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Dilated to 4cm, 18 hours later no longer dilated - anyone else had this?

(17 Posts)
DuggeeHugs Wed 01-Mar-17 14:28:59

With DC1 I had a failed induction. I managed 12 hours of latent labour, made it to 4cm and had no further contractions. 18 hours later I was examined again and found to be 0cm (at this point it was 5 days since my induction began and I'd been an inpatient the whole time). Cue EMCS.

Now expecting DC2 I saw a new consultant at 13 weeks to request an ELCS. Apart from being dismissive, the other thing that's bothered me is their assertion that they've never known someone dilate and then close up again. So, has this happened to anyone else and what were you told about it?

wishcarry Wed 01-Mar-17 14:41:10

I ended up having my dd1 by emergency cesarian after being in hospital for a couple days after a heavy bleed then an induction and a lowering heart rate.
after the induction I had different midwives coming in to check me every couple hours or so,and was shocked that they kept changing how dilated I was.
first it was 5cm,then 1cm,then 3cm,then 1cm.
I just put it down to them not having a clue!I thought it was odd when she said I was 5cm as I hadn't even had any contractions.

Gunpowder Wed 01-Mar-17 14:49:32

I'm sure this happens in on of the Ina May Gaskkn birth stories. My mum reckons it happened to her when she was in labour with me and a midwife frightened her.

DuggeeHugs Wed 01-Mar-17 15:19:06

Thanks for the replies - glad it isn't just me!

wish the situation you describe sounds rather familiar - especially the bit about not having a clue! About 30 minutes after I was declared undilated, a second doctor arrived asking to examine me. Since I'd had no contractions (was on the monitor so they could see nothing was happening) I was totally fed up and asked if she believed her fellow doctor to be incompetent because there was no reason to believe I'd magically redilated. She decided her colleague actually was competent after all and went away.

wishcarry Wed 01-Mar-17 15:57:28

Yes it's madness.If the midwives were noticeably different weights I would have put it down to one of them having much fatter fingers,but all the midwives who examined me looked almost the same was quite puzzling.

DuggeeHugs Wed 01-Mar-17 18:12:22

gaskin your mother's midwife must have been something else to scare her back up again!

terrylene Wed 01-Mar-17 18:23:06

When I was having twins, I had this very young doctor with his had up my foof rooting away for ages whilst I thought 'bloody hell- talk about thinking of England' Goodness knows why I had to have a 'doctor'* to do it and not the midwife who was standing there hmm.

Anyway, he eventually declared 4 cm, and at that point I thought maybe it was a more complicated skill than I had thought. So, no, not all that surprising. I wouldn't be surprised if the dilation depended on how the babies head was pressing against the cervix for the first few cm, and this would probably change if the baby moved about a bit.

*judging by the way he was holding DTD1, when I finally got her back off him, not that much later, I would say that he was a very new doctor and not that much used to babies. It was kind of cute, but I wanted a hold too confused.

CatchingBabies Wed 01-Mar-17 18:31:35

The cervix doesn't close over, the examination will have simply been wrong.

It's quite a subjective measurement and each midwife will often find something different which is why it's best to have the same midwife repeat it really as they will notice any changes from last time.

Gunpowder Wed 01-Mar-17 18:55:35

grin it was still the give you an enema, shave you, put your feet in stirrups, era; and apparently the MW was quite brusque.

My mum reckons her contractions stopped completely and her cervix closed (don't think completely) then labour restarted at shift change when a sympathetic MW took over and my mums GP arrived (isn't it weird that GPs routinely delivered babies not that long ago?)

Semaphorically Wed 01-Mar-17 19:02:17

Read Ina May Gaskin (or indeed any midwife led discussion on the subject that understands that not all labours obediently follow the partograph).

In early labour contractions can slow down or stop if the conditions aren't right and the cervix can contract again.

The uterus in labour is pulling a lot of its muscle mass up to the top in order to slingshot the baby out, so of course that process can reverse if the muscle relaxes.

Letsgetreadytorumbleagain Wed 01-Mar-17 19:16:47

It's possible for the cervix to swell I believe - esp if the baby is not in the right place so if that happened it would seem like it reversed as the cervix would appear to have 'closed'

DuggeeHugs Wed 01-Mar-17 20:53:47

Thanks for the suggestions and experiences; I have no idea what really happened but it's nice to know there are various possibilities - it's something I've wondered about for a while now

sema and gun I'll have a read of Gaskin this weekend

catching because the induction took 5 days there was no way to have the same member of staff undertake the examinations. I saw 14 midwives, 4 student midwives, 1 supervisor of midwives, 2 consultants and 8 doctors during my stint - it was far from a pleasant experience and this wouldn't be the only thing which was incorrectly noted

terry I remember being puzzled about why the doctor was taking over while the midwife watched too - one of the maternity ward mysteries!

gun I can't imagine my GP delivering a baby, he's not a people person and appears to hate babies but is an excellent doctor otherwise! Did you arrive quickly once the new midwife and GP took over? I can imagine your mum wanted it over fast in case the original MW returned

Gunpowder Wed 01-Mar-17 21:11:50

IIRC was only an hour or two after the friendly ones got there, so yes! She clearly wasn't taking any chances.

My very lovely MWs for DD2 (home birth) talked lots about how outside elements can stall labour (lack of childcare, strange people coming into the house, phones ringing, even just their arrival). I think it's less standardised than some people think it should be. I don't see why the cervix couldn't close again as Semaphorically says.

Sorry you had a hard time with your first labour and with your current consultant. flowers Have you seen your notes for DC1?

DuggeeHugs Wed 01-Mar-17 21:49:54

gun your mum sounds very determined - I'm impressed grin

I haven't seen my DC1s birth notes but think I'll request them when I see my midwife in a couple of weeks. I hated the induction but I think I was luckier than a lot of the posters I've seen on here - I ended up with a wonderful EMCS and healthy baby which is really all you can ask for. It probably explains why I'm not prepared to take any chances and am desperate for a ELCS this time though

Gunpowder Wed 01-Mar-17 22:06:01

grin I can't imagine DM being scared of a MW now, she's really fierce!

I liked seeing my notes because they proved things happened in my first labour that I thought had happened IYSWIM, and that gave me closure. Yours might shed light on the dilation thing and give you some ammunition to fight your cause.

Completely understand about the ELCS and hope the consultant does too.

DuggeeHugs Wed 01-Mar-17 22:40:51

Thank you gun smile

sycamore54321 Sat 04-Mar-17 22:20:54

"My very lovely MWs for DD2 (home birth) talked lots about how outside elements can stall labour (lack of childcare, strange people coming into the house, phones ringing".

Oh come on. Surely a moment's thought would make you realise this is nonsense. Any woman I've ever known who went into premature labour has been absolutely TERRIFIED for the health of her baby; the immense stress of this did not stall their labours. Women give birth daily in hurricanes, floods, wars, bombings, sieges. Conditions that are immensely more stressful than the telephone ringing. You can't seriously believe someone's cervix will close because of the stress when the doorbell rings?

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