Natural Birth

dilating?

Ftm, I'm just curious, what did dilating feel like for you? I occasionally get a Sharp pain in my cervix. I am getting them more frequently now, every couple of days. I read that might be dilating, but I'm not sure. I haven't been checked yet, and since I know you can be dilated for weeks as a Ftm before going in to labor, I was just curious.
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Re: dilating?

  • So the challenge to answering your question is that I (and perhaps the majority of women on the natural board) never got cervical checks till labor and this would never have known if a sensation was causing dilation or not. I had one cervical check by midwife...when I arrived at hospital. I was 10 cm. that said, it's not uncommon to have a variety of sensation down there as pregnancy goes along. I wouldn't think any of those really tells you anything. Also, dilation tells nothing as well...it esp. Tells nothing about how fr away labor is or how long it will last. 

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  • I agree with the PP.  I was checked when I arrived at the hopsital and was 6 cm.  An hour later I felt the urge to push and had the nurse check me. I was 8.5-9 cm.  I fought the urge to push for about 30 mins then I was checked again and was 10 cm but had a small lip of cervix left.  I did some gentle pushes to help move it out of the way and then delivered LO.  There was so much going on during labor that what I was feeling was a combination of things and could not solely be attributed to dilating. 
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  • From what I experienced, I didn't necessarily feel the actual dilating. But I would get "false labor" contractions all the time because I had an irritable uterus, and whenever I was checked the appointment after having a long bout of them, I'd be a little more dilated. So for me, menstrual like pain plus belly tightening= dilating pain.
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  • erb82erb82
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    Based on what I've read, it's Braxton Hicks contractions that are beginning to open your cervix. Mine feel like menstrual cramps, not a sharp pain. That's why the term "false labor" has fallen out of fashion. The contractions aren't false, they're actually doing work. I've been having tons of Braxton Hicks so I let the doctor do a cervical check last week and I was already 2 cm at 35 weeks.
  • image erb82:
    Based on what I've read, it's Braxton Hicks contractions that are beginning to open your cervix. Mine feel like menstrual cramps, not a sharp pain. That's why the term "false labor" has fallen out of fashion. The contractions aren't false, they're actually doing work. I've been having tons of Braxton Hicks so I let the doctor do a cervical check last week and I was already 2 cm at 35 weeks.

    You can have tons of BH and not be dilated at all. This was the case with myself and DD1.  

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  • image sweettalkin417:

    image erb82:
    Based on what I've read, it's Braxton Hicks contractions that are beginning to open your cervix. Mine feel like menstrual cramps, not a sharp pain. That's why the term "false labor" has fallen out of fashion. The contractions aren't false, they're actually doing work. I've been having tons of Braxton Hicks so I let the doctor do a cervical check last week and I was already 2 cm at 35 weeks.

    You can have tons of BH and not be dilated at all. This was the case with myself and DD1.  



    Or on the flip side, you can have no BH and dilate. I had no BH except maybe a little bit of non painful tightening that was only noticeable when I was lying down and was 2cm at 35.5. I had the baby a week later. No ctx prior to labor. I just jumped right into active labor.
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  • I could not feel the actual sensation of dialating so I can't help you there. I didn't have any noticeable contractions prior to labor (including BH) and I had one check beforehand and I was about 2 cm dialated. 1/5 of the work done and I didn't even feel it. (: I wasn't checked again until I arrived at the hospital at 6.5 and then when I was ready to push at 10. There was too much going on with my whole body at that point to pinpoint the sensation of dialating.
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  • I get the same sensation you are describing all the time! I was checked yesterday at 36 weeks and was not dilated at all but doc said his head was very low. So perhaps those feelings were him engaging a bit.
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  • I remember getting that at the end of both my pregnancies.  Some people refer to it as 'lightning crotch'.  I used to tell myself that it was my cervix dilating because it made me feel better, but I don't think that's really true.  I wasn't checked until I was in active labor so I'll never know.  I can tell you that when I was in labor I did not feel that sensation you are describing and obviously I was dilating, so they are probably not related.  The only thing I felt going on down there was pressure towards the end of labor.    
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  • I get these sharp pains occasionally. And I agree with then PP, sounds like lightening crotch. It started happening when she was more head down. My midwife says its alllll normal. Hooray. I'm not going to worry much if they are doing anything, as I refuse all cervical checks anyway.
  • I had two cervical checks. One when my midwives arrived at my house because I was already in active labour and 6cm dilated, and another at 10cm when she told me I could push! IME, dilation didnt have a sensation.

    Congrats on your LO!
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  • I didn't feel anything down there when I was dilating. Once I got past 2 or 3, I started having painful contractions but before that felt nothing and I was slowly dilating for a couple weeks before I actually went into labor. 
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