I had the two stitches (Shirodkar) removed at 37 weeks. I had another doctor doing the removal and he was used to ONE stitch and usually the less invasive McDonald (which I had the second time around with Caleb- removal was painless and easy in the dr office). I'm sure not everyone will have the difficulty I had with this particular removal, as this was a more difficult placement and there were two stitches. This doctor said the removal didn't have to be medicated, just snip snip and we would be on our way. I knew it wouldn't be that easy, those stitches were EMBEDDED and his attempt was painful and impossible. I ended up having to have a spinal and it took him FOREVER to have them removed. In fact he ended up leaving a small piece of it in there that is in there to this day and hasn't interfered with any of my other pregnancies, labors/deliveries, or second cerclage with Caleb.
I immediately dilated to 3 cm and they monitored me for a few hours in case I went into immediate labor, but there was nothing, no contractions, nothing. I stayed 3 cm and had to be induced by pitocin at 39 weeks, go figure. Some women, they said, dilate immediately to ten cm after the cerclage is removed and deliver right then, but not me.
Those particular stitches I had were weaved in and out of the cervix all the way around and the only issue I had (which I think is an isolated case due to the nature of my cervix when I had those stitches placed, this is not the norm) is that it made my cervix "stubborn" and around 5 cm dilated, the doctor had to "work it a bit" with her fingers. It caused no real concern or delay during labor though. I continued to dilate normally but they watched the "left lip" of my cervix when I was fully dilated as that section never fully gave way. They made sure it didn't tear or hinder anything when I did a few test pushes. I was in labor with an epidural and pitocin for 12 hours, and pushed for an hour. Easy labor and delivery. Nathan was 7 pounds, 2.5 ounces and 20.5 inches long. He aced his Apgar, no problem. I'm THRILLED that I got to experience a vaginal delivery because I was anticipating a possible c-section for two reasons. The first is, I didn't know if my cervix would react normally in labor and delivery after those particular stitches and I also didn't want to put the stress of a delivery on my cervix in case that affected future pregnancies/cerclage placements. I actually requested a c-section for those reasons but they assured me neither of those were legitimate concerns and they said there was no reason not to attempt a vaginal delivery and that my cervix would be fine for my next pregnancy as long as I waited 6 months-1 year for it to completely heal and become strong again (well, as strong as my cervix can get).