This article is my summary/review from sarahvine's article "How Dilated Am I? Assessing Dilation in Labor WITHOUT an Internal Exam" wrote in her blog.
I wish I would have read her article before I went into labour. But Alhamdulillah, my labour went well after all.
Like most women, I hate vaginal examination (VE). For me personally, it doesn't matter how many cms you have dilated, because it doesn't ensure you how much longer you'll be in labour. Like the theory of 1cm dilation in an hour, mine dilates at 6cms in an hour. So, I guess, the best thing is that trust your instinct. Your body and baby will tell you, insya Allah.
What sarahvine wrote in her blog had accurately happened to me during my labour, so the next baby I think I would be more relaxed knowing that what my instinct told me is true.
♥ When I was less than 3cms dilated, yup I can still laugh and speak in between contractions. Even sometimes the contractions are so mild, I can still laugh while doing my breathing techniques. Such happy moods to see my Khaira!
♥ After 6 cms dilated, I barely know what is happening outside my body. I just closed my eyes, and listened to the sound of Yassin and Love and that was about it. I barely talked, I was in my own world.
♥ Just before Khaira's head is crowning, I just know she was about to go out because I had the urge of pushing. And here, some people may have been vocalizing, yes the urge was there. But I remained silent because I wanted to save my energy for the pushing stage.
Yup, there's a smell, been explained in details here.
♥ Sifu Wai Han told me all about it before, the fact that suddenly you feel you cannot go on anymore, or you want a pain relief when you did so well the minute before. This is a sign that the labour is very very very near. I did have the thought of, "What am I thinking? Delivering without any pain relief, am I out of my mind?" I didn't vocalize it, and a minute after that, I already started breathing out my baby :)
I didn't know about these before, interesting!
♥ "During a contraction, at the beginning of labor, check how many fingers you can fit between the fundus (top of your bump) and the bra line – you will be able to fit 5 fingers."
♥ "When you can fit 3 fingers, I usually tell mothers they can think about going into hospital as they will find they are around 5cm dilated."
♥ "At 1 finger, you are fully dilated."
For me, it's hard to check, needs a mirror plus too focused to do this.
♥ "‘bottom line’, which is shadow that extends from the anus up towards the back along the crease of the buttocks. It begins as 1cm and lengthens to 10cm, and it’s length correlates with cervical dilation."
6. Bloody show
2-3cms dilated. It happened to me the morning I delivered Little Khaira (Gave birth at 6.55pm, started to have a blood show at 3am). It's like the beginning of your period and it stays (and gets more) until you birth your baby. I read an article, it's considered nifas and so we Muslim do not have to pray anymore. Wallahualam.
Anyhow, blood show do not happen to anyone, sometimes their amniotic fluid comes out first.
7. Opening of the Back.
If the area above tailbone started to bulge out during pushing, the baby is sooooo near. I did not observe this, sorry!
In a lighter note, my birth stories had been published in the hypnobirthing website, whee!!