Yes, your body can stay dialated at a certain stage for a long time then suddenly dialate to the full 10 cm.
I'm sorry for your loss. I, too, had a stillborn at 38 weeks several years ago. In my case it was due to a tight nuchal cord. He had the umbilical cord around his neck twice so tight that it cut off the blood flow.
I am sorry for your loss.
To answer your question;
Labor varies from woman to woman. My labor was fairly short but my sister recently went through a very long labor, nearly 30 hours and barely dilated at all for the first 24 hours.
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