I was 41W 4D & my hospital wanted to induce at 42W as their standard. (Although 1 MW I spoke with made it clear she didn't have a problem with mama's declining, and I would have.)
But I decided to go ahead & have my membranes stripped. That was my first VE all pregnancy since the swab for GBS (She did a VE then at my request to confirm position. I was paranoid!)
I was 3 cm & she said stretched to about 4 as she did the stripping. She didn't tell me a % effaced (I didn't want to know, didn't really care since I knew it doesn't mean much in terms of predicting when baby will actually arrive.) but she kept saying, "It's a perfect
cervix! Just perfect! I think this is going to work!" I had asked her about coming back to have another sweep & she said I could, but repeated that she thought this would work.
Well, that lady knows her stuff!
Ctrx started 2 hours later (I hadn't even had any BH previously!) The 1st hour was so minor, just cramps, I paused for a second from doing laundry & vacuuming, didn't pay close attention to tracking them.
Then I decided to get into our big in-ground pool. Lucky me it was 1:30 on a hot afternoon at that point! Things got a bit more intense in the pool, but still totally manageable.
I got out of the pool at 4:30 only because I felt I had to use the bathroom & I was getting cold.
Our pool got obscured by shade by that time of day, so I was cold.) THEN it was intense & painful. But that lasted less than an hour before I felt the urge to push.
The worst it ever got for me was thinking, "Huh, I can see why people want drugs for this."
Never, "I can't do this!" or "I want drugs!" But "I can see why others
want drugs." That was it!
So, first baby, fast, but awesome! LOL, the worst part was fighting the urge to push for over 30 min!! Had a 20 min drive to the hospital, took a min to get out the door, then into a room at the hospital.
I was SHOCKED by the urge to push - I never imagined 1st stage would be less than 5 hours, with the 1st hour barely being anything. I didn't even call DH to come home from work until I'd been laboring for 2 hours already - and then it was mostly because I didn't have a water proof watch & I was getting sick of having to kick over to the edge of the pool to time ctrx - so I wanted him home to time ctrx for me.
ETA, as I think my story describes, mine was fast, but I had plenty of time to get into it - built up very gradually.