It’s pregnancy week 31, and here’s what’s going on…
Now that you’re huge, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Moms are resilient and strong, but sometimes too much pride can lead to injury, and you need to reserve all the energy you can! Ask the guy in the parking lot to carry your groceries. Tell the lady who’s distracted on her phone that you need her seat on the train. Sometimes people will do these things without asking, or they’re just jerks and don’t care. But often, people are simply oblivious to your belly and can’t read your mind (even though it’s SCREAMING). Speak up!
It’s the start of your eight month, and you’d probably jump up and click your heels together with joy — if you could jump … or figure out where your heels end and your ankles begin (thanks, fluid retention!). Plus, your hips and lower back are aching. But at least that’s caused by hormones loosening up your pelvis, something you’ll be pretty grateful for if you have a vaginal birth! Your hands and wrists might also ache or tingle, which could be from carpal tunnel syndrome caused by (you guessed it) swelling. Along with the fluid retention, it should go away after the delivery, but your feet will likely always stay a bit bigger than they used to be.
That’s right, the swelling continues right down into your feet — and over the edges of your over-stuffed shoes. If you’re lucky, you can get away with wearing flip-flops or sandals for now, but you can also help minimize the swelling by putting on compression tights before you get out of bed in the morning. Be sure to take video though, because a pregnant woman wrestling into compression tights is bound to be even more hilarious than a non-pregnant woman wiggling into Spanx — you’re going to be YouTube famous!
Your baby has taste buds now, so they can sample the flavor of whatever you eat in the amniotic fluid — how cool! And kinda gross! Of course, once your child is born, they’ll rarely taste any food you offer, so now is probably your best bet for getting them to try broccoli. Your baby’s so big that rolling around is tough, so they’ll stay in the fetal position from here on out — that makes your baby about the size of a coconut. If you’re getting sick of being pregnant, just use that image as inspiration and focus on the big, tropical rum drink you’ll be able to have in about nine more weeks!
Assemble your labor go-bag! Depending on your birth plan (hospital vs. home or birthing center), you may want to consider bringing extra pillows, non-skidding socks, and blankets. Hospitals can get chilly. If you want to wear something other than a hospital gown, pack a loose, open-bottomed garment (like a robe or nightgown) that you don’t mind messing up permanently. You’ll also want to be ready to pack photo ID, a phone charger, maternity bras, a “going home” outfit, hair ties, toiletries, and nonperishable snacks. Also, pack a towel and a barf bag for the ride to the hospital. Ya know … just in case.