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Multiparous moms: how far dilated were you prior to active labor?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

With my second pregnancy I was 5+cm dilated prior to active labor starting.  I remember being shocked I was so far along for days and not already in labor.  When labor started, it was 5 hours- much shorter than my first, which was 20 hours. This is my third pregnancy and I've 6+cm dilated for almost a week and still no baby (I'm 40w3d).  I've been having more frequent contractions for days and I can only imagine I must be nearly 7 or 8cm by now (I'm seeing my mw today and I will check).


So I would love to hear from other moms who have had more than one pregnancy and how far dilated you were prior to active labor and then how long your labor was once things finally got going. 


Anyone out there dilate fully without ever being "in labor?"  Just one day you felt the urge to push and out came baby? I'm very curious!!!

post #2 of 16

I do not dilate or efface before labor. My first three labors (39+3, 40+1, 39) were 12 hours. My last baby was born at 38 weeks and my labor was 8 hours. I checked my cervix daily with all my babies and no changes until I was in labor. smile.gif

post #3 of 16

I've only checked a couple times over my various pgs, it has never been an interest of mine! With my first I was 3 cm a week before going into labor so no idea on what I was right before labor. I had been a 2 at 36 weeks so I guess I start to dilate earlier. That was a 19 hour labor. With my 2nd I never checked but did lose my first mucous plug at 24ish weeks so I knew I was starting to dilate then. That labor was 8 hours. With #3 I never checked but had a 4 hour labor so I am guessing I was dilated some previously. For #4 I checked sometime in the beginning of the summer, he was a late July baby and thought I was 2-3. 

post #4 of 16


post #5 of 16

With my first I was 1cm for a couple of weeks, was induced & laboured for 11 hours. With my second I was 3-4cm dilated for 8 weeks, was induced & laboured for 24 hours (plus 3 weeks of prodromal labour).

post #6 of 16
Originally Posted by josie423 View Post

I do not dilate or efface before labor. 

yeahthat.gif my active labors have all been 4ish hrs (i.e. 0 to baby in 4 hrs)

post #7 of 16

Yeah, no dilation here either.  Zip, zilch, nada.  Labors 3-4 hours-ish.  In fact, I have all those "prelabor contractions" and no change at all.  Not even a bit of effacement.  The only way I can tell prelabor from labor is to check.  When things start changing, I know it's the real deal. 

post #8 of 16

With my first there was not a hint of progress before the induction.  It took about 33 hours to fully dialate  (baby wasn't ready, duh!) 


  WIth my 2nd, I was 5cm, stretchy to 7cm about a week before I went into active labor.   That last week was torture, lol.  My labor was about 4.5 hours, first vbac. 

My 3rd I think there was some scarring on my cervix so one side was more squishy and stretchy and the other side was rigged and still firm/hard.  The entire opening I'd say was around 5cm the day before I had him.  The day I gave birth,  I labored for a good 10 hours not fully in "labor" but more of a slow and crampy prelabor.  I was shopping all day and didn't realize I was in active labor I guess (things just seemed so much like all the prodomal labor I had for a few weeks). The second I got home I got in the bath and then they baby came about an hour later.  So I don't know what I was before we got home, but the day before I was about a 5.  

Edited by Everlong753 - 12/4/11 at 1:35am
post #9 of 16

No dilatation pre Induction here, cervix slightly open, but only a fingertip. Labour to birth took around an hour.

post #10 of 16

i haven't been dilated or effaced before labour either time... but i efface and go from 0-5 in a few hours, 5-10 in an hour...

post #11 of 16

I'll only reply with the babies I remember :-)


Baby #2 I was 2cm when my water broke. Labor didn't start. Augmented after several hours. Baby arrived about 2 hours after augmentation.


Baby #3 I was 4 cm and 9 days overdue. Total labor was 2.5 hours.


Baby 4 I was 2ish cm, repeat of what happened with baby 2

Baby 5 same as 4

Baby 6, I was 3cm. Wound up with a c section due to baby's position in active labor.

post #12 of 16

I don't think I was dilated at all.  I don't know cause I wasn't really paying attention.  all I know is that I didn't feel lots of BH contractions.


1. 1st baby, really long labor 29 hours.  Pushing 1 hour.  It was a home birth.  I don't think he was ready but we self induced with sex.  I think he was turned the wrong way.  Plus, I didn't really know how to push and didn't have an urge anyway.  He was only like 2 or 3 days overdue, but the midwife said he looked like he'd been there much longer.


2.  Second baby took FOREVER.  Still not convinced that she was in  there as long as we thought.  We tried everything, but what she needed was time.  No dilation at all.  When the contractions started, it was four hours till birth.  That's what I call ready!


post #13 of 16

After a failed induction, I was dilated to 4cm, but it wasn't natural, so I didn't go into labor. I was at 4 until they broke my water and had my daughter 3 hours later.

post #14 of 16

With all three kids I was dilated and effaced for weeks.  3-4cm and 75% seems to be pretty normal for me to hang out at (and I was so proud that I correctly assessed my dilation and effacement myself last time!).  My labors were all different. Baby 1 was 12 hrs of intense labor (prob bc I was scared!), baby 2 was 4 short easy hours, and baby 3 was 12ish hours, 10 of which were easy and 2 intense.


OP, I hope you've have your baby by now!  If you're 6+ before active labor...it's likely to be a fast wild ride!  

post #15 of 16

No dilation at all prior to labor with #2. Water broke. 12 hours went into labor for 2 hours and baby was born. Fast and furious


I do have a good friend with four kids who dilated to 3,5,5 cm before going to labor with both kids. She tends to agree that her labors are "pretty easy."

post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the input ladies!  As it turned out, I was still 6cm when I went into labor and proceeded to have a very long and difficult 24 hour labor where things were simply not progressing as they had in my first two labors.  Though baby was OA, his head was slightly cocked, pinching the cervix and not allowing it to move or open normally.  My midwife thinks that things would have eventually worked out, but it could have been another 24 hours later.  Instead, I opted to have her help me.  She had to manually move and open the cervix during several contractions to finally get baby's head lined up correctly.  Each time she did it, I dilated more and more- 8, 9, and finally 10.  Excruciating, but it worked and baby came flying out in a matter of seconds after he was properly positioned and could get through the cervix.  It was so frustrating and disappointing, but I am thrilled that I was able to have a home birth despite this complication.  I feel pretty certain that if I had been in a hospital or even birth center that I would have ended up with a c-section.


So, once again the third baby wild card!  Positioning affects everything SO much!

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