Ok, so Jill was kind enough (or was it actually cruel?) to post a bunch of blogs she reads, so now I’ve added even more blogs to my blog reader. Yeah, housework can wait. 🙂 Anyway, so as I was reading through some of the past posts and comments, I came across a comment I really liked from L&D nurse Pinky. It was a comment on a post about whether or not epidurals lead to more C-sections, and she described how sometimes women come into the hospital in labor, and although they may not be very far dilated, they are exhibiting signs of being in late labor. Most of us probably recognize the story as being all too common — a woman is only 3-5 cm dilated, but her “emotional signposts” (as the Bradley Method calls them) indicate that she is in transition and/or in much later labor than it seems. Pinky said that she had that “heavy labor look” to her that is difficult to describe, but is obvious and recognizable. Now here’s the quote I like, she said, “Sometimes we say, ‘She is ahead of her cervix.'”
Doesn’t that describe it perfectly? While her cervical dilation may not be “accurately” broadcasting where in labor she is, she herself is giving perfect evidence of where in labor she is. We’ve all read the stories of women who are turned away from being admitted to the hospital because, although they appear to be in labor, they are not dilated at all, or only a centimeter or two… and then have the baby in the hospital parking lot or elsewhere within an hour of not having been admitted. Or the stories of women who were stuck for hours at X cm dilation, and then *boom* have the baby in half an hour — and that includes dilating the rest of the way plus pushing.
One of my sisters-in-law had just had a cervical check and was 5 cm dilated (second birth), when she had a major double-contraction, and she could feel that she was completely dilated, so asked the nurse to check her again. The nurse was understandably skeptical, but consented and found that indeed my SIL had gone from 5 cm to fully dilated in just a couple of minutes.
Yep, I like it. “She is ahead of her cervix.”