Monday, January 23, 2006

Does amniotic fluid smell like onions?


We used to have pregnancy scares. Now we’ve graduated to labor scares.

Saturday was our first of what will hopefully not be many.

At 11:10 p.m. Oliver and I were in bed doing whatever couples do in bed when a sudden gush of fluid came forth from me and irrevocably changed the evening, not to mention messed up the round bed. Stopped in our tracks by the sudden appearance of this puddle, we put our heads together to figure out what had just happened. We looked at it, touched it, smelled it.

“Smells like onion,” Oli commented.

It seemed to be made of about 2-3 shots of a liquid that was quite clear, watery and (at least to me) odorless. Basically, it was water.

Lacking in any contractions and feeling just fine, I couldn’t believe that this could possibly have been the onset of labor. No way. Projecting ahead, it seemed impossible that this could mean I’d be contracting and breathing and pushing within hours.

“I’m not ready to have this baby,” I said. Not because I was afraid, just because this just didn’t seem like the time.

Oli pointed out that my water had clearly just broken and therefore, it was the time.

He called Dr. Doah and expressed that we thought my water might have just broken. He asked, “And what does amniotic fluid smell like? Does it smell like onion?” I heard Dr. Doah laugh. I laughed and proceeded to put items in my hospital bag, which has been 2/3 packed for a week or so. We rather calmly strolled around the apartment making sure we had everything.

Just as we were about to leave, we realized we didn’t have an outfit for the baby to come home in. We quickly rifled through the bags of clothes the child already owns and grabbed the first outfit it ever received: a soft yellow number that the Seeleys picked up in France. We were depending on the next day’s baby shower to provide the now much needed crib and car seat, but at least our kid would have clothes.

Out the door, in the car and on the phone. We called my mom who repeated 20 times that we should breathe and be calm. She called the Seeleys. I called my sister and got my brother-in-law who groggily asked if we needed anything and then hung up without letting my sister speak to me. I called my friend Colin who called everyone else. My mom called back….several times. Oli remembered he had had onions on his burger at dinner.

At the hospital we parked in the regular parking garage by the main entrance. As we approached the entrance Oli asked, “Didn’t they say something in our prenatal class about going in a different entrance if you arrive late at night?”

“No,” I said as we read the sign on the front door saying all patients should enter in the ER on the other side of the hospital. We trekked around the entire hospital through ice and snow. We laughed at the idea that some poor sucker had us as parents.

Inside the ER the security guard called up to Maternity and said, “I have a mom here who needs to come up.” Haha, she called me a mom. They put me in a wheel chair (just like the movies!) and up we went, Oli bashing me into walls the entire way, much to the nurse’s amusement.

Over the next couple hours the doctor and nurse on duty ran a couple swabs and did an ultrasound eventually deciding that what had come out of me was not amniotic fluid and that my bag had not ruptured. They asked if it could have been urine as many many pregnant ladies in their 9th month experience incontinence in a big way. I expressed that we had smelled the liquid and were certain it wasn’t pee. Oli thought since I drink so much water it was possible my urine didn’t smell, but I countered by saying that it had come out in a big gush, not a trickle. The doctor pointed out that the cervix can sometimes make a watery discharge that is like amniotic fluid. I thought this a sketchy answer but accepted it, a little disappointed that this meant the baby wasn’t coming tonight.

We went home and slept.

This morning I peed on myself in bed.

Oh mother.

4 comments:

YankeeAmanda said...

Hi, I found your blog by blogrolling. My sweet daughter is now 4 months old, and when my water broke, I waited to see if any more would come out before I officially declared it "time." Those last few weeks can be a freak fest, for sure. Hope it all goes well when the little one really does make the big entrance!

Sean said...

I hear amniotic fluid smells like relish. When can I come over for dinner? Have that baby of yours, and then make me something relatively low in carbs. Awesome.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry Angela. You'll not be the only one in your relationship to have peed on themselves in bed.

Anonymous said...

I believe it smells sweet atleast wiith my other three it did :)