My Waters Broke In Clarks

My Waters Broke In Clarks

I have been meaning to write this post for a while but I just couldn’t come up with the right title.  After months of debate I have decided to call it exactly as it is.  Yes, my waters broke in Clarks.  Clarks at Cheshire Oaks to be precise.  Right in front of where the children sit to have their feet measured in fact.  It is a day that I will always remember, but for reasons that make me smile and shudder in equal measure.

You see, giving birth in Clarks was never part of my birthing plan. Not that I have anything against Clarks.  Being caught out in public at all was generally not part of the plan.  And yet the day had started off so well.  I had 10 days to go until my due date, I had left work, the sun was shining and I was busy nesting.  I had taken my time getting ready, met a friend for lunch, and then driven over to Cheshire Oaks with my Mum to pick up a delivery of bedding from Mamas and Papas.  Clarks is close-by and Mum has never been able to walk past one without nipping in to find a bargain.  Even when we were young and money was tight we always had Clarks shoes for school – whether we wanted them or not.  Normally they are pretty unremarkable occasions, but this particular day baby H had other ideas.

Mum had raced off down one aisle whilst I wandered off down another.  I wasn’t really looking at anything in particular, my feet were so swollen that only flip-flops fitted me.  As I sashayed down the aisle in my maxi dress I became aware of the fabric sticking to my legs.  As I slowly looked down I noticed a stream of water down my front and “water” starting to pool around my feet.  I looked up and met the eyes of a woman having her daughters feet measured.  In absolute silence I very slowly looked down again, trying to make sense of what was happening.  When I looked up she was right in front of me – eyeballing me – and calmly asking me if I was with anyone.  Whilst she set off to find my mum I sat down hoping to cover what was now quite a substantial puddle with my maxi dress, warning others not to slip on….well what do you call it??  A puddle? Water? Bodily fluids?

Where was the warning?  Where was the “pop”?  I had read that the likelihood of a “gush” was rare.  Typically it was happening to me!  Surely I couldn’t be about to give birth in Clarks!?!?  I summoned a staff member over and in a hushed voice let them know what was happening.  My attempts to keep things low-key were blown out of the water when she shrieked at mega decibels “OH MY GOD THIS NEVER HAPPENS”.  And then my mum turned up realised what was happening and shouted “JESUS CHRIST” at the top of her voice so that if people hadn’t realised there was anything going on, then they did now.  Quite a crowd was gathering.

By this time I was without doubt the calmest person in the shop.  The next sequence of events took place in almost a dreamlike manner.  Something I have never experienced before or since.  I asked to use the toilet, believing that if I went to the toilet it would stop – yes, yes I now know how ridiculous this sounds but all of this was new to me.  I left a trail across the shop as I tried and failed to use my dress as a sponge, and was guided through the store room and past the staff room where the male staff were on break.  I can still see them shuffling around trying not to meet my eye, and considering whether they still had an appetite left to finish off their butties.

I sat on the loo for what seemed like an uncomfortably long time – but was probably only minutes – as I tried to hatch a plan of action of how to get home quickly, and also how to exit the shop in a stealth like manner so as not to attract any more attention.  Tissues just weren’t stemming the flow.  By this time my dress was drenched and so I asked for some plastic bags to sit on for in the car as I didn’t want to ruin the cloth interior.  Practical hey.  I was expecting a couple of 5p carrier bags, so perhaps this is a measure of how bad I was, as they handed me the industrial plastic wrapping that goes around crates of shoes when they get delivered!

And with that I was ready to take my leave.  Well, nearly ready.  Because whilst I was on the toilet another thought had popped in to my head….I mean lets cut to the chase as it is what you are wondering isn’t it……did I get any free shoes?  Disappointingly as it turns out the answer was no.   I wasn’t entitled to a thing.  But a very well informed and cheery assistant (irritatingly so) did let me know that if I wandered down to Sainsbury’s I could claim they had broken there and be entitled to nappies for a year.  Clearly said by someone who had never been in my predicament!

And with that I was on my way – home that is, not to Sainsbury’s – and the rest they say is history.

My LIttle Cheeky Monkey


Harry’s Honest Mummy x

Hot Pink Wellingtons


  1. mummyofboygirltwins
    October 3, 2015 / 3:13 pm

    SO exciting! How scary and yet what a great tale to tell! Glad all was well. Mine broke in hospital so very boring in comparison! Love your story better 🙂 Jess xx

    • October 3, 2015 / 6:12 pm

      Thank you. I laugh everytime I am asked to recall it. Yet at the time I was dying with embarrassment! It was just such a surreal moment 😊

  2. Emma
    October 4, 2015 / 7:01 pm

    Oh my goodness! At least you didn’t actually give birth there though! I was terrified of something like that happening when I was pregnant with my daughter, but I ended up going two weeks overdue anyway! xx

    • October 5, 2015 / 6:29 pm

      If you knew me, you would have bet on it happening to me 🙂

  3. Kirsten Toyne
    October 5, 2015 / 2:51 pm

    How dramatic. My waters broke like that with no warning, sound but vast quantities of liquid, but boringly they did it whilst I was in hospital waiting to be induced (Good timing). What a great story to tell your son when he is older. Mine love stories of when they were born or babies. In fact the ones where they cause me lots of problems are the ones they enjoy the most. Great post. You should have got one pair of shoes!!! Kirsten

    • October 5, 2015 / 6:31 pm

      I’m still working on the shoe thing…. 🙂 Thanks for reading.

    • November 16, 2015 / 8:43 pm

      Thought you might like an update….The PR company for Clarks got in touch today and a voucher for some shoes is in the post. Yippppeeee!

  4. Azaria
    October 5, 2015 / 7:18 pm

    oh that was my worst fear. I can only imagine what it was like. My waters broke at 4am as I got into bed having just been to the loo. I thought I had wet myself. I did manage to leave a massive puddle on the floor of our bedroom. My husband had no idea what to do.

    being Mrs Lynch

    • October 6, 2015 / 4:59 pm

      Your husband is not alone – I had a shop full of women far too excited to be helpful hahaha

  5. Lisa (@backsnbumps)
    October 5, 2015 / 8:20 pm

    Wow what a story to tell Harry when he grows up. Glad that you made it home OK and well done for staying so calm I don’t think I would have been able to. In the back of my mind I’m wondering whether I should start hanging out in Sainsbury’s or John Lewis everyday as my due date approaches! #mummymonday

    • October 6, 2015 / 5:55 pm

      OOoo I’d pick John Lewis, but with my practical head on I’d say Sainsbury’s 🙂 Best of luck.

  6. entertainingelliot
    October 5, 2015 / 8:21 pm

    Wow what a story!! I can just imagine the shame of everyone being nosy and looking at you, I cringed just reading it! #mummymonday

  7. mackenzieglanville
    October 6, 2015 / 4:06 am

    it is funny when you are pregnant you fear this happening and for most of us I guess it doesn’t happen, for you it was a different story! We always had clarks shoes too, my mum insisted that we had good shoes no matter what the bank account, I guess it paid off I do have nice feet lol, you should really get a lifetime supply of shoes I think! What a cheeky baby doing that to you. Just adored this post, so glad you shared it with me #mummyandus

  8. Catie
    October 6, 2015 / 3:55 pm

    What an amazing story and one you can bring out for years. It’s definitely one for the 21st speech and or wedding day. I think you were very calm! #twinklytuesday

    • October 6, 2015 / 6:04 pm

      You are right, I hadn’t thought of that. Great idea.

  9. Sarah
    October 6, 2015 / 5:41 pm

    Cannot believe you didn’t get free shoes! How soon after did your baby arrive? Great story 🙂 #MyFavouritePost

    • October 6, 2015 / 6:06 pm

      I was in hospital in a delivery room within 3 hours. Baby didn’t come until 18 hours after this event though as they had to slow him down. He has a big head and got stuck so I had an emergency caesarean in the end. Always a drama 🙂

  10. Jess Powell
    October 6, 2015 / 7:14 pm

    Now that is a birth story! Shame you didn’t get any shoes though – you’d think that would be a local paper worthy story (complete with a cheesy picture of the manager handing you said shoes) at the very least. 😀

    • October 8, 2015 / 8:06 pm

      Too right – never too late for a photo opportunity! 🙂

  11. Julia @ Rainbeaubelle
    October 8, 2015 / 7:34 pm

    Oh no what a nightmare! I know looking back it is pretty funny but I am cringing for you just reading this! Hee hee. I live near Cheshire Oaks too so know that Clarks! #twinklytuesday

    • October 8, 2015 / 8:12 pm

      Haha so you know how close by Sainsburys was to walk to. They even said I could use the exit at the back to get there as it would be quicker 🙂

  12. teachingmum81
    October 8, 2015 / 8:09 pm

    I can completely relate to this! My waters broke in Natwest Bank as I was paying some money into my account. It wasn’t a gush though. I paid my money in, walked quickly to the car, drove home, phoned my partner and baby was born two hours later! Everytime I go into the bank I tell the cashier my story! #brilliantblogposts

    • October 8, 2015 / 8:13 pm

      In an ideal world I would have got a pair of new shoes and you would get a swag bag of money! 🙂

  13. Lisa@intotheglade
    October 8, 2015 / 9:16 pm

    That is brilliant! I could of so easily been in there too, I can’t believe I missed it ha! That is such a great story to share with Harry. Have you been back since? Did you take the baby to see the staff afterwards?
    I can’t believe they didn’t give you some free shoes. Mine broke in the lift in the hospital and I thought that was dramatic but very boring in comparison xx

    • October 9, 2015 / 8:35 pm

      I’ve only been back to quickly run in and drop off a thank you card with his photo on. The speed at which I ran in and out again they probably didn’t even catch me on security camera! In fact, thinking about it, I’ve not been back to Cheshire Oaks since….. 🙂

  14. athomewithruth
    October 11, 2015 / 9:24 pm

    Oh wow! Mine went as I dug into the hot curry I cooked for tea as part of a determined effort to get my little one to arrive a week early so I wouldn’t be in hospital and miss Christmas. Bit complicated to explain to my toddler but not as bad as a bunch of strangers! Shame you weren’t in Mamas and Papas, I bet they give you some really good freebies if it happens there! x

  15. Sadia
    October 12, 2015 / 2:36 am

    Wow! What a story! I’m like you – entirely calm at the point of crisis (but I fall apart after the fact). Thanks for linking with #TwinklyTuesday.

    October 12, 2015 / 2:27 pm

    Wow! You are so calm and collected! May I say your mum is hilarious! Sorry about that. But at the time, probably not. Well done for keeping it all together. I never had to experience anything like this as my water did not break for both of my children until I was almost ready to give birth. Thanks for sharing – made me smile in a nicest possible way. xx #MyFavouritePost

    • October 13, 2015 / 5:10 pm

      Glad you liked it. Between us both I toned down what my Mum actually said. I can’t bring myself to repeat it haha (did I mention I had to drive home because she was too hysterical 😆 )

        October 13, 2015 / 5:21 pm

        Now that’s even more amazing! How do you do it? I don’t know… x

  17. mudpiefridays
    October 13, 2015 / 7:44 am

    I have no idea how I would have dealt with it, I think you did incredibly well!! Its a shame you don’t get their first pair of shoes for free or something as its not as if you ‘planned’ it!! 🙂 It will be a great story to tell when he’s older. xx #justanotherlinky

  18. Something Crunchy Mummy
    October 16, 2015 / 7:43 pm

    Popping back from #justanotherlinky xx

  19. lifeasprincesses
    October 16, 2015 / 9:52 pm

    Oh wow!!! Of all places. Bless.
    I’ve been induced twice with my girls so I’ve never experienced waters breaking on their own!
    Thank you for linking up with #justanotherlinky

  20. Mama Herself
    October 18, 2015 / 8:00 am

    OK, I am sorry, but that made me laugh. A lot. And I am a bit disappointed that you did not just ‘wander down to Sainsbury’s’. Still, I fully appreciate it was not a little disconcerting at the time. Hope the rest of the birth went smoothly.

  21. ERF Mama
    October 18, 2015 / 6:06 pm

    OH goodness me! 😀 What a fun story to read, though I can imagine you might not have found it so at the time hehe. Personally I have had a very similar experience though my waters broke when I was pregnant with my first child 3 weeks before due date, at a dog show. And that being the *biggest* dog show around our area…with my mother in the ring with the dog. lmao
    At least it wasn’t me in the ring right? :p
    I made quite the puddle and I did have a “gush” and a “plop” and the whole floor just went plash. Didn’t really help my appearance that I was wearing beige trousers either…. haha

    • October 24, 2015 / 8:24 pm

      Oh no!!!! My ONLY god send was my black maxi – dress. Thanks for reading x

  22. Mrs Tubbs
    October 18, 2015 / 8:26 pm

    Priceless! Now it’s a great story, but at the time it must have been quite grim and rather frightening. And no free shoes! #pocolo

  23. athomewiththeboys2015
    November 1, 2015 / 10:08 pm

    Am I allowed to laugh? You know, being a man that will never understand these things! Well, I laughed anyway although I can’t imagine it was funny at the time.

    With my Dads head on, I think I might have stopped at Sainsbury’s on the way home. A years supply of nappies, wow, what a saving. Had I known, I’d have taken my wife out to lunch every day, making sure she had the curry!

    In all seriousness, I’m glad it all worked out in the end. #KCACOLS

  24. min1980
    November 1, 2015 / 10:40 pm

    OMG what a nightmare! Great story though. Mine broke in hospital, THANK GOD as it was a flood and I completely freaked out.

    • November 2, 2015 / 8:43 pm

      I know, I wasn’t quite prepared for how much your body could store up! I obviously missed that biology lesson 🙂

  25. confessionsofanaggingmother
    November 2, 2015 / 9:12 am

    Wow what a story! I think i would have freaked out if it was me in that situation, you did so well to stay calm. And what a beautiful boy you have 🙂


    Gemma xx

  26. A Moment with Franca
    November 7, 2015 / 9:29 am

    Oh wow what a incredibly story Mel!! I’ve heard these things can happen but I know that you never think that it will happen to you right? To be honest you behaved pretty well!! I would’ve been completely scared and really nervous and probably shaking!! You were great!! This is definitely a story to tell to your children!! I love it!! Thanks so much for sharing this story at #KCACOLS. I really love reading your posts. I hope you can join me again tomorrow! 🙂 xx

    • November 8, 2015 / 9:35 pm

      Really glad you liked it. It was one of those moments where I thought “if I wrote it no-one would believe me”. And then it became the first thing I had to write about! Xx

  27. Laura's Lovely Blog
    November 7, 2015 / 9:35 am

    This is a brilliant story although I can understand being mortified at the time. I can’t believe Clarks didn’t give you anything – surely at least first pair of shoes free the meanies!

    • November 16, 2015 / 8:45 pm

      Thought you might like an update….The PR company for Clarks got in touch today and a voucher for some shoes is in the post. Yippppeeee! Now then, do I spend it on H or on me….. 🙂

      • Laura's Lovely Blog
        November 16, 2015 / 9:00 pm

        Brilliant the least they could do 🙂

  28. Laura Crichton
    November 8, 2015 / 10:01 pm

    Oh wow. I have to admit I started laughing at just the title. You describe it all so vividly it’s hard not to giggle a litte! My waters broke with my first whilst I was playing Nintendo wii with my step son and I had to call my husband who was on detention duty at school, but this time round they didn’t break until just before I gave birth! I had been determined to stay at home until they broke and was so glad I didn’t as I barely made it to the hospital!

    Hope the rest of your experience was less embarrassing for you!

    • November 10, 2015 / 7:26 am

      It sort of was. I eventuall let myself meltdown at the hospital. I became so irrational I threatened a dirty protest if they sent me home haha. By then I was too far gone so they had to keep me in! I don’t think it was as a result of my threat haha 🙂 xx

  29. Naomi Hassan
    November 10, 2017 / 12:37 am

    I cannot imagine what this was like. What a tale to be able to tell. #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Harry's Honest Mummy
      November 11, 2017 / 4:23 pm

      It certainly gets the conversation going 😁

  30. Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons
    November 14, 2017 / 7:17 pm

    What a story! Mine were broken in hospital the first time, and my second son was born in his waters, so despite worrying about this, I never had the exciting story to tell. I love how calm you were though, and how uncalm your mum was! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  31. Kim - Raising a Ragamuffin
    December 13, 2017 / 7:51 am

    I can’t even begin to imagine how you must have felt! I worked up until 37 weeks gone and in those last days my worst fear was that my water’s would break at work. Thankfully they didn’t!

    • Harry's Honest Mummy
      January 11, 2018 / 10:36 am

      That was my nightmare as well. I don’t think I would have gone back hahaha. Very brave of you.

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