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Cervix question - what's what?

Posts: 130
10/27/06 1:02 P

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you guys should check this website, some babyfit mommy posted it , it's helpful

Due Nov 13
i'm 28 weeks at this pic
IT's a girl.:)
my lil princess.
SOPHIA M , 7lbs 6ozs
My water broke at midnight on my due date, 14hrs of labor and my angel arrived

Posts: 1155
10/27/06 11:18 A

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AITHNE's Photo
Good info, thank you for sharing Julie!


EDD - Nov 18 -It's a girl!!!! :) We finally picked a name! Meadow Briann! :)
Have 3 boys, ages 3,7 and 10. :)

Posts: 1420
10/27/06 9:06 A

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thanks for sharing all this information!

Autumn Maria Was born Sept 23, 2008 (EDD Oct 11/08)

M/C 12/13/07

Posts: 1374
10/27/06 6:24 A

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I was doing a little "light reading" and came across a sort of "depressing" set of articles in the medical literature which basically said that it is a MYTH that vaginal exams at the end of pregnancy are beneficial or predictive. There is very LOW correlation between an early stage vaginal exam result and the timing of onset of labor. (Basically, when you're ready to go, things will get going, ONLY then.)

Effacement is how cervix prepares for delivery. After the baby has engaged in the pelvis, it gradually drops closer to the cervix which makes it soften(ripen), shorten and thin out.

Effacement is measured in percentages. 0% is the long thick cervix of pre-pregnany. At 100% effaced your cervix is paper-thin.

You can be "quite" effaced without any dilataion.

During pregnancy your cervix + uterus with baby looks like a upside down PEAR or BUTTERNUT SQUASH.

As the baby's head drops at term - things being to look a lot more like an ACORN SQUASH. All that stem material (that represented cervix) is now thinned out and pushed aside. (I've heard the analogy of the retraction of male penile foreskin, but I like the squash to sqaush analogy better).

Anyway, you can be effaced without dilation at all. Think a closed tip on an acorn squash

About DILATION. The NON-RIPE cervix has 2 os - OS meaning opening/hole. Think again about the butternut squash or a toilet paper roll. The EXTERNAL os is the one you can feel with your fingers when you put in a tampon (the stem end). The INTERNAL os is what you really care about. It's the section (hub) between the end of cervix and beginning of uterus.

Women who have had babies before or elective terminations or multiple infections - often have a fingertip (meaning a doc can shove a finger into it) or 1-2 cm EXTERNAL os at ALL times - even non-prego. Multips often have an open external os forever - it just doesn't shut back the same after the 1st delivery. But the INTERNAL os does re-close pretty much to 0 / fingertip.

It's your INTERNAL os that the doc is feeling for to see if you are dilated. Obviously it's easier to reach the internal os if you are effaced because instead of feeling up through a thick 2-3cm long cervix, the internal and external os have come lots closer together. Again think tip of ACORN squash.

Dilation is measured in centimeters from closed to 10. If you got a cerclage early on, it meant that your internal os was open 3-4 cm at less than 20 weeks (usually). At the end of pregnancy - just with the weight of baby and baby head - your internal os is 1-2cm.

So an exam at the end of pregnancy of 40% and 1-2cm is pretty - well - HO HUM. Sorry - it just happens with the weight of pregnancy and baby head. Put an exam together with lots of BH - to bounce that head into the cervix some more and that's a good thing...

STATION is also a part of the exam - it talks about how high or low the baby's presenting part (meaning head usually) is. Some docs use a 3 or 5 point scale. -3 (or -5) is "free floating" and not engaged.

0 station is considered engaged at the level of the pubic bones - either you will progress from here or stall due to CPD (cephalo-pelvic disproportion) - a fancy term that says your baby's head will never fit through your pelvic outlet either due to a big head or small pelvis or a position of the head that is not amenable to fitting through the pelvis).

+3 (or +5) is crowning - seeing baby's head at your vaginal introitus.

Also - each exam is pretty subjective since it's about a blind touch - 2 docs in a row can do an internal exam and come up with pretty close #'s, but rarely are they the "same." This is why some of you who are in large group practices get conflicting exams from week to week. Usually - each doc will write down your last exam - and the next one won't say things which seem to be going "backward" - unless they really feel your exam is truly "less" than last week. But in reality - 40% and 50% are close - and 1-2cm are close.

BTW - here's an "insider secret" - the average width of an index finger is about 1.5-2 cm. And if you use your index/3rd finger to make the "peace sign" - from outer edge to outer edge that's about 10cm. For fun - just check that out on a ruler some time. This is the "magic ruler" your doctor is using. In medical school - we all measured our hand and finger width and spread - multiple times and learned how to do exams that way. It's actually pretty accurate!

Thanks for all the MommyMails - hope this helps.

Posts: 1411
10/26/06 9:22 P

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i have heard being thin is better then being open, it means you will likely start to dialate with ease. Because both have to happen for the baby to come out!

Athena Sloane Was born Nov 8 via C section.
She was 5lbs 8 ozs, 17 inches long, and born at 10:42 PM.
Cloth Diapering Hippie Mama!
She will be an only child!
We are soooo in love with her!
Latest Weight 11 months 17lbs 10oz

Posts: 633
10/26/06 8:34 P

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I was 2 cm for 3 months with my dd and when I went in for delivery I was still 2 cm, but an hour later I was 10!

Andrea Fournace
EDD 11-30-2006
Actual: 11/7/2006
It's a GIRL!!!
Isabella Joan

BabyPoints: 8104
Posts: 5792
10/26/06 8:33 P

I posted on here yesterday something like good pictures of dilation. I'll find it and bump it.

But honestly you don't have to be anything. It can all happen very fast! Dilation and effacement. Yes its encouraging when your doctor tells you that your dilated and effaced but in actuality you can be dilated weeks before actual labor. I was only 4cm when I went to the hospital to have my son and a couple hours later he was out...

Posts: 54
10/26/06 8:18 P

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I was just told on Wednesday that I am 1cm, high and thick... Does not sound very promising does it?

Not sure what it means either. Can anyone that has been through this birth process please shed some light on this?



#2 DS Gunner born via scheduled c/s on 5/7/08 at 9lbs 5oz, 21 inches
#1 DS Baylin 11/16/06, 8lbs 14 oz born after 31 hours of labor ending in a c-section...totally worth it!

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