38 Weeks.


Same shirt & pants – 5 months apart. 

How far along? 38 weeks.

How big is baby? We’ll find out soon enough.

Total weight gain: +28 lbs (aka: 26% of my pre-pregnancy body weight…no wonder life is so hard)

Updates: I tested negative for GBS, so hooray for not needing an IV of antibiotics! We also toured a different hospital last week and both knew instantly we wanted to have our baby there. There are two low-intervention birth rooms that feel less hospital-y, their standard hospital practices like having the baby stay on me while they examine it and tend to it are what I’d request elsewhere, and they have food on demand instead of only for breakfast, lunch, and dinner times. Food is important. So is feeling like I won’t have to fight to get the things I want. Phew. I feel such a sense of relief!  I also went over our birth plan with my OB and she was 100% on board. (I was even all apologetic, “I know people think birth plans are silly! But I found it helpful.” She waved it off, saying, “I think birth plans are a great idea.”)

The baby clothes are in the closet, the car seat base is in the car, and I’m pre-registered at the hospital. Now we just need to pack a bag and, oh yes, narrow down this child’s name possibilities. We’ve made no progress whatsoever on that front.

Anxious about: Now that I’m nearing the end, I’m surprised to find myself dealing with bouts of anxiety again. Mostly about the baby not moving enough or all that could go wrong in the next few weeks. I don’t think I’ll be able to relax until I have a healthy baby outside of me. I hate that I can’t just savor these last weeks with my child inside of me, but I just really want to know s/he is okay.

Excited about: Seeing my baby outside of me and no longer having to carry the baby inside of me. I can, like, hold it in my arms, which will hurt my back and hips so much less than this crazy gestation business. 

Feeling: Tired, achy, ready to meet this baby.

Exercise:  Walking a few miles a few times a week – I feel great during, then so achy afterward. Just living has become exercise. Ha.

Sleep: Not good. Luckily I’m not commuting an hour each way, like I was the first time, so I can’t complain. (Nor do I need to leave the house by 7 am). Naps are still a possibility. Perks of working from home!

Movement:  Slowing down a lot – I hear it’s getting cramped in there. It’s also more…roll-y and less jab-y. Luckily, I still have a doppler that I can pull out when I’m nervous and hear that little 140 bpm thud-thud-thud.


  • I said (melodramatically) that I had the worst nights sleep of my life. Mike said, “me, too” and I retorted “I was up 6 times to pee, deal with Gabe, and eat a bowl of cereal at 4:15 am. I can’t sleep on my stomach or back and I can’t get a full breath. Also, I was contracting. BEING THIS PREGNANT IS HARD.” It appears I’ve reached the uncharitable part of pregnancy. So sorry, everyone I encounter.
  • The number of pairs of underwear I’ve thrown away because they ripped while I was pulling them up is…alarming. Let’s just say my thighs and rear have definitely grown (as is evidenced by that photo!)
  • This pregnancy has been way harder than my pregnancy with Gabe. The first 22 weeks were spent throwing up and being insanely anxious, then I had a few weeks of enjoying it! then I started getting some awful hip and back pain around 28 weeks and the stomach flu hit me a few weeks later. Some days I marvel at women who do this many times, close together, because dude. It’s hard. It’s obviously 110% worth it in the end, though.
  •  I was talking to Mike about my birth anxieties (they started back up) and told him I wished I forgot the pain of childbirth. Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work? I forget how hard it was and then want to do it again?
  • Oh, I’m officially wearing Mike’s shirts now. Glad I have a husband who’s a foot taller than me – it comes in handy when my maternity shirts all are too small.
  • Speaking of clothes (this is the longest post ever), we are going to a wedding tomorrow and I’m preemptively worrying about how beached-whale-like I’m going to feel compared to all the cute girls in their cute dresses who aren’t waddling around and breathing heavily.
  • Gabe was born on his due date set by the dating ultrasound, but was a few days late according to when I ovulated. Which means this baby is more likely to be late than early, right? Is there any correlation between first babies and second ones? I mostly really find the mystery of when I’ll go into labor really fun, but sometimes I just wanna know if it’ll be one more day or three more weeks!

Weeks 37 + 38 with Gabe

About Ashley

Ashley is a web designer, mother, and social media addict. She blogs about her attempts to live more simply and pursuing happiness while juggling a job she loves and life with two adorable sons and an academic husband.


  1. When I was pregnant with Ellie, my doctor told me over and over that second babies typically come earlier and easier than first babies. Ellie was two days early (Topher was 10 days late!) and I was holding her in my arms two hours after being admitted, so it was very true for me! I hope it works like that for you too :) I was so anxious at the end of my pregnancy too … the first time around it’s not so bad because you have no idea what to expect, but you remember for the second time!!! I’ll be thinking of you in these last weeks!
    Holly’s most recent post :: Even NowMy Profile

  2. My OB said each subsequent baby comes three days earlier on average, but of course some people are nowhere near the average. I was dead on with my second (three days earlier than the first) and then…baby #3 blew the average out of the water and came a full two weeks later than #2.

    The end of pregnancy drove me crazy, too. I couldn’t stop the anxious thoughts and worries about whether baby was safe and would make it into my arms healthy. I really wanted to enjoy it more, but I just didn’t.
    Jesabes’s most recent post :: Eleven ThingsMy Profile

  3. Your comment about your thighs and rear made me laugh. I feel like my lower half really expands to handle the weight (also) gained in my big old belly. It’s like the foundation needs some expansion to handle the new addition up top.

    I am with you on anxiety. My first time around, I was happily naive to how often miscarriage and difficulties can happen. I hate that it clouds my pregnancies now, but it does.

    Hang in there for these last few days/weeks. Prenatal massage? Pool time? Those can provide some relief.
    Katherine’s most recent post :: We Had a Good Run TogetherMy Profile

  4. In my completely anecdotal and unscientific experience/observation, it seems like if the first baby was late, the second baby is likely to be earlier than the first baby was. Since Gabe was late based on the ovulation date, my guess is that this kid will be a few days to maybe even a week earlier than he was. (Personal experience: both times, ovulation dating and ultrasound dating aligned; Callum was born at 40w6d and Annika was born at 39w6d.)

    Also, I totally feel you on the anxiety thing. I think there’s something about being right there at the end, when you know that the baby is essentially fully cooked and would be fine on the outside, but it ISN’T outside and it still feels like your personal responsibility to make sure everything is OK in there and know whether you should be freaked out by lulls in movement, AND the movement changes because of cramped space PLUS longer sleep cycles, where it just feels very fraught. Like, something could go wrong and it would have been totally avoidable if the baby had just been born already and it’s on you to prevent that. It’s a terrible feeling. I remember it distinctly. But! Inside is still the better place for this baby to be, and everything will be fine, and soon you’ll be holding it in your arms and everything will instantly be better. You’ll power through! Xoxo.
    Jess’s most recent post :: Seven months oldMy Profile

  5. You look great. And, I would imagine that a lot of women (who actually make it to their due date) become anxious about a host of things in the last few weeks. Hang in there, mama. So very soon, you’re going to be mama*2!
    Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks’s most recent post :: Friday5My Profile

  6. You can do this birth, you’ve done the hard part already!!!
    Also, if I’m ever pregnant again I’m getting a Doppler, I kinda thought they were only for crazy people before but now I realize I’d rather be crazy than a stressed out mess :) I can’t wait to virtually meet this little baby girl or boy!

  7. Ahhh! 38 weeks! So close! Hang in there Mama!!!
    Becky’s most recent post :: Salute the SunMy Profile

  8. I went into labor at 41 weeks, 3 days with both of my children. I was dilated to 9cm and had no idea I was that far along when I arrived at the hospital for the second though, so my second labor did progress more quickly than my first.

  9. so close! and yes 2nd babies tend to come earlier than 1st, but can also just… do whatever :) prepare for the worst, hope for the best? (i’m full of hot air. the doula in me has lots of reassurance, but the mama in me is like THIRTY EIGHT WEEKS?? OK TIME TO BE DONE!!! every time. lol i get cranky early)

    hooray for a good hospital/supportive OB and boooo for bad sleep. why sleep? why do you betray us? the babies are coming. There will be no sleep then! Why ruin our lives NOW?
    Mrs Cpt PAO’s most recent post :: Easter FunMy Profile

  10. Non-mamma chiming in to say that a) i don’t a thing about babies being born late/early when it’s the second one. B) I can’t imagine the anxiety you feel. I mean, i get anxious about my step kids coming and I do know when that happens, so being on pins and needles so to speak while you wait for the baby to make his/her entrance seems to be naturally anxiety inducing, at least if you ask me =) C) I look forward to “meeting,” your second baby soon. Hugs and well wishes to all of you!
    Nora’s most recent post :: Return & CurrentlyMy Profile

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