This is from a fabulous archived site that has collected a whole heap of midwifery wisdom. I love this story of a woman whose waters broke at 22 weeks, and the medical response verses her response to this situation. She gave birth at 35 weeks 6 days. That’s nearly 14 weeks with her waters breaking.
I have only run into this [forestalling preterm labour] one time. Most on the list know the story. A woman with a confirmed rupture at 22 weeks. Initially we referred her out.
The neonatologist wanted to “evacuate her uterus”. Our official back up was willing to let her go home and wait for “the inevitable”. She went home despite the horror stories of the neonatologist. We agreed to a “house arrest” for the duration of the pregnancy. I agreed to see her at her home once a week and she agreed to monitor her own vitals. She worked very hard on her diet and nutrition issues. She did extra [vitamin] C and a variety of herbs to strengthen and tone. There were no vag exams. She had a bout of rhythmic contractions at 28 weeks. She drank a dose of Jagermeister and took a valerian/skullcap/hops combo tincture and meditated
Eventually the contractions stopped. It was an uphill battle from that point with a body pretty determined to end the pregnancy and a mother determined not to. She continued to leak clear fluid daily which she checked with nitrazine at home and got repeatedly positive results. She had 3 more bouts of strong contractions stopped the same way. At 34 weeks she was confirmed to be dilating with her contractions (used Dr. Greg White’s antiseptic vag exam technique).. so she doubled the doses and tried really hard to keep them at bay. She carried to 35 weeks and 6 days…with no s/s of infection. She gave birth to a 5 lb 8oz boy at that time who is fine and healthy today.
The choice to stay home was hers. It was very outside the norm for us. I believe the herbs helped her. I also think staying home and avoiding exams increased her odds. But the most powerful thing to me was her own sheer determination and belief that she could do it. . This is not a choice for just anyone. But I would do it again for someone similarly motivated and dedicated to it.
If I ever have a PROM again, as long as there was no sign of infection, no meconium in the waters and my ‘gut’ isn’t telling me anything is wrong, I feel I should be fine to wait it out until contractions start. As I was told, the vagina is not a ‘straw’ that the uterus sucks things up through! And as long as I don’t douche, or let anything up there, and let the waters constantly ‘flush things out’ I should be fine.