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4 cm dilated and no contractions

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Mamabear Posted: Thu, Nov 24 2011 9:30 AM

Hi ladies-

This is my 2nd baby. I was induced the first time at 10 post due date. Today I am 38w 5d. At my OB appt yesterday I was 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced. 5 days prior I was 1-2 cm. So he stripped my membranes but I'm still not feeling any significant contractions. I've had a few here and there but they aren't even painful.

What's the deal? How long could this go on without feeling any pain? Or am I just going to hang out at 4cm for a while?

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Calladona replied on Thu, Nov 24 2011 12:34 PM

I don't like checks when you're not in labor.  4 CM doesn't mean much other than you only have 6 to go.  You could easily walk around like that for weeks.  Or you could go into labor soon. The only thing it DOES mean is that if you're needing an induction for any reason, it is more likely to be successful (not that I would recommend one) and it means your labor may go faster simply because you don't have as far to go. :)

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sbea replied on Thu, Nov 24 2011 8:48 PM

I had a friend recently who was 6 cm dialated and almost 100% effaced when she was checked. She doesn't know how long she was like that. gl

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a_flood87 replied on Thu, Nov 24 2011 9:04 PM

Something I read in a bradley method book that really stuck with me is that if you're 4cm dilated, congratulations, you made it through the first phase of labor without even knowing it :)

Congrats on being 4cm and good luck!

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scarlet_willow replied on Sun, Nov 27 2011 12:15 PM

I really hate to say it because i remember being in your shoes, but you could go into labor tonight or next week, or later even!  I was 3 cm at 37 weeks and then 3-4 cm at 38 weeks.  At 39w5d, I was still a 4 and had my membranes stipped, putting me into labor that night.  Good luck hon!

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Mamabear replied on Sun, Nov 27 2011 1:05 PM

Thanks for your replies!

I had my membranes stripped last Wednesday. It didn't help. My doc told me to call tomorrow if I haven't delivered. He wants to induce because I am bordering Pre-Eclampia. High BP and +1 Urine Protein.

I tried to do nipple stimulation today. Got colostrum out of both nipples but stopped after 3-4 drops. I'm not sure how far to take it. Anyone know?

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alicat replied on Sun, Nov 27 2011 5:34 PM

Hi Mamabear.  My history is almost identical to yours. I went past my due date and was induced with #1.  For #2, I was 4 cm at my last check on 38w5d.  No contractions other than BH.  I was 3 cm the week prior.  I just assumed I was going to go past my due date.  However, my water broke at 39 weeks with no warning.  Luckily I was at home.  DS was born 10 hours later.

Since you're already dilated and have some other potential complications, I would take your dr's recommendation to induce.  Especially since you have another child to coordinate.

Good luck! 

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Calladona replied on Sun, Nov 27 2011 6:33 PM

The good news is that your cervix is very favorable for induction.  I still would personally wait until it was truly medically necessary, but it's good to know that an induction should be successful.  Good luck to you!

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johns_angel22 replied on Sun, Nov 27 2011 6:55 PM

Just wanted to pop in and say good luck to you! I agree that 4cm doesn't really mean you'll go into labor tonight or anything, but hey! You're already at 4! That's great! I hope you don't have to induce, but like others have said, your chances are a lot better of having a good induction.

As for the nipple stimulation, I had a home birth with my daughter and we "induced" at 39wks using nipple stimulation, EPO and sweeping the membranes. I got on the pump and stayed there for 30mins at a time, (30 on, 30 off, just to give your nipples a break). It was kind of painful, but it worked. I also inserted EPO against the cervix. I used a medicine syringe to suck up the colostrum I got and stuck it in the freezer. A few days after my DD was born I warmed it up and gave it to her.

Good luck! :)

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Mamabear replied on Fri, Dec 2 2011 5:18 PM

Thanks for all the responses ladies! I know now that there really is no way to tell when you'll go into labor based on dilation.

So I ended up going into labor on my own. My water broke at 3am on 11/29. This was 5 hours before my scheduled induction. I got to the hospital at 3:30am and she was born one hour later. By the time I got to the hospital I was at 6cm. The contractions came on fast and quick. There was no time for an epidural. I really wanted an epidural but I guess some things just can't be planned.

My advice:

If anyone reads this in the future and is trying to figure out their own situation... I would recommend waiting it out at home until you start feeling regular contractions. It doesn't matter how close they are. I think once you are at 4cm dilated and having regular contractions, it's time to go. I started feeling them 10 minutes apart at 8pm that night. I thought I should just wait and see. Well if I had have gone into the hospital then, at least for a internal check, they probably would have admitted me and I would have had the time to get an epidural. If you don't want an epidural, stick it out at home. It is much better to labor there then at the hospital.  

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Calladona replied on Sat, Dec 3 2011 9:26 PM

Congrats on your baby! :)

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