I have yet to come across another person in my daily life who has experienced pPROM. While I do know of some that have experienced PROM, I just can’t find one who has experienced the much earlier version of this. Yes, PROM sounds like it can be quite nerve racking from what I have read, but, pPROM is a little more concerning as it can happen as early as 12 weeks (although not likely).
For those of you who don’t know what pPROM or PROM are, allow me to explain.
PROM is know as premature rupture of membranes. This occurs when your water breaks before you’re actually in labor (happening at 37 weeks+). In most cases this causes labor and you’ll deliver your baby shortly after the rupture. What is more concerning, though, is pPROM or preterm premature rupture of membranes. This condition means your water breaks anytime before 37 weeks of pregnancy. In some cases, like mine, it can happen early in your second trimester (mine occurred at 15 weeks 4 days, I delivered at 15 weeks 6 days).
Thankfully PROM and pPROM are not that common. PROM occurs in less than 15 percent of pregnancies while pPROM occurs in less than 3 percent of pregnancies.
I’ve found that you are most at risk if you smoke, have certain STDs, have BV (bacterial vaginosis), have placental abruption, had previous early membrane rupture, have chronic vaginal bleeding during pregnancy or are carrying multiples.
In my case, I had none of these; which leads me to believe I was just unlucky. From what I recall, my water broke on a Friday and I went to the doctor to be checked. She confirmed it was my water that had broken and laid out all of the possible outcomes for my situation. Before I left, they drew my blood to test me for infection and noted that my white blood cell count was a little elevated but not in the area of established infection (didn’t find this out until the day after delivered my daughter). From the time my water broke, it took 2 days for labor to set in, which looking back was probably the two longest days of my life.
That Sunday I felt like I was getting cramps and decided to go in as my doctor said any cramping or bleeding would require me to go to the hospital immediately. Once there she checked me and confirmed I was 3 cm dilated and already in labor. When they drew my blood she was able to tell that infection had set in from my white blood cell count and an elevated temperature. They started me on IV antibiotics and told me if I felt any pain they could give me an epidural or morphine. Since I anticipated the pain would be bad, as they mentioned was likely, I kept thinking the pain I felt wasn’t so bad and just waited for it to get worse. By the time my doctor came back to check me (less than 2 hours later) she felt my baby’s feet and said it was time to push. At that point, I think my adrenaline kicked in because I literally felt nothing. It took 1 push to get her out and it felt like a big gush.
I think this may be the only moment I will remember forever. After my baby came out, I looked at the panel on the ceiling of clouds in the sky. I started to cry and so did the nurse holding my hand. My doctor wrapped my baby in a towel, looked at me and I remember the look in her eyes was like she wanted to give me one last opportunity, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it; so I shook my head no and she asked the nurse to take my baby to the nursery.
Some days I wonder if I made the right decision, or if I should have looked at her, held her, talked to her…but I knew at that moment I just couldn’t. I didn’t want to remember her like that. I wanted to remember her as I pictured her in my mind. And that is where she will always be; as well as in my heart.