I have my 38-week appointment with my midwife this afternoon. All along, I have been planning to avoid any sort of internal exam prior to labor because of the risk of infection or "stirring things up" and because it's my understanding that the information I would get doesn't necessarily mean anything (could walk around 3cm dilated for a long time, or could go from 1-5 cm in an hour). But I am SO curious! This is my first and I am getting antsy. I know that I could easily go 41 weeks so I probably shouldn't have an internal exam. What do you think?
Should I have a Cervical Check?
I had my 38 week appt today and got checked. 80% effaced and 1 cm dilated, which is great, but that's exactly where I was at my 36 week appt. I was excited about those numbers at 36 weeks, but I was expecting some kind of change since then. So now I kinda feel discouraged, even though I know better than to base anything on it.
Weigh your curiosity against the possible disappointment of no progress and then decide. I don't think I'm going to get checked again. This is my first as well, but based on myself being born early and my baby dropping at 34 weeks, plus my 36 week stats, I was still convinced babe was going to be early. Now I'm kind of frustrated about the lack of progress and trying to get used to the idea that I may still have a few weeks left.
I had it done. I was curious, and those sorts of exams don't really bother me. Some people feel really violated by them, but they aren't uncomfortable for me at all. I knew that no matter what we found - it didn't mean anything and not to get my hopes up at all. She also offered to strip my membranes but I declined.
I've never heard that a cervical check can cause any harm (but I could be totally wrong), so I think it depends on your own personal comfort level. I wanted to know simply because I like knowing what my body is up to and I couldn't reach around my own belly to do it myself. Again - I think it really helped that I knew the numbers meant nothing.
I decided not to have any checks for the reasons you listed, but now that I am past 40 weeks I am so curious. I want to try and check myself, just to see if it's softening or not. But I tried and couldn't even find my cervix! I've found it before, not pregnant, so I don't know why I can't find it this time. Everything is so misplaced in there right now, lol! Anyway, cervical checks have always been pretty painful for me, too, which is another reason I'm not letting anyone else do it. You could always wash your hands and try to check yourself - it may ease your curiosity!