by Lee Cordon, Dallas Blogger, DoSayGive
In our modern medical era, I naively thought that there was a treatment or cure for most high risk pregnancy conditions. When my water broke at 14 weeks gestation, a condition known as Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes or PPROM, I found out the hard way that this wasn’t the case. I’ll never forget looking at the bouncing figure on the hazy ultrasound screen (hazy because these machines see through water and I didn’t have any) and not believing my ears when the specialist advised us to terminate the pregnancy.
You see, medical professionals, particularly those trained in the high risk field, are taught that there is little hope – and definitely no “fix”- when a woman’s amniotic sac breaks before viability (23 weeks). Their main priority is the woman’s health and once an amniotic sac ruptures the woman is at risk for infection, bleeding, and death.
My eyes glazed over as I listened to the grim statistics my MFM doctor shared: the chances of a baby surviving to viability without me contracting an infection were very slim. The chances of my baby developing enough lung tissue to breathe on her own were even slimmer. And the fact that I also had a partial placental abruption and bleeding made everything even worse. “Even if for some reason you made it to viability,” she said, “this baby would be severely disabled, both mentally and physically.”
When my husband and I begged for any trial or alternative treatments around the country we could try, we were told that none of them had proven effective. Most just introduced infection, which is what we were trying to avoid. There was nothing we could do except go home, get in the bed, and “pray for a miracle.”
So that’s what we did.
For the first few days, though, I sobbed under my covers, lost in my own hopelessness. But every time I cried more fluid leaked out (pregnant women are always producing fluid, but when your amniotic sac is ruptured, it would just leak out). It made me want to be still and never move or laugh. The stress of it all was almost too much.
Then my sister forwarded me a website she found about PPROM. I searched desperately for stories of hope on the page. Most of the PPROM stories had sad endings. But then I stumbled upon a story of a baby boy whose mother PPROM’d about the same time. And he survived! I read the story over and over again, looking for any similarities and gleaning any tips as to what this mother did to help avoid infection and keep her baby inside.
After a week I started having a bit more hope. My mom pretty much moved in with us to help with our two-year-old. I started a website to keep friends and family up to date. My sweet OB was encouraging and hopeful at my next appointment. The fact that I hadn’t miscarried that first week was a huge turning point.
During my time on bed rest at home, I filled the days with reading and writing and praying. I couldn’t watch tv because it seemed so trivial in such a serious time. I only got up to use the bathroom and took a shower every few days. And, based on the advice from the mothers in the PPROM group board, I drank a ton of water. Not only to help avoid infection but to aid in the development of amniotic fluid. There is no scientific proof for this, but I was desperate to try anything.
Nine weeks passed. At 23 weeks gestation, I was admitted to the hospital since the baby was considered “viable.” I thought things would be so much easier in the hospital where they could monitor the baby often and get her out quickly if possible. But I found the opposite to be true. The six weeks I spent on the antepartum floor were extremely difficult. I’ve never felt more alone in my life. Not only was I away from my family, but sleep was impossible with the constant interruptions (and the bed was just awful!). And I was routinely reminded of the probable ending of all this bed rest: our baby probably wouldn’t be able to breathe when she was born and would pass away within a few minutes.
At 29 weeks gestation things took a turn for the worse. I was raced in for an emergency C-section. It was like out of a movie. They were able to get her out so quickly. The whole time I was praying she would cry when she was born. Crying might mean she had enough lung tissue to breathe. When they pulled her out we heard a little whimper. And instead of putting her on my chest to take her first and final breaths, they raced her up to the NICU. I only saw a glimpse of her as they raced by, but I was not upset. I was praising God that they were doing just that. It meant she had enough lung tissue to be intubated.
Our 29 weeker spent three months in the NICU. The first few days were touch and go and there were several times we almost had to say our goodbyes. But she prevailed. We prevailed. Don’t get me wrong, the journey has not been easy. The first four years of her life were filled with surgeries, buttons, and therapy almost every day, but it has all been worth it. The 15 weeks on bed rest were worth it.
Our preemie is nearly nine years old now. She goes to a rigorous academic school, plays soccer and basketball, and not surprisingly, is the most determined child I know.
She also gave us hope when I PPROM’d at 23 weeks with my fourth child. You can read her story here.
You can learn more about Lee on her blog, DoSayGive, and more about PPROM support at Little Heartbeats.
Your story brought tears to my eyes. I PPROMed at 23 weeks and spent 3 difficult weeks on bed rest at the hospital and I agree with you. So lonely and difficult. It’s all been worth it, our daughter is one now and we haven’t needed to go back to the hospital since we left. Preemies are so strong and inspiring – they make us stronger than we thought we could be. Congrats on your beautiful family
Your story is inspiring and gives me hope. I’ve been looking for stories of hope to encourage me. I’m currently 19weeks pregnant and my water just broke, It has been 48hours, no sign of infection or labour. I am trusting God to perfect all that remains. I will be taking time to really rest and consume plenty of fluids. I pray God comes through for me.
My PPROM was at 15 weeks, 20 yrs ago. No on expected anything but the worse. My high risk OB said he would talk to the General in the am. Military hospitals do not do abortions even under these conditions. My seasoned Dr was the Chief of OB and had never seen anyone get through this. I never responded about termination. They did an ultrasound every 1 hr and vitals. If I got up to urinate water would come out again. I don’t recall how long I was in the hospital or on bed rest but they induced me on his due date of Oct 23 and he was 8 lbs 10. oz.
I don’t pray but I always have hope. I kept a positive outlook and tuned out all tbe bad things that could happen. I was not goig to worry about what could happen. My bag it seal bad up.I think I am in the .05% but hey I made it and so can you. Wishing u all tbe best.
Quaneka Clarke says
Hey all these stories are giving me hope right now I’m 19 weeks and my water broke to where I’m leaking water I’m on bed rest for the remaining of my pregnancy. I’m doing everything the doctors is telling me to do and that’s rest and drink plenty of water and I’m down to once a week doctors visit. I really thought I lost my baby on the OR table. But GOD . I’m home now and have to return to the hospital at 24 weeks.
Rebecca Whitccombe says
I am so opposite this story….. I pPrommed at 15 weeks. Same grim scenerio. They never told me to terminate but the doom and gloom speeches came the same as hers. If I made it till viability that would be something, if I made it till 27 weeks that would be great. I didn’t really put myself on bedrest. I still did stuff but took it easy. I grocery shopped but had the family bring it in, stuff like that. I didn’t have the luxury to have outside family help. At 24 weeks I cried that I couldn’t go into the hospital. I didn’t have the support at home and with the holidays coming I couldn’t .. Surprisingly I made it to 38 weeks. Almost unheard of with this and definitely not following doctors orders of hospital bedrest. But I knew I would be less stressed at home and felt it would be better for both of us. Outside of IUGR and Clubbed feet he was fine. He tends to be a late bloomer but is geting there.
Did he stay in the hospital after birth ??
Could you feel your baby move? I Prom at 20 weeks I stop feeling my baby at 21 week fluid is too low. What other issues did you have?
Gemma Alexander says
Hi , I am wondering the same. My waters broke at 18 weeks I am currently 21 and always being asked of babies movements but still have not felt anything. Baby being my first I’m so unsure what to feel is baby movement xxx
Hi,how is the situation now with you?I ppromed yesterday,so now I am admmitted to hospital and trying to get some hope and out of despair.I also did not clearly feel the movements in the weeks you are now.
Susi wood says
I beleive your baby must be born by now. How dis it go ?how are you and how is yiur baby ? Have u both manage to be ok ?
I hope his little angel have taken care and both well teuly well and health.
My daighyer is in exactly the same situation as you . Her wayer has broken and she is at 18 weeks.
I pray for both to be all and all goes fine and baby be steong and healthy.
Thank you for this hope. I PPROM’d last week at almost 17 weeks. We’re taking it a day at a time, and holding out hope.
How did your experience go? I pprom’d 6 days ago at 17 weeks and 6 days. I’m so scared.
My waters broke at 16w 4 and I was kept in hospital. I was given all the doom and gloom and then finally told there might be some hope as I had nearly reached the 48hour mark. I prayed so much, drank so much water but it wasn’t meant to be. I went into labor and lost my boy at 16w6.
My wife pprom’d at 16 weeks , she did not go into labor right away and the MFM doctor told us to make something good come out of the situation and donate our sons organs. We chose to have hope. My wife was sent home until 20 weeks then we went back to hospital. To continue bed rest and she carried him till 30 weeks . There is much more I could fill in here but he is now a very healthy 4 year old energetic boy. No oxygen tanks and can outrun me any day of the week!
I PROM’d this morning at 20weeks I am praying hard to havey baby boy, you story has inspired me.
I prom at 15 weeks i am so scared. I go to the bathroom and have light bleeding and some very small clots and fear for the worst.but I keep hope when I read these stories. I hope for a miracle too.
I’m with you mama! Same thing happened to me yesterday – 15 weeks. Terrified.
How are you now n your baby??
Thank you for sharing this. Water broke at 17 weeks and have been on bed rest for 2 weeks now. We are praying for our miracle. Helps to know I’m not doing all of this in vain when I read stories like this.
Great let’s keep in prayer as we wait upon our miracle babies
I pprom’d at 20 weeks and leaking has really subsided since bed rest and baby has lots of amniotic fluid and moving so I know God’s hand is in all this. The gloom and doom I no longer listen to as I’m at home and praying has given me so much hope and silenced the fear. So grateful to have stumbled on your page.
This has just happened to me at 14 weeks. I have been told to consider a “termination” but it feels so wrong to me knowing its still fighting to live inside me. I’m so torn what to do and I keep crying as I have been told by professions that “the prognosis is not good” I am lost and I am scared.
Im crying reading your comment. Same thing happened to me at 14 weeks… My baby is fighting for life inside me.. may God help u n me n all.
Amen, let us keep hope alive. I was also given the not-good prognosis, coupled with a not-so-supportive husband. If God has kept the baby past the 48-hour mark, I believe he will come through for us. Let’s stay strong.
Mine happened just last week at 17weeks. I am currently on an Indefinite bed rest at the hospital.. it’s very depressing(I have been through phases of mental breakdown) to hear the feedback of various consultants. It’s very encouraging to read your stories and positive mindset of keeping hope alive.
I know it’s been several months since you published, I hope all went well eventually.
What was your outcome
I hardly write personal stuff on the internet, but going through PROM twice alongside a painful fibroid necrosis, I find myself looking for inspiration, and so thank you for sharing, and I’ll keep trusting GOD for a miracle for myself and my little baby boy. I had PROM around 17 weeks alongside pain from a large degenerating fibroid (as a large as 5months foetus); after two weeks of intense pain, I was relieved, and my water breaking did not get me into labour. At 22 weeks, while having lunch in bed, my water broke again, this time losing even more water than the previous. It’s been a week and two days, since I’ve in bed rest at the hospital, after being told to wait for labour or otherwise to get to the viable 24 weeks to give my baby a chance of survival should he come soon. Today we are 23weeks and 2days, I have begun to appreciate days more in this difficult period. I get anxious occasionally, but the peace that comes from God, support from my family and a few close friends, and stories like yours, have been my strength.
I am experiencing this as we speak, I am 18 weeks and 4 days I lost some of my water 3 days ago and the rest 2 days ago, my level is so low and doctors doom and gloom have really gotten to me, I can feel her moving through the night and a lot this morning, but my question is, is I am having a lot of pressure in my bottom, and I haven’t been able to empty my bowels for 4 days and I still can’t seem to let it out, advice on going or what will happen if I don’t I am unsure told the doctors this so many times for told I will get given laxatives but no left and ignored whilst on the ward, I’m currently on bed rest, just hoping my little miracle pulls through this, praying
I PPROM at 16w. I didnt know it at the time since it is my first pregnancy. I went to labor and delivery because i was in a car accident and thats when the leaking started. Labor and delivery said nothing was wrong no leaks all test were negative. They told me it was just discharge. I went home the same day. Next day had leaking again, but assumed it was just normal discharge. Weeks past by again still same thing. Told my OBGYN he did a swab. Still nothing. Checked babies heart rate he said he was fine. Haven’t had an ultrasound since i went to labor and delivery weeks ago. I knew something was wrong because i never felt him move and i was worried. So finally i had an ultrasound done yesterday and saw he had only just a little fluid in his sac. Im 20weeks 3 days now. He seemed so cramped. I felt so bad. They will be admitting me in the hospital when i become 24 weeks. I definitely prayed about it. Im big on prayer and support. Im very scared and i just feel so helpless all i can do is pray and talk to him and tell him that mommy is here im fighting this fight with you. Pray i make it to 30w and high with no extreme complications or any at all (not sure if thats possible) but thats what im hoping. Reading you all stories felt amazing and definitely helped me feel more relaxed. This is the worst for mom and baby. Thanks for sharing your stories you all are truly a blessing.
I prom’d at 16+6 but it was a very slow leak and for 3 weeks the doctor assumed it was discharge or fluid from previous miscarriage (I’d had quads and lost two at 12 weeks). I had a big gush last week and was admitted to hospital. Twins still ok and fluid has lessened. I’m 20+5 now. Trying to stay as still as possible and keep my head together. Nothing I wouldn’t do for my boys.
My water just broke this morning – I am 19 weeks and 1 day. I am currently having to wait at home until I am 22 weeks. My partner and I are trying to stay hopeful. I’m reading case studies on babies who survive PPROM and lead healthy lives. And stories like this as well. Thank you so much for sharing your hope.
I PPROM at 24w 2days… currently in the hospital praying for more time. I’ve been here for 3days now. Still leaking fluid but no signs of labor yet. Reading these stories are really giving me hope. I know it’s all in Gods hands, we just wait now.
I promm’d at 16 weeks and was asked if I really wanted to spend more money on that baby. I went for a 3D scan at 20weeks and there were no fetal abnormalities but I had placenta previa. I bleed once in a while, drink lots of water and pray. My family is very supportive. I have refused to terminate the pregnancy. Iam at home on bed rest and taking plenty of oral fluids and beets to boost my Hb and amniotic fluid volume. Iam a nurse myself and I know what science says about my condition but I also believe in the existence of a creator. Since we have no fetal abnormalities yet, iam hopeful and more determined to keep him. We have named him Jasper. I can’t feel him move being a 1st time mother but I talk to him everyday and assure him that my God Jehovah will see us thru. He may not fully understand but he can recognise voices. I still get overwhelmed though and cry which is normal. Praying for all mothers in the same boat and our babies. For those who have lost the battle, iam so sorry
This story has given me so much hope I’m going through the same thing and I can just imagine the pain you went through and nervousness. I pray my baby boy makes it and his lungs develop.