Week 38: Congratulations, You’ve Reached The Most Frustrating Part

by Alison Bucalo
Originally Published: 

It’s pregnancy week 38, and here’s what’s going on…


It’s week 38, and you’re probably wondering how much longer this baby can stay inside you before you literally explode. We know you’re eager/terrified for things to get underway, and false labor is really hard to tell from true labor most of the time. Congratulations, you’ve reached the most frustrating part of pregnancy: the very end.


Here’s what to look for when it comes to real labor: contractions that are regular, and get closer together and more intense over time; crampy pain that starts in your lower back and wraps around to your abdomen; contractions that don’t stop if you change position or drink a few glasses of water. Also, if the baby falls out, that’s a good indicator, too. (Just kidding, you wish the baby would come out that easily!)

Your weight gain and belly expansion are tapering off, but that sure as hell doesn’t mean you’re any more comfortable. Prop up your swollen ankles, wad up that pre-baby to-do list (especially the part where you planned to shave your legs before going into labor — fuck that) and just relax. If you really want to get something accomplished, save yourself some post-baby stress by making a contact list of everyone who needs to know when the baby’s born so you don’t forget anyone. Your mom isn’t likely to forgive you anytime soon if she hears about the birth from someone else!


Your baby should still be just as active as before, even though it doesn’t feel like there’s any wiggle room left in there. Let your caregiver know right away if there’s a significant change in baby’s activity level. Your baby can grasp, which means at birth they’ll be able to hold your hand — now there’s something to look forward to! You’re no doubt imagining what that will be like, along with what your baby will look like — though that’s subject to change. If your baby is born with blue eyes, they might darken to hazel, green or brown in the first year.


You’re supposed to be treating yourself right now, NOT stressing about nesting. But if you’ve still got the bug, now might be a great time to order a cleaning service to come in and spruce the place up. It will be a relief to have the place spic and span when the newborn arrives, and you won’t have to lift a finger. Cleaning services can get expensive, but maybe the in-laws will pitch into the cost. They’ve been dying to help — and you don’t need any more cute onesies for Pete’s sake!

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