Team P had left town after celebrating J's 30th birthday, and my nesting instincts were driving me to clean the house from top to bottom again. But I was tired. I was 39 weeks pregnant, for goodness sake! I was already dilated to 1 1/2, maybe 2 cm, and 75% effaced. My belly was bulbous and my legs and feet were swollen with what we in the nursing world term "pitting edema". 4+ pitting edema, in fact - which means that when you press your fingers into my shins or the top of my feet, deep indentations remain for some time, indentations wide and deep enough to store a peanut M&M or a gumdrop.
So instead of cleaning, J and I went in thebackyard and I started watering the grass. Then I decided to water J too - after some convincing, and a little whining and pitiful look-how-pregnant-i-am-ing I talked J into having a water fight with the hose, and into playing easy enough that I could participate given my delicate state. After the water fight, we went inside and I procrastinated by playing some Sequence and then taking a nap on the couch (I bent the no-sleeping-on-the-couch rule more than a few times when I was harboring a human being). Finally in the late afternoon I gave in and J and I started cleaning the house.
J was upstairs finishing up mopping and I was downstairs squatting next to the front door wiping the doorframe when all of sudden I felt a warm gush of fluid. I was wearing J's basketball shorts. I went in the bathroom to investigate the situation and I shouted upstairs "Ummm, I think my water just broke." I couldn't believe I was actually saying those words. I couldn't believe that this could be it. I actually might be going into labor - mysterious, scary, great-unknown labor. And then J and I were going to come home with our baby. That would stay here in our house! It was so much that I couldn't wrap my mind around it, hadn't been able to during most of the pregnancy, so once again I didn't bother trying, and instead I just forged ahead with the well-this-is-happening-so-I-will-take-it-as-it-comes plan. Upstairs I heard a racket as J's mop tumbled to the floor and he clumsily ran downstairs looking wild-eyed and panicky. He's usually so steady and unshakable, so his reaction was hilarious and kept me calm and collected as he flurried around me and the person-in-my-belly.
After further investigation of the Great Gush, I called the hospital and spoke with the triage nurse. It was exactly 6 pm when the gush had occured. The triage nurse politely told me oftentimes women late in pregnancy can't control their bladder and that most likely that's what this was - as a very small percentage of women's labor actually begins with their water breaking, I understood her gentle suggestion, but I politely told her "Well, I'm a nurse, and I know what pee smells like, and this doesn't smell like pee." The nurse said that I was welcome to come in and get checked but sounded doubtful that I would be staying - she still said to bring our bags just in case. I was somewhat confused about what to do by her reaction, but when she asked whether or not we were coming in, I said yes, I was going to get checked, but I was going to shower and eat dinner first.
I quickly showered, not washing my hair as it was clean and done and I had been long-concerned about having decent hair during this whole process. I was going to be photographed! Priorities, people. J packed our bags into the car, and I climbed in the front seat to go grab Subway for dinner, since Subway was just a few minutes from both our house and the hospital. As I did all of these things I thought I felt more of the gushing feeling, and when I climbed into the front seat of the car, another gush of great proportions occurred. I knew in that moment that my water really had broken and this was, in fact, happening. BB was on his way.
After a quick dinner, we arrived at the hospital at 7 pm, still munching on some chips. The nurses told me I was smart to eat before I came in. I was directed towards triage where they told me to change into a gown. Amniotic fluid was dripping down my legs and onto the floor as I changed into my gown in the bathroom, and I felt bad for making such a mess. I left the bathroom and walked over to the table, warning them of the gushy situation I had left behind. I climbed onto the table and the nurse swiped a litmus-like paper across my leg and announced with certainty, "oh yeah, this is amniotic fluid". THIS IS REALLY IT! She checked me, and I was dilated a little further along than I had been at my appointment earlier that week. With the official medical word, J went and called our family and close friends, and updated his Facebook status to "Water is broken. Baby is imminent."