Some labors seem to take forever to get started! Contractions may come and go for many hours or even days before the cervix begins to open. This type of labor is oftentimes more discouraging and tiring than it is painful. Before a cervix can dilate, it must move forward, soften and thin. This most often takes place in the weeks prior to labor, but sometimes it happens only when the contractions are felt, causing the mother to consider herself to be in labor a little longer. It may seem difficult not to rush to the hospital, but have patience and relax so that you’re well rested by the time labor finally comes.
Most of the time, once the cervix dilates to 3-4 centimeters, the rest of the labor proceeds in a normal fashion. But it can begin slowly and continue on into a long, slow-but-steady labor to the end.