i actually checked myself last night and am very ripe, about 2cm (all the way through), and maybe about 50% effaced or so. i delivered my first at 37 weeks exactly and after 4 hours of active labor. i am 34 weeks as of yeterday. i feel like my body is gearing up, but i don't know that i'll go early this time, and i'm trying not to worry too much about it.
i guess i would suggest trying not to worry, talking to your baby and asking him/her to come not before a certain day, and just generally take it easy. if your body doesn't have all the right receptors to catalyze labor, it's not going to happen, even if you're walking around at 5 cm. also, remember that just b/c some mamas go early with their first, it doesn't mean they will go early with their 2nd, even if the cervical changes are happening early.
: for a baby to stay in a little longer!!