A bit of backstory before my question:
So, just like last pregnancy, I'm already having a lot of contractions (sometimes it'll be pretty much one solid contraction for a few hours, they come so frequently). I'll be 29 weeks on Thursday- the contractions actually started around 24 weeks but didn't seem TOO worrisome- I wasn't dilating or anything. I've been trying to "take it easy" but it's hard with a two-year-old.
Anyways,last pregnancy in this same situation we went to L&D and they said I was 1 cm dilated and it was a major freak-out and we were stuck at the hospital for 3 days. Daniel didn't come til 8 weeks (of bedrest) later, but we were so freaked out that we went to L&D frequently to find out if labor was progressing. I made it to 8 cm with only these weird, painless contractions, so how on earth was I supposed to know when I was actually in labor?
This time, we're way more laid back about it. Midwife is pretty laid back to being with, and now we know I can contract for 8 weeks straight without having a baby, it's not as scary. That said, every few days I get really bad cramps with the contractions and I get a bit nervous. So Midwife and I agreed I should do my own cervical checks to see if anything is changing. Her theory is it's ok for me to do them because I can be sure not to be too rough or aggravate things. In theory, nothing I'm doing is more intrusive than sex at this point.
I really like having someway of telling whats going on. I know that cervical checks are horrible indicators of impending labor, but... if I'm dilated to beyond a 2 or 3 this early on, that'd be a good indication that we need to take it a bit easier.
I do them every 2-3 days in the shower, while I'm cleanest. Fortunately I have really long fingers. Since I don't have other cervices to compare to, I'm just trying to look for changes.
On Friday, after a day of particularly crampy contractions, I finally felt a change. The cervix had felt like a loose but closed hole- like you'd expect of a cervix that's pushed a baby out before. But now I do believe I'm dilated to a little more than a one- enough I can fit my index finger in it relatively easily. So I called my MW and we scheduled an appt for later in the week. She asked if I felt effaced- heck if I know! It's all just.... squishy, KWIM? I mean, the cervix is easy enough to identify- it's a hole. The hole is still at least a cm deep or so- as far in as I can or am willing to reach (I really don't want to aggravate things so I try to be super gentle).
She also asked if it felt like the baby's head was resting down there. Again, I can't be sure. I have nothing to compare it to. But yes, it does feel like there is something baby-head-like on the other side of the squishiness.
So, after all that story and TMI, my question is:
Who else has done their own cervical checks? Any good insight or resources?
Hopefully I'll get answers from a pro midwife later on this week, even if she has short little fingers:)