Cervix is not ripe? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 11 Old 02-03-2010, 05:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am just so sad about this. My whole pregnancy has been great and at my last dr. appt my doc said, "Your cervix is still hard, closed. It is not at all ripe." Does this mean that it will never get ripe? How do you get it soft? So many other women in my DDC seem to have dilated 2, 3cm and have soft cervixes. I feel like i am doing something wrong.

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#2 of 11 Old 02-03-2010, 06:41 AM
 
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It will soften up as your body prepares for labor - you're just not there yet but it doesn't *mean* anything. Remember, 40 weeks is an ESTIMATE you could still have 2 more weeks to go. If it makes you feel any better, ay 40 weeks with dd3 I was 3cm, 41 weeks, 4+cm. At officially 41w5d I was 5cm BEFORE LABOR STARTED. So, a soft ripe cervex doesn't mean anything

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#3 of 11 Old 02-03-2010, 06:50 AM
 
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My cervix was "ripening" for nearly a MONTH before i finally went into labour at 41+4, and even then i had 12 hours of ctx with no changes to my cervix at all, and yet when my active labour began i dilated 2-10 in 84mins and got her out in 5, literally, it's what they wrote on my labour notes and everything

Your cervix's job is to keep your baby safe and sound and in your uterus until it's ready to be born. Until then your baby will be telling it not to open. You don't see a whole lot of women going around 58 years pregnant right? Because ALL cervices, given the chance, eventually ripen and open. It not being ripe right now means zip.
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#4 of 11 Old 02-03-2010, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess I just got nervous when I feel like everyone else is dilated and the way he said it made me think I SHOULD be dilated! My mom always went 6-14 days past her EDD. I just really do not want a C-section and what if it never dilates!? I know that is ridiculous but I am sure it has happened to someone. As for exercise-- is walking better then say doing the elipitcal or stationary bike??

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#5 of 11 Old 02-03-2010, 10:04 AM
 
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Really, if it had happened to someone you would know at least one grandma who was still pregnant. C-sections only became safe enough to be a viable option over labour in about the 1950's. Before then it was much more life-and-death.

Bear in mind that for me i WAS dilating and i still went 11 days over. I have a friend who just had #3, she was dilated to 4 at 36 weeks and just had her baby at 42+4! Your Ob is LOOKING for problems, because it's his job to solve them if they occur. This isn't a problem. If you'd been posting this after 36 hours of relentless, painful, strong contractions i would wonder if there was something going on (even then, most likely is fear, which inhibits the dilation of all sphincters, or an induction done before your body was ready to deliver). But now? No, your cervix sounds completely normal. As for him saying it like you SHOULD be doing it now, well it's possible he never meant you to think that at all, and it's possible he DID mean you to think that (though probably not very consciously) purely because he knows a drug he can use to make you dilate. It's a bit like a beauty cream ad drawing attention to wrinkles - normal, everyone has them, suddenly presented as a problem so you'll buy into the "solution", the wrinkle cream. He has a solution to non-dilation, even if non-dilation in your case isn't a sign of a problem.

It is really super common to have these thoughts at the end of pregnancy - i know i did! By 41 weeks i had decided i was NEVER going to give birth at all. And she eventually did come out In retrospect i think my kind of irrational anxieties about that were the beginning of the emotional changes which heralded labour. So hang in there!

In terms of exercise at your stage i would be walking because the motion of it bounces the baby up and down on the cervix, which WHEN it is ready to begin to soften, will help it to do so. Also because walking involves getting out and about which i think is better for mind and soul than stationary exercise - my preference only!
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#6 of 11 Old 02-03-2010, 11:26 AM
 
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Part of it could be that it's your first--don't worry. It will soften and dilate when the baby is ready to come.

With DS1, I had to be induced, and my cervix was not dilated at all. I was worried about ending up with a c-section, so I went to an acupuncturist. She gave me one treatment like 2 days before my induction, and I had dilated to 2-3 cms after that. I think it saved me from a c-section, to be honest.

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#7 of 11 Old 02-03-2010, 11:33 AM
 
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I'm one of those ladies whose cervix doesn't do anything until labor starts, too. I have braxton hicks contractions beginning in the first trimester. By the third trimester, they even get really strong and frequently uncomfortable. But they don't do anything until I'm actually laboring. I know this because with my last child (my second pregnancy), my midwife wanted to strip my membranes (my blood pressure was high, so it was a reasonable request) two days before I went into (natural unstimulated) labor, but she couldn't because my cervix was still firm, closed, and posterior. ETA: That birth was thirteen hours from the very first twinge of a contraction until she was born (the same length as my first birth), so not really very long when it comes down to it, considering it wasn't augmented and I was starting from zero.

Anyway, something you should keep in mind is that you should be very hesitant to consent to a pitocin-only induction if you know your cervix isn't ripened. There is a scale that can be used to determine the likelihood that it will be successful (can't remember exactly what it is called), and the less ripe you are, the less likely it is that pitocin will successfully cause labor to progress (instead, it just causes painful but ineffective contractions). If there is a good reason for you to be induced, you would really want to read up on prostaglandin induction before you and your provider make any decisions on how to proceed.

I understand the fear that your cervix isn't going to do it's job. Based on the number of women who get pregnant and give birth every year, it might be a slightly irrational fear, but it is YOUR fear, nonetheless. Try to do some guided relaxation and imagine your cervix getting soft and opening up like a flower. If your mind can see it, it WILL happen (even though it may not happen exactly *when* you want it to). And then as a very last resort, remember that even if for some reason your cervix doesn't ripen and dilate on its own, it doesn't necessarily mean a C Section. There are chemical and manual means of dilating a cervix if it comes to that.
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#8 of 11 Old 02-03-2010, 12:59 PM
 
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FWIW
I "ripen" very little before my water breaks. Then I go fast. Typically the 3-10cm happens in the 1hour before birth. Longest labor7.5 hours, shortest 2.5hours. I am not your your textbook cervix or laborer. Don't stress.

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#9 of 11 Old 02-03-2010, 01:48 PM
 
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I was 0cm dilated and 0% effaced 24 hours before my daughter was born.
Not dialating before labor is common with first time moms.

Dilation before labor is NOT an accurate predictor of when labor will start.
That is exactly why many moms on this board refuse routine cervical checks at 38, 39, 40, 41 weeks. Those checks don't really tell you much.
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#10 of 11 Old 02-03-2010, 02:44 PM
 
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I had my first (and only) internal exam done 2 days before my due date during my last pregnancy. My OB said the same thing, hard, closed, long, etc and scheduled me for a NST in a weeks time. I felt really discouraged and thought I would be going over due for sure but I went into labour on my due date-just 2 days later!!
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#11 of 11 Old 02-03-2010, 03:48 PM
 
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Here, read this, it may make you feel better.

Cervical exams: who needs them?
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