Dr's appt. today... dialated, effaced, engaged at 35 1/2 weeks... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 35 Old 06-06-2007, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, it's been awhile since I've written on here, but thought I would report that I had my first internal today and doc says I'm 3cm dialated and the baby's way way down there. I'm supposed to stay and try to get to 36 weeks at least (will be on Sunday)... I'm kind of freaking out here - Anyone else with similar experiences?
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#2 of 35 Old 06-06-2007, 06:57 PM
 
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i went in at 34weeks and 3 days.i was 1cm,very soft down there and all the way effaced,and her head is also engaged and oh so LOW!my ob wants me to hopefully make it till 36 weeks which will be next tuesday.so it feels like more has happened since then,she feels even lower,etc,etc.my next dr. app is friday the 15th.so if i make it till then i guess we'll see!
but i might be further along too,so if she comes she comes.i think she will be born in the next couple weeks.so i'm trying to relax yet at the same time trying to rush and finish up my list of things to do!:
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#3 of 35 Old 06-06-2007, 07:03 PM
 
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Yep, I'm 35 weeks, and 2cm atm. I went into L&D on Monday and was having PTL on top of everything else I am dealing with. Let's hope we can all get a couple more (if not just 1!!!!) weeks in!!

((hugs))

Denise
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#4 of 35 Old 06-06-2007, 07:16 PM
 
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So should we start taking bets on who goes first, or what?
I was going to start my own thread, but then I saw this one. I'm a little bit in shock. Just returned from my OB appointment. I'm 1cm dialated, baby is in position. She said she gives me two weeks (I'm due July 17). Then she tells me with a big grin that the last two patients she told had two weeks gave birth in the next two days.
She recommended that, if we were going to paint our upstairs (I was asking about the safest kind of paint to use) that we use latex, and that we do it this weekend.
Holy monkeys!
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#5 of 35 Old 06-06-2007, 07:30 PM
 
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I'm a little bit in shock. Just returned from my OB appointment. I'm 1cm dialated, baby is in position. She said she gives me two weeks (I'm due July 17). Then she tells me with a big grin that the last two patients she told had two weeks gave birth in the next two days.
<sigh> I really really really really don't understand why doctors (and even some midwives) say stuff like this! This is one of my biggest pregnancy pet peeves of all time and it's exactly why I won't even bother with cervix checks before labor.

In my experience, it really sets moms up for frustration and often makes them feel like a failure or that they are overdue - sometimes before she even gets to her due date! I swear 9 times out of 10 when I hear a report like this, the mom goes on 1-2 weeks PAST her due date, in utter despair.

Please, for the sake of your sanity, completely ignore predictions like this from your HCP. Don't let them set you up for a fall. Expect that you'll go beyond your due date, and then you can be happily surprised if you do happen to go a little earlier. Most babies DO drop early in first time moms, so that doesn't mean much. And 1 cm dilation does not a ripe cervix make.

Also, with an EDD of July 17, you're only 34 weeks right now! I hope your babe gets at least 2, if not 3-4 weeks more of cookin'.
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#6 of 35 Old 06-06-2007, 07:36 PM
 
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I do sort of expect to go over, if only because it's my first pregnancy. It's a good excuse to get our butts moving on our floors, though.
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#7 of 35 Old 06-06-2007, 07:55 PM
 
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<sigh> I really really really really don't understand why doctors (and even some midwives) say stuff like this! This is one of my biggest pregnancy pet peeves of all time and it's exactly why I won't even bother with cervix checks before labor.

In my experience, it really sets moms up for frustration and often makes them feel like a failure or that they are overdue - sometimes before she even gets to her due date! I swear 9 times out of 10 when I hear a report like this, the mom goes on 1-2 weeks PAST her due date, in utter despair.

Please, for the sake of your sanity, completely ignore predictions like this from your HCP. Don't let them set you up for a fall. Expect that you'll go beyond your due date, and then you can be happily surprised if you do happen to go a little earlier. Most babies DO drop early in first time moms, so that doesn't mean much. And 1 cm dilation does not a ripe cervix make.

Also, with an EDD of July 17, you're only 34 weeks right now! I hope your babe gets at least 2, if not 3-4 weeks more of cookin'.
:

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#8 of 35 Old 06-06-2007, 08:26 PM
 
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My first internal check was today too (36 weeks tomorrow). 1cm dilated, 50% effaced, cervix still really high. She told me she wants me to go at least another 1.5 weeks. No other predictions from my OB.

BP is up, but not dramatically. I'm swollen & it won't go down, but not overly so. No protein in my urine. Obviously she wants to keep an eye on things closely. She was somewhat surprised that I knew about the signs for pre-eclempsia, which makes me rethink my stance that not all American women can be completely uneducated as far as pregnancy & birthing.
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#9 of 35 Old 06-06-2007, 08:57 PM
 
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<sigh> I really really really really don't understand why doctors (and even some midwives) say stuff like this! This is one of my biggest pregnancy pet peeves of all time and it's exactly why I won't even bother with cervix checks before labor.

In my experience, it really sets moms up for frustration and often makes them feel like a failure or that they are overdue - sometimes before she even gets to her due date! I swear 9 times out of 10 when I hear a report like this, the mom goes on 1-2 weeks PAST her due date, in utter despair.

Please, for the sake of your sanity, completely ignore predictions like this from your HCP. Don't let them set you up for a fall. Expect that you'll go beyond your due date, and then you can be happily surprised if you do happen to go a little earlier. Most babies DO drop early in first time moms, so that doesn't mean much. And 1 cm dilation does not a ripe cervix make.

Also, with an EDD of July 17, you're only 34 weeks right now! I hope your babe gets at least 2, if not 3-4 weeks more of cookin'.
EXACTLY!!

I was just wondering why there would be any cervical checks at all when we are all this early- 34 to 31 weeks? This seems : to me.

Also, I had a girlfriend/client that was 5cm for 5 weeks. Her first check she was 3cm. She agreed to an induction when she was 42 weeks. She was 7cm the day before the induction at her appointment.
Guess what? She would have never ever known if she hadn't had any checks. (1st time mom, btw) And why she kept letting someone put their fingers in there, I will never know. She felt like a failure because she wasn't going on her own. It was sad.

On the other side, I do know that it is good to hear that your body is doing what it is supposed to. With my first I know that hearing that I was X amount of numbers was fulfilling for me.

Here's hugs and prayers that you at least go to your *due date*.

Mama to my own amazing children..student midwife..home birth activist..and gestational surrogate-twin boys weighing 7lbs3oz & 8lbs4oz...vaginal, unmedicated forced induction @ 38w5d
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#10 of 35 Old 06-06-2007, 09:31 PM
 
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I guess I'm not really so bent out of shape about it. I mean, I know she doesn't really know. No one knows. Baby will come when it does. I also know that, since our jobs regularly cross pathes, this OB is going to have to deal with my giving her crap for the rest of her career if she's wrong. It's her y'all should be worried about.
I swear, there is a small army of women following me around saying I'm going to deliver early. Who are these people? Thanks to them, I'm convinced I will be pregnant until October.
What I was most curious about was how does the dr. know I'm dialated? It seems like a facinating part of the job, to be able to tell these things by touch, without seeing them.
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#11 of 35 Old 06-06-2007, 09:37 PM
 
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I thought it was quite commonly known that dilation/effacement late in pregnancy isn't really a good guidelines for when your baby will come. I'll definitely be refusing checks; what good are they besides potentially introducing infection or potentially rupturing membranes?

4 kids under 10
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#12 of 35 Old 06-06-2007, 10:03 PM
 
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I don't see the point in cervical checks at this point either. I never got a single one until I was in labour last time, and at that point I was at 10 cm and ready to push. Of course, I was pleasantly surprised to go a week early with my first, so we'll see if I get curious in a few weeks' time with this one...

My midwives with DS never offered advance checks. We'll see if these ones offer, but if they do I plan to refuse. I don't want to know either way!

Mom to Andrew (March 1, 2004), Cameron (July 19, 2007) and #3 due in early June.
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#13 of 35 Old 06-06-2007, 10:54 PM
 
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I won't get checked at my apt tomorrow (at least, they better not, b/c my 6 year old is coming with me), but it might start at my next one. I'm going to try to refuse them though, esp. since I can tell he's not in position yet, not "dropped", etc.
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#14 of 35 Old 06-06-2007, 11:04 PM
 
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I was told I was 2 cm dialated last time at 37 wks and I got really excited about that... DS was born 2 days after his due date, and I spent the last 2 weeks sure that he was going to come early (the non-stop b/h contractions didn't help!). It was more frustrating that way-- it would have been better for me psychologically if I had thought I was going to be late rather than early.

This time around I won't let my mw do an internal before my 39.5 wk appt (not that she's likely to offer one before then anyhow). Unfortunately, though, I already have it in my head that I'm going to go early, and secretly I believe I won't be at that appt, lol. Maybe that's just the way of it in the last few weeks!

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#15 of 35 Old 06-06-2007, 11:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know... we ask our friends, relatives, and people that we don't even know on forums their opinions... Why is it a bad thing when your dr/midwife lends theirs? I went at 37 weeks (after checking in at 2cm 4 days earlier) and am glad I at least had a heads up that something may be coming.
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#16 of 35 Old 06-07-2007, 12:00 AM
 
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I have an appt on Friday and she plans to do a cervical check in order to make some decisions on induction. Even though I know it doesn't predict labor reliably, I am hoping it shows that my cervix is ripe and ready for action. If it isn't, I have a week to try some natural induction methods before I run out of options.
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#17 of 35 Old 06-07-2007, 09:39 AM
 
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I had my first internal with DS#1 at 37 weeks. There was NOTHING going on - no dilation, nothing.... He was born 5 days later. This time, I was having some issues and they checked me at 28 weeks where I was already dilating. I'm almost at 33 weeks now & not even close.

I wouldn't worry too much. Baby will come when baby is ready. Hopefully, baby isn't ready for a bit longer.
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#18 of 35 Old 06-07-2007, 09:48 AM
 
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Both my sis and SIL were 3 cm dialated for MONTHS before their babes were born... so that is definitely not an accurate predictor for impending labor...

I did not have any internal exams until in labor last time, and I plan on doing the same this time...

However, my midwife said at my last appt (33.2 wks) that the baby had dropped REALLY low and was engaged in my pelvis already, and considering my last came at 37 weeks - I will *most likely* be early on this one too - so she is preparing for last week of June - beginning of July (I am due July 17th too!)...

I have been feeling a LOT of pressure on my pelvic bones last few days - especially in the front...

I think early predictions can be helpful if you need to finish up projects or any preparations for the baby - but you shouldn't COUNT on these early predicitons to come true... I agree that it will set you up to be VERY disappointed if baby decided to wait it out and be late...

I plan on being ready at 37 weeks - just in case - as I was totally unprepared last time (had not done my belly cast, did not have my "emergency" transfer plan, had no post-partum supplies in the house, etc.)
But I am going to not try to be TOO anxious that the baby is coming early because then I know it will come on my due date or later...

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#19 of 35 Old 06-07-2007, 11:55 AM
 
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I don't know... we ask our friends, relatives, and people that we don't even know on forums their opinions... Why is it a bad thing when your dr/midwife lends theirs?
Too often this type of opinionating (which is generally unsound and weakly educated, for all that it may be offered in the spirit of good intentions) sets women up for disappointment and, potentially, induction - sometimes even before her due date.

I don't think you see this induction-for-frustration issue too much on MDC - but I have seen it time and time and time and time again in other forums and, of course, IRL.

That's why I won't do routine cervix checks - my emotional state in the end days is way too fragile and suggestible.
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#20 of 35 Old 06-07-2007, 12:26 PM
 
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I don't remember when I had internal checks at the end last time. I went past 42 wks, I found it comforting at that point to know I was 4cm dialated and my cervix was soft- it was like, well my body is going to do this, it's just not quite ready yet.

Mama to James 4-05 and Leland 7-07, and feeling so privileged to be growing kiddo #3 due in September!
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#21 of 35 Old 06-07-2007, 12:34 PM
 
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I'd consent to a cervix check after 41 weeks - or anytime I was facing induction. The odds go up significantly at that point that an "any day now" prediction truly does mean any day now.

With my first birth I was induced (39 weeks, cholestasis) on a completely unripe cervix. I don't think I'd proceed in the same way again (my doc put me straight onto pit to induce - no cervical ripening agents at all) - that induction failed and I had a c/s. I would absolutely want to know my Bishop's Score going into an induction situation.
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#22 of 35 Old 06-07-2007, 01:02 PM
 
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I won't get checked at my apt tomorrow (at least, they better not, b/c my 6 year old is coming with me), but it might start at my next one. I'm going to try to refuse them though, esp. since I can tell he's not in position yet, not "dropped", etc.
Most times, in second-(or more) time moms, baby doesn't "drop" until you are already in labor.

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#23 of 35 Old 06-07-2007, 01:07 PM
 
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I was just wondering the other day when some of you commented on being dilated already why your mw's/ob's were doing internals this early if there was no problem. I walked around for weeks dilated with ds and know many moms who do as well. I agree with pp that it's not a prediction at all.
Also why would mw's be checking now just to talk about induction? It's toooo early. I can see talking over methods if need be so you know what to expect come 42wks, but wether you're dilated now is no factor to consider induction already.
With us, baby is engaging already and I swear it's like it could fall out any day. Ds didn't drop this early at all. Only thing she wants me to do is try to avoid squatting and letting baby drop even more into the pelvis for the next two weeks. Being how ds was 2.5hrs from start to delivery I think I'm going to opt for internals starting 37/38wks to see if my body is where it was with him. If I'm 3+cm and 70+ effaced again, I'm guessing this one will be just as quick, but who the heck knows.
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#24 of 35 Old 06-07-2007, 01:23 PM
 
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I just had me group b strep swab done yesterday 36weeks. She asked if I wanted to be checked while she was down there and I told her no and she won't do an interal exam unless I ask her too. I would think that once I go past my edd she may want to check and see but I doubt it.

Angie wife to Joe and Mom to Lucas(7) and Alex (4), Elizabeth (21 months) and due with #4 mid june

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#25 of 35 Old 06-07-2007, 03:05 PM
 
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Well, I did get checked a wk ago Tues. when the mw did the Strep B swab. I wanted to know if I was dialated because with my first I got checked at 35 wks and had my baby a wk later. So far this time I haven't had the baby but I'm taking it easy as I want to hold off another wk. My husband said that I can't try for another homebirth in the future if I have this one too early. Too early for him is anytime this wk. My mw is going off an ultrasound for the due date, which is July 4th, but if I went from LMP it would be June 29th. So that would mean that tomorrow I'd be 37 wks.

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#26 of 35 Old 06-07-2007, 04:12 PM
 
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I was walking around 3cm dilated with ds1 for the last three weeks of my pregnancy with him. With the other two, I didn't have them check and am not planning to unless I feel a need with this one.

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#27 of 35 Old 06-08-2007, 10:33 PM
 
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I don't know... we ask our friends, relatives, and people that we don't even know on forums their opinions... Why is it a bad thing when your dr/midwife lends theirs? I went at 37 weeks (after checking in at 2cm 4 days earlier) and am glad I at least had a heads up that something may be coming.
Well, because dilation and effacement in pregnancy don't tell us a whole lot! So as care providers we could spout out an opinion but it wouldn't have much credibility. In your situation, your labor could just as easily have started four weeks later. My experience has been, as other's have commented, that this kind of predicting and suggesting really doesn't do women any favors, and in fact is more likely to set them up for mental/emotional stumbling blocks.

Most women do some dilating and effacing before labor even starts. Women who've previously given birth typically START labor already 3+ cms dilated. First time moms, around 1-2cms. So discovering this with a vaginal exam doesn't tell us much. And second timers walk around at 4, 5, 6 cms dilated for days or weeks all the time. Not unusual.
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#28 of 35 Old 06-09-2007, 12:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That's fine, but my point is - why is your opinion more valid than my doctor who knows my body and my pregnancy? Essentially, you're saying don't listen to him, listen to you because you're right...

I welcome opinions of all kinds, and want to hear others' experiences but I don't think that it's right for anyone to say that someone's wrong for giving one.
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#29 of 35 Old 06-09-2007, 08:21 AM
 
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kmaj- I don't think that anyone is saying that their opinion is more valid than a doctors. I think what many are trying to point out is that there is no indication of "time left to go" in the pregnancy. A doctor pointing out a measurement of dilation and effacement is really just trivial fun, unless there is some other stuff going on. Many women here were simply sharing their experiences of walking around for weeks at a certain dilation and a certain effacement just as anecdotal support for the idea that our bodies are slowly and carefully giving us the labor our babies and our bodies need.

Hope that helps! Remember- ultimately, your body and your baby= your birth decisions. With every bit of information you recieve from your care provider, be they doctor, midwife, or what have ya: ask yourself- what does this mean in terms of my own birth choices? How does this affect me?

Clara

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#30 of 35 Old 06-09-2007, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Clara, it does make sense... guess I'm a little bit more sensitive than usual. And anxious because this pregnancy has been so different than the last, it's taken me off guard.

Here's the latest - I feel like I have my period. Been cramping for the last couple of hours straight. No beginning or end, just straight on cramps... What to make of that one?
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