackass comments somewhere it wouldn’t have to be associated with a story. But that would mean someone has to work to change something. That would also mean the hands would have to be pryed away from the inlayed finger marks on your xbox controller.

    Hows the zillionaire mansion?

  10. I wouldn’t worry about the carpet, I would be more worried about your matress. I would invest in the hazmat suit as well as some rubber sheets. Make her wear a large hefty bag with a couple holes for her legs and then she could use the drawstring as a sort of belt.

  11. Brenda, she’d like that.

    You see, I’ve actually stopped hugging my wife or even standing in her vicinity just in case her water breaks at that moment and ruins my shoes or stains my pants.

  12. Hi Guys!!

    This may seem to be offensive to other pregnant women since I am a pregnant woman myself but…

    I am nine months pregnant and at this moment ready to give birth within the next 24 to 48 hours. Since
    this is the most boring waiting game I’ve ever played I wanted the fine gentlemen here to know that you have made me laugh like I have never laughed before hence helping to relieve the discomfort of my empending labour. Thank You very much. And for those of you that are still waiting with much fear and dread for your wives to “break” their “water”. No Worries…if your wife is sitting down or even standing up then the babies head will act as a “cork” and the “water” should only come in a trickle. But if she leans back or lays down…watch out…you might have enough water to fill a water tanker for the local fire department. Good Luck guys and “Happy Labour Day” to you poor Fathers that get very little sympathy or concern during this long and often difficult process where the angel you married turns into a pregnant she-devil from hell for nine months!!

    MorrisMommy

  13. HAHAHAH!! I am pregnant and due in 3 weeks. I just googled “water break stain” and your blog came up! I was actually wondering what I myself should do (constantly sit on a trashbag, lay a shower curtain under me in bed OR WHAT???) plus I will be working as long as possible before the birth and I worry about what it is going to stain and if it even does stain. I mean…due in 3 weeks…the baby could really come any time now! Your post is so funny! I got a lot of laughs from it and the responses! Thanks MorrisMommy for the helpful realistic reply too!

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