Originally Posted by KittyKat
If a pelvic exam is done, and I am not dilated or effaced, the temptation is to feel discouraged, because "nothing is happening" despite the fact that rationally I KNOW my current level of dilation has no bearing on when labor might start. If I am dilated/effaced, and I start having some of my usual prodromal contractions, I am more likely to think "This is IT! I'm already dilated so much... this must be doing something!" and then disappointed when it all stops again, just like it did the last time. Duh. And then again disappointed when the next week show I'm no more dilated, or barely, than the last week.
Yeah, I like that!
Last night, DH and I were trying to decide whether to get some gloves so he can check my dilation before we go to the hospital (he used to be an OB). We finally came to the conclusion that it really wouldn't tell us as much as my own feelings and reactions to the labor would tell us. And focusing on those things keeps the focus where it should be, not on some objectively measurable, "scientific" sign. Doctors can get so preoccupied with the measurements, they lose track of the mama.
As for the dangers of a doppler, I am willing to risk them during active labor for two reasons: 1) because the baby isn't moving enough to tell us s/he's okay; and 2) measurement of the baby's heartbeat is instructive (to a certain degree, taken together with other things) and there is something that can be done if that particular measurement indicates trouble.
Doppler in pregnancy is more of a luxury, I think. Baby kicks so often, there is no doubt her/his heart is beating.
I'd love to learn how to use a fetoscope, though, and to promote its continued use! That's neat.
Kam, mamamama! to Meg and one more due in March