It’s pregnancy week 32, and here’s what’s going on…
You no doubt have a list a mile long detailing all the things you’re “supposed” to do before the baby gets here. Don’t forget the things that might not be completely practical, but that you’ll wish you’d done all the same. Like, take a long shower. Or enjoy an uninterrupted phone conversation. Or just get up and leave the house on a whim without having to do anything besides grab your keys and purse. You’ll miss doing that stuff once the baby arrives!
Of course, if this isn’t your first baby, you don’t get to do that stuff anyway — hell, if you have older kids in the house you probably didn’t even get to read that whole paragraph before someone asked you for a peanut butter sandwich or clogged the toilet (or both). All we can say to that is: Good luck, mama!
Your uterus has gotten so big that your stomach and diaphragm don’t have the room to fully expand, which means you feel full faster, get more heartburn, and often feel short of breath. Eat smaller, more frequent meals to ensure you’re still getting the calories you and your baby need. Avoid eating too near bedtime, and sleep propped up on pillows to avoid heartburn as much as possible.
As for what your big belly looks like from the outside, you’ll likely look a lot different from the other women in the OB/GYN’s waiting room. The position of the baby, the amount of weight you’ve gained, your pre-pregnancy build and muscle tone all influence your bump. Rest assured you look absolutely mahvelous, even if you feel like a whale who swallowed a barn.
Take a deep breath (if you can), because you’ve reached a huge milestone. Although it’s still eight weeks early, babies born at this stage of pregnancy have an excellent chance of surviving and ultimately leading healthy lives! Your baby’s lungs still need more time to develop though, so keep watching for signs of early labor like PMSy cramps, vaginal bleeding, diarrhea, or your water breaking — which isn’t always a huge gush like you see in the movies; sometimes it’s just a trickle. Of course, you should call your doctor if you have any concerns, but the baby is pressing on your bladder, so that trickle might just mean you’ve peed yourself. Get used to it!
Check off some of the MUST-HAVE items on your nesting list, because you’re not going to want to do any scrambling in the next couple of weeks. If you haven’t already, secure that crib and/or bassinet, stroller, diaper disposal (if you don’t plan on using your garbage can), wipes, car seat, changing station, carrier, TONS of diapers, bottles, formula if you’re not breastfeeding, and a swing or a rock-and-play for a newborn.