2nd birth. Did you dialte ahead of time? - Mothering Forums
Birth and Beyond > 2nd birth. Did you dialte ahead of time?
firstlovesnbaby's Avatar firstlovesnbaby 12:37 PM 09-13-2005
I am on my second child. DS is almost 3. I am 36 weeks and have had braxton hicks for the past 5 weeks now. My midwife thinks I am probably dialating and said they would check at my next visit. I only want good news so.......should I get checked?

Did you dialte ahead of time with your 2nd child and did you have braxxton hicks alot with that?

Edited to add: If you did dialte ahead how long was your 2nd labors?

orangebird's Avatar orangebird 01:01 PM 09-13-2005
Nope. I never dialated before labor started. My 2nd birth I had BH contractions every 10 minutes from 17 weeks til delivery.
annakiss's Avatar annakiss 01:15 PM 09-13-2005
I don't know. I wasn't checked w/my 2nd baby, but I tried checking myself and couldn't reach my cervix, so I don't think I was dilated much if at all. With my first, I was dilated to 3 for like a week beforehand.
TiredX2's Avatar TiredX2 01:19 PM 09-13-2005
Not really.

With DS I had "BH" contractions every night like clockwork for a week around 37 weeks (actually like 36.5-37.5--- the first night I was like, "shit, I can't go early the midwife won't do a homebirth!").

Anyway, as 40 weeks came and went the midwife checked my cervix (they usually don't, but I was considering homeopathic intervention soon and she wanted to see if I was soft, etc...). Anyway, I was around a 2, which she easily stretched to a 3, but that was it. DS was born (according to early u/s) 41 w 2 d, (according to my *knowledge*) 40 w, 6 d.
stafl's Avatar stafl 01:22 PM 09-13-2005
no, I didn't start dilating until labor was well established. from start to finish, labor lasted three hours. I was having lots of BH, but not like the two LONG months of BH I had with DD1. There's really no reason to get checked. I requested it, just because I thought surely something had to be happening! It was very upsetting to know that I was not "progressing" even with all the signs of pre-labor or early labor or whatever it is when your body starts getting ready to give birth, and I thought my baby would be born a day or two later than she actually was! I suggest you not get checked, all it did was worry me. I might have actually had my doula there with me for the birth if I hadn't been checked and been told that I wasn't dilating yet.


If your water has broken or you have started leaking fluid, absolutely refuse any vaginal exams!

ETA - it was my second baby, but actually my first labor (cesarean with DD1 without ever really going into labor first)
MrsMoe's Avatar MrsMoe 01:46 PM 09-13-2005
With my first I dialted a few centimeters prior to labor. But I was getting "false" labor a lot and that was dialating me a bit.
thepeach80's Avatar thepeach80 02:29 PM 09-13-2005
I was 2cm at 34 wks this last time, but I had ptl so things were a bit different. Evan came on his own at 38.5 wks though w/ a 12 hr labor.
Undercover Hippie's Avatar Undercover Hippie 04:14 PM 09-13-2005
I did dilate more before my second labor. With my first I was barely 1 cm and 0% effaced at 41 weeks, 5 days when they began my induction. With my second, she dropped and engaged around 37 weeks and I was about 1-2 cm at that time (that's my estimate as I only did self-checks) and 2-3 cm by the time I went into labor at 41 weeks, 2 days. I had tons of BH in the last few months and lots of cervical pricklies and thigh twinges in those last weeks. Labor was a little less than 4 hours.

I'm not sure knowing your dilation really helps much, especially since hearing that you're not dilated yet can really be upsetting. You can walk around for weeks once you've begun dilating, or you can go from nothing to birth in a few hours. Self-checks were a nice compromise for me, it was exciting to feel that something was happening but since it wasn't official I didn't put too much stock in it either. :LOL
Artisan's Avatar Artisan 04:17 PM 09-13-2005
I was checked once, at 36 weeks, and was 1cm. Once active labor started, I had an exam and was 3cms, and had a 3.5 hour labor.

I would not get checked if I were in your shoes. You mentioned you only want good news, and in the vulnerable place you're in (as any woman in advanced pregnancy is in), there is really nothing to be gained from being checked. Either you aren't dilated (in which case you might feel discouraged), or you are (in which case you feel like you're making progress. Then starts the whole, "It could be soon! How many cms am I this week?" scenario. ) Even if you are dilated, it has little to do with when labor will start or how long it will be.

Skip it, I say!
crunchymomof2's Avatar crunchymomof2 05:23 PM 09-13-2005
With my first i was 3 cm for 3 weeks and ended up being induced 2 days before my edd. My labor was 18 hours and I fully dialated but had a c/s.

My second was a homebirth. I checked myself until 41 weeks when I asked to be checked. She was really low and i could feel her head about 2 inches inside and I dialated starting at 36 weeks I think. I was 1 cm for a week or so then 2 cm then I kinda stopped there but I got stretchier and effaced more. At 41 weeks I was 2 cm and stretched to 4 very easily and I was 50% effaced. I went into labor 2 days later. From start of labor to pushing was about 8.5 hours. Unfortunately that took about 2.5 more hours but that was my first time pushing a baby out and she had a hand up on her shoulder.

I checked for myself to really help me know my body was doing something. For me even if I didnt dialate it was nice to feel her head and to feel how soft and stretchy my cervix was getting.
fire_in_july's Avatar fire_in_july 05:32 PM 09-13-2005
I was dilated to 4 for over a month before going into labor with my first child.

With my second, I was dilated to 4 for at least 3 weeks before going into labor.

I agree that it really doesn't tell you anything to know. I spent all those weeks going "geez, I'm at 4, it should be ANY time now..." and just ended up waiting and waiting.

In answer to your other questions, I never had any contractions (Braxton-Hicks or otherwise) before my labors began. 1st labor was 5 1/2 hours, first contraction to birth, and second was 3 1/2 hours.

Last time they checked me in this pregnancy, I was only fingertip dilated, which made me nervous seeing as how early I started before, and now I am wanting them to check and check again! But I will refrain from any more exams, due to my GBS+ status.
MarcyC's Avatar MarcyC 05:37 PM 09-13-2005
I didn't with my second, but did with my 3rd. I started having contractions (regular, not bh) at 33 weeks. At 35 weeks they sent me to the hospital and ended up letting me go home, but with a prescription for terbutaline (sp?). From at 35 weeks on I was at 1-2 cm. I had induced labor at 37 weeks because of PIH and dilated super fast once they broke my water.
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