How far you are dilated is only a snapshot of that moment in time. It is by no means an indication of how long before you will meet your baby. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ For example, when I was in labour with Jorja I was told I was 5cm. It was 7pm and the midwife advised that I would be 7cm at 11pm. She explained that it was normal for a first time Mum to dilate 2cm every four hours. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ When you are told how far you are dilated it can have an impact on how you feel. This is why you have a choice. Vaginal examinations are not compulsory and you have the right to decline. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So going back to my example above, fast forward to 10.30pm, I was fully dilated i.e. I was 10cm, my baby was coming and I was getting ready to push. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Having done Hypnobirthing, it was no surprise that I went from 5cm to 10cm in less than 4 hours.