I don't know if I'm dilating or effaced at all. Like many of you, my midwife doesn't do checks unless asked. I still have to be 37 weeks to have my homebirth, and that isn't until Sunday. I have DD's dance recital to go to this weekend, and then my parents are going out of town for a few days the following week. Mom actually said that I had to wait until she got back before I had the baby, but then also has said that she would turn the car around if I do have the baby while she's out of town. But the reason they're going out of town is for important dr.'s appointments for her. Plus things are really strained right now between my parents and I. It's not like my parents are going to be at the birth or anything, but I feel like if I have the baby while they're out of town then I will literally get blamed for orchestrating the birth to interfere with their lives. I don't want Mom to miss her appointments, and I honestly don't feel like it's a huge deal for them to wait to see the baby until they make sure her health is taken care of. But, they don't see it that way. I honestly believe that I will make it to 38 weeks at least, but I just don't like the threat of "being in trouble" for having my baby. It's ridiculous.
I have been having contractions off and on for weeks now though. Like a few of you, I worry that I won't know when it's a "real" contraction. With the midwife being more than 3 hours away, it makes that worry grow bigger. She (the midwife) told me at my last appointment that if contractions grow closer together, are stronger, and remain consistent for an hour then I should call. She said not to worry if there's a couple of false starts. She'd rather be on the way and have to turn around and go back home than have me worry about calling for too long and then have her not make it. DH has been reading Emergency Childbirth just in case.
Also, we both read the Bradley Method book where it mentions the emotional signposts of labor. I thought that the Birth Partner book did a good job of explaining the stages of labor, but the Bradley Method did even better. In the Bradley Method the first stage is excitement like "Whoa! That was a REAL contraction! This is happening yay!" The second stage is seriousness, where you have to focus and concentrate during each contraction, and you have to start using your breathing techniques or whatever you have practiced to get through them. The third stage is self-doubt, usually during transition where you don't know how to answer what you want or even if you can do this. Obviously this is just a simplified explanation, but hopefully you guys get the idea.