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Self cervical check? Dilation! *I think*

Forum: Natural Childbirth


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  • 2 Post By therevslady
  • 2 Post By CherryLimeade
  • 1 Post By daneeleigh

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November 4th, 2013, 03:41 PM
CherryLimeade's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,060
Have any of you checked your own cervix in late pregnancy for dilation? I used to check it to determine when I was ovulating, and I've been really curious to see if I could check it now at 34 weeks.

Well, I just tried it for the first time because I've been losing tiny pieces of my mucus plug here and there for a few days now - so I suspected I was dilating a little. It was much tougher to reach than I expected! However, I managed, and I think I'm 2cm dilated! What I felt was a little opening that I could fit 2 fingers in. When I stretched it a little, it felt like a tiny elastic band. This IS what my cervix would feel like, right?

I hope I'm right because the idea of being 2 cms already is exciting!

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November 4th, 2013, 04:09 PM
NewGurl's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: USA
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I recently felt the same when I checked after some concerns (able to fit 2 fingers and all) however I am not dilated (thankfully) the opening to my cervix is soft and puckered according to my OB but its still long and closed via ultrasound not to burst your bubble you may be dilated but while you problly are feeling the right thing it doesn't necessarily guarantee that there is progress.......34 weeks is a little early to be wanting progress anyway to be honest.

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November 4th, 2013, 04:41 PM
CherryLimeade's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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34 weeks really isn't that early. I dilated early with my son. In fact, I was 4 cms before labor began. So it wouldn't be a first for me. That and the pieces of mucus plug I keep losing accompanied by a ton of pressure made me suspect dilation, so I checked. And of course I know that I won't know for sure unless my OB confirms it...

Plus, my cervix was very anterior which usually is a sign of dilation. Otherwise it would most likely have been further posterior.

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November 4th, 2013, 06:11 PM
therevslady's Avatar Built for Birth
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Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 6,194
I personally wouldn't check or mess with a cervix before 37 weeks. It's true that you can dilate early, but cervical exams stir up oxytocin which can bring on premature labor. I do think it is a good thing to know your body and know what you are working with, but 34 weeks just seems so early to stir things up.

I will say that it was so nice in my last two labors to check and keep progress on my own. But I didn't really check till I was in early labor. I think knowing the progress before labor wouldn't help me. If I wasn't dilating, I would feel anxious that I was never going to go into labor, and if I was dilating, I would feel anxious every day I woke up still pregnant and not in labor. For me, sitting back, relaxing, trusting the process and trusting that my body will go into labor, and surrendering control of the time and place was a very important part of things. There is an OB around her that says, "Your cervix is not a crystal ball." I agree with him and I love him for saying that. You can never never NEVER predict how a cervix will behave. So I do my best not to waste my time and energy focusing on it.
daneeleigh and HeatherLyn429 like this.
Previously known as ~~Que~~

Student Midwife, Doula, Placenta Specialist, and Lactation Counselor
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November 4th, 2013, 06:42 PM
CherryLimeade's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Hehe the cervix definitely is NOT a crystal ball! Although I was 4 cms before labor began, I was checked 15 hours in and was only 5. I shrugged it off without much further thought because I was too focused at the time. Lo and behold, 45 minutes later I went into transition and made it all the way to 10.

I'm mostly interested in checking out of curiosity - to see if I actually *could* check myself. It really is more liberating, and much less embarrassing to do it myself than relying on someone else to do it, you know? Plus, I'd love to practice and learn what exactly to feel for so that I can measure myself in early labor.
therevslady and blaundee like this.

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November 5th, 2013, 11:12 AM
TiggersMommy's Avatar Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 708
I was too fearful of accidentally breaking my waters, stirring up labor, introducing an infection, or getting my hopes up to check. I don't want my MW checking until 40 weeks or labor time so I don't check it myself.
DD Teagan 9/25/10

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November 5th, 2013, 06:57 PM
daneeleigh's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 6,647
I checked mine at the beginning of labor and I couldn't tell a perfect measurement but I knew I was at least 2cm. It just let me know that I was open and probably not crazy for thinking I was in labor.

To piggy back off of Que, your cervix can really detour you mentally in labor. I progressed to 8 super fast and stalled at 9 cm for six hours. We all thought I'd deliver within the hour of finding me at 8. Not! My midwife said she wished she would have lied to me and told me 6 since we all heard 8 and thought I was almost done. Mentally, it caused me to get super aggravated at my body.
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