Through the first 22 weeks of her pregnancy, Julia was incredibly fortunate. She never had to deal with morning sickness, and we had a healthy baby boy progressing right on schedule. We had picked up the crib and started to make progress toward arranging our baby room. Just a week earlier, we had decided on a name: Braden William Betts.
Then the bomb dropped. At 3:30 am on Wednesday October 28th, Julia woke me up with a look of terror. Her water had broken. We rushed to the hospital where they confirmed the diagnosis (Premature Rupture of Membranes [PROM]) and checked her into the hospital. She was 22 weeks and 5 days pregnant; Braden wasn't due until February 26th - 4 months away!
The next 12 hours were a whirlwind of information: descriptions of the condition, implications, statistics, etc. The scariest thing was the uncertainty. Julia could go into labor at any minute, in which case the odds would not be good for baby Braden. In the best case scenario, Braden would continue to grow in utero for as long as possible - up to week 34, at which point the OB would induce. The tradeoff: Julia would be on bed rest until delivery. If you did the math, the "best case scenario" was that Julia would be in the hospital on bed rest for 2.5 months! The biggest early risk was infection, as a primary function of the "bag of water" is to protect the baby and mother from bacteria. The first 48 hours would be critical.