Your Vagina is Not a Crystal Ball

I follow Lindsey’s blog called Mother Rising so when she asked if she could do a guest post here I said, “Absolutely! Pass along anything you think would be a good fit for the site.” As soon as I read the title of this dilation post, I knew it was good for the Burd.


No Vaginal Exams!

When I was pregnant with my son, Gabriel, I swore up and down that when I got closer to my due date I was not going to ask to know my dilation in pregnancy.  I knew that by having a vaginal check I would be tempted to start prophesying about when my labor would start and what my birth would be like.


Yes Vaginal Exams!

Of course, I had no self-control and I asked for vaginal checks starting at 35 weeks.  I was 2-3 cm dilated and 40% effaced.

I could have easily started stressing and wondering if I would go into labor before my due date.  I could have got really self-confident and assumed my labor would be shorter because I was already 1/3 done dilating.

I didn’t do any of those things because I knew that my vagina was not a crystal ball.

I repeat.



Dilation in Pregnancy

Dilation, effacement, and station information cannot predict when labor will start, how long or how easy/hard labor will be.

The only thing that vaginal checks will tell you is what your body has done to prepare for birth.

If you opt for a vaginal check at a prenatal appointment and find out that you aren’t dilated at all – you could have your baby that night.  Or a week later.  If you find out you are 4-5 cm dilated you could have your baby tomorrow, or two weeks later.

Seriously, vaginas are not crystal balls.  Your vagina will not tell you how long you have to go until you push your baby out.  Even when you get to 10 cm and start pushing you still have no idea how long it will take.
Stepping into the unknown is the nature of labor, birth and being a parent.  Care providers do a disservice to mamas by prophesying when their baby will arrive. 

But, I can understand why it is done – because it is HARD to sit in the unknown with an expecting mama and to not know with her. 

However, care providers should censor birth predictions because it is much more compassionate to hold the space for mamas while they step into the unknown than to predict the future.


What About You?

Did you find out your dilation in pregnancy?  How was it helpful (or not!) for you?  I’d love to hear your story.

If you found this post helpful, you might be interested in this post on how to check your own cervix or this one about how your vagina is not a vacuum cleaner.

Lindsey Morrow is author of two websites: a pregnancy blog called Mother Rising and a pregnancy book review site called My Best Pregnancy Books.  Lindsey is a childbirth educator, doula and mother of two.  She attends a lot of births and often freaks people out by posting placenta pictures on Instagram.  Lindsey lives in North Florida with her family and dreams of moving some place more temperate like the mountains.


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Sorry Honda, You Can’t Have Your Car Back

So a few months ago a rep from Honda asked me if I’d like to borrow a brand new Odyssey for a week seeing as I’m a parent with a website directed at parents.

YES! Fist pump in the air.

I love mini-vans. I don’t know who the hell decided they were uncool. Perhaps some jackass that feels a car that seat two people and holds a cotton ball in the trunk is a more badass option. Personally I think mini vans are awesome – get your kids in and out of a vehicle easily plus fit a ton of shit in it? Yes, please.

Okay, so this thing rocks.

I don’t know anything about cars so I’m not going to get into the crap about V6 and chassis – it’s a Honda, I’m assuming I could drive it to Australia and back six times and it would be fine. If you want to look up the details you can find them here.

These are the things I loved:

  • It’s really big but I didn’t feel like I was driving a bus. I’m fairly short too (5’4”) so feeling like I could see over everything was good. I was like a hot chick with a fat ass – blissfully unaware of the fantastic back end at all times.
  • It has a DVD player with wireless earphones. I know this is standard in a lot of cars right now but I drive a 2004 CRV so this blew my mind. I listened to music with obscene lyrics while my kids peacefully watched the Lego Movie.
  • It has a built in vacuum. Yeah, I said vacuum – built into the back. Every guy I said this to just said, “Hmm, neat.” Every mom I said this to was all, “Oh, fuck yeah!” This is a handy feature and it works well.
  • It can hold a ton of stuff. We go camping every year (like fake, flush toilets, car camping) and we take a ton of stuff. Usually we can barely see the kids under sleeping bags and pillows, but this time we had a ton of leftover space so I just started adding stuff. “Let’s take the scooters! How about this cookie sheet?! Extra tarps!! It all fit in with space to spare.

There were only a few things that stopped me from running out and buying one tomorrow (aside from no money): 

  • it’s expensive compared to other ones in its class (I would still pony up the extra cash)
  • it’s bigger than my CRV so it obviously uses more gas, and lastly
  • I’m not sure how well it would do in the snow – I live in semi-Canada (Toronto) and I’m used to four-wheel drive.

But if you have money to spend and live in a warm climate, I’d take your face in my hands and tell you to buy this car. By God by this car! (Then I’d ask to borrow it so I could pick up a set of drawers from IKEA.)

We had a glorious week, me and my Odessey. I feel like it loved me as much as I loved it  and both of us were sad when I dropped off the key.

I'm very jealous of all of you that own one of these vehicles. Think of me while you're vacuuming up Cheerios in roomy, rolling luxury, you lucky duck.

Do you have one of these? Do you love it? Hate it? My CRV is getting a little long in the tooth so I have to start thinking about our next car and I'd really appreciate the input.


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Halo Bassinest Review

This sucker is the hottest ticket going these days – I’m seeing it everywhere – so I thought I’d better have a boo at it myself.

The Halo Swivel Sleeper Bassinest is a bassinet that can sit up right next to your bed and swivel over your bed for easy access to your baby. It also has a drop down side, a light, music, good vibrations (mmmm) and a nursing timer.

Have a peek at my lovely video to find out more:

Things I Loved:

  • Can swivel over the bed
  • Your baby is right at eye level
  • Mesh sides for great air circulation
  • Nice neutral colour and design
  • Drop down side
  • Maneuvers out of the way easily
  • Very sturdy and stable
  • Reasonably easy to put together


Things to Consider:

  •  It’s a little pricey
  • You still have to lift the baby over the drop side so it’s not a seamless transition
  • It’s heavy (a good thing for stability) so you’re not going to be moving it a lot


You can find them here on for about $230 and on Amazon.

Also check out:

Graco Pack N Play Playard with Bassinet: About $160 cheaper. Doesn’t have the swivel function or the do-dads, but extends its use by converting to a playyard when your child is older.

Arm’s Reach Concepts Mini Arc Co-sleeper: Similar to the Pack N Play but this one can butt up right against your bed.

Summer Infant By Your Side Portable Bedding: This one is $60 bucks so there’s a big price difference. It sits on your bed instead of beside it so if you are sleeping in a double or even a queen, dad/mom/partner may get the boot. 


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