Well, as it turns out, all the pains I dealt with on Friday and yesterday meant something!
I went to see my midwife today. It was my first internal exam because I missed my appointment last week due to snowy weather. There was snowy weather again today, but my husband took off for the afternoon to get me to my appointment. I talked to my midwife, and I told her about the pains I'd been feeling. I explained to her how I hadn't felt any labor signs with Oliver at all and ended up being induced, so I'm not sure what to expect with this labor and delivery. I described the stabbing pains that have felt like pap smears, and I described the pressure and occasional contraction. She said it was all normal. I told her, "Well, now I'm hoping you'll tell me that all these pains meant something. I hope to be at least a little dilated."
Well... she told me I was 3cm dilated and 60% effaced! Also, she told me that my water was "bulging." What? I didn't even know you could be 3cm dilated without being in labor! I later read online that many women are 1-2cm dilated for their second pregnancies before going into labor. Some women are dilated up to 3cm before labor. I read you can't really use that information to determine when labor will begin because some women will stay 3cm dilated for a week. Still, I'm so excited that my body is preparing!
My midwife asked me if I'd like her to sweep my membranes. When a midwife or doctor sweeps the membranes, they use their fingers to sweep across and separate the membranes/sac from the cervix. It releases hormones that can help cause labor to start within the next 48 hours. She told me that doing so is slightly painful and could result in some cramping and spotting. She said, in my case, the treatment would have about a 50% chance of being effective.
I couldn't decide on the membrane sweep. On the one hand, Oliver's got a lingering cough, and I don't want to go into labor and have him not be able to visit me in the hospital. Also, part of me is still thinking about the 11/11/11 birthday, even though that shouldn't really matter. On the other hand, my body hurts. Every week day is overwhelming for me, and it's getting so difficult (physically) to take care of Oliver. I finally decided to go for it.
The procedure actually didn't hurt at all. She told me that it's sometimes difficult to reach to do the sweep, and she struggled to reach with me. Also, she said a little bit of blood can be a good sign, but I didn't have any blood. She didn't say it, but I got the impression that she wasn't very confident the sweep she did would help stimulate my labor. I'm OK with that.
It's been about three hours. I haven't had any cramping or discomfort from the sweep. So, I don't think labor is imminent yet. However, I'm so excited to know that the next time I start to deal with the pains might be the real thing! Three centimeters! Woohoo!