Going to a wedding at 7 1/2 months pregnant?
March 2, 2017 10:06 AM   Subscribe

I got invited unexpectedly to a wedding that I’d like to go to. But I will be 7 1/2 months pregnant when it happens, and I’d like some help deciding whether or not I should go.

So, I’ve been taking an adult-education class for the last year and a half, and there’s been a core group of us who have stayed together when moving from the first level to the second. I’m living in a foreign country and I can only speak the local language at an intermediate level, so I try and be friendly and polite in class, but my uncertainty with the language makes me a little shy and it means I usually only have short, but nice, conversations with my classmates.

Anyway, I just got an email from one of my classmates inviting me (as well as the 6 other core people) to her wedding and the cocktail hour afterwards. I was surprised and quite touched by this, and I would like to go if I can. I wouldn’t drink alcohol at the cocktail hour, of course.

My only concern is that I will be 32 weeks pregnant when it happens. The cocktail hour is in a reception hall 50 minutes away. She doesn’t know my husband at all, so it’s just me that’s invited. I haven’t had any complications with this pregnancy so far--just regular stuff like getting tired more easily and dealing with some pelvic pain--but I’m a little worried about driving out there by myself, just in case something goes wrong or the baby decides to come early.

I would feel more comfortable car-pooling with someone, but I don’t know how to ask my classmates about that. Also, if I'm the only one of her classmates who accepts the invitation, then I will be going to a wedding and a cocktail hour in a foreign language that I'm mediocre at where I know no one but the bride. On a good day, I'm up for that sort of challenge, but I have no idea how I'll be feeling in a month. The wedding itself would be easy for me to get to, because it’s much closer by.

Do you have advice for what I should do in this situation?
posted by colfax to Human Relations (21 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you want to go, don't let pregnancy stop you. I flew from Cleveland toSan Francisco by myself for a week at 32 weeks. You will be fine -- and if God forbid something awful happens, you won't be very far away from the familiar.

But! It sounds like it might not actually be very fun, to be honest. You don't have to go! Just don't stay home on account of being pregnant.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 10:13 AM on March 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

Why don't you email one of the other classmates to whom you are closest and ask him or her if they are going, and if they want to carpool? They're probably also wondering if YOU are going to they'll have someone to talk to as well.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 10:15 AM on March 2, 2017 [13 favorites]

I was commuting 50 mins each way to work up to 36 weeks in my last pregnancy, so I wouldn't see that distance being a showstopper. But certainly I would use the "buddy system" for a lot of reasons - enjoying yourself, making sure someone there knows who you are and what to do if you do have any pregnancy-related issues, carpooling - so I'd definitely coordinate with one or more of your classmates to see if they're going.
posted by olinerd at 10:20 AM on March 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

I think you'll be fine. It might not be the most comfortable 50 minutes you've ever spent, stomach-size-wise, but you're really not that far away.

The chances are miniscule that some situation would arise during that 50 minutes -- even if you went into labor, you'd likely be able to drive safely for 50 minutes. If not, you'd still almost certainly be able to pull over safely and call an ambulance. Labor gets painful, but it ramps up fairly slowly in most cases; it's not like you just pass out (obviously). Even a fast labor is like 4-6 hours. If high risk factors arise, you can change your mind then.

Do drive carefully! In our birthing class, they said that car accidents are one of the bigger statistical threats to pregnant women. Their points were (a) birth- and pregnancy-related threats are smaller than other threats we routinely live with, but also (b) wear your seatbelt if it's at all possible.
posted by slidell at 10:26 AM on March 2, 2017

Is the classmate/are your classmates from the same culture as the place you're living in? Do you know someone who is culturally competent in that culture?

This problem seems solve-able if you know how to approach it. For example, here where I live, I would decide if I wanted to go (and carpool), or if I wanted to just go to the wedding. If carpooling, I would ask the other invitees if they were going and then say I wasn't sure because of the driving situation. Then I would expect them to offer to give me a ride or say that they'll see if someone else can give me a ride. They'd ask around and someone would offer me a ride, or not, within about a week or so. Then I'd know whether I could come and would RSVP. If I just wanted to go to the wedding, I would rsvp to the wedding and then ask the bride if she'd like to have a quick coffee with me before class. Then I'd tell her I couldn't come to the reception, but wouldn't say it's because of no ride (since she'd take that as a hint to find me a ride), would instead say that medically it's not a great idea. I wouldn't dwell on it, though, and I would mostly use the time to demonstrate that I am excited about her wedding.

This is all very culture-centric, though! For the social component, ideally you could get advice from a local (or ideally an expat who has been there a long, long time) who is your same age and gender.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 10:34 AM on March 2, 2017

Is there an interesting hotel near by? You could make a little trip there with your husband. He can grab a dinner nearby, rent a movie in the hotel room, have a hot tub, meet up with him in the evening, and go get a wonderful breakfast near by in the am.
I LOVE being a mom, but relaxing around a hot tub with a beer will be a luxury not soon had for your husband - and a lazy mini road trip home with a nice breakfast might be a nice treat, too.
posted by ReluctantViking at 10:47 AM on March 2, 2017 [9 favorites]

Perhaps this may not be culturally relevant, but if you offer to carpool, most people would look at that and say "Great! Free designated driver!"

I wouldn't avoid going on account of the pregnancy, but I would consider avoiding on account of being taken advantage of for driving purposes.
posted by Liesl at 10:51 AM on March 2, 2017

Also, I am not sure if you are asking this, but at 32 weeks I would not go 50 minutes from a good hospital where they could easily access my medical history and my doctor. I would also not want to be that far from a hospital with a level I NICU (I know that it's a different system there). If I did, I would only want to go with someone who I felt comfortable talking to, who could make medical decisions for me if I were incapacitated by pain or another condition. Since there is a language barrier, everything in an emergency situation will take more time and be less accurate.

The chance of something happening is very low, but at least in the US, 32 weeks is around the age when rapid and appropriate treatment for preterm labor can make a huge difference in outcomes. It might mean a few more weeks of development in utero, or even a few days and a shot of steroids to help develop the baby's lungs. That can have a large impact on the baby's risk of various conditions, and make a difference in their quality of life and health as they grow. Hence my (possible) paranoia about being too far from medical care at that gestational age!
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 10:54 AM on March 2, 2017 [3 favorites]

She doesn’t know my husband at all, so it’s just me that’s invited

I think under the circumstances, it's so normal that wedding invitations be issued to "plus one" and everything that's going on with you, it seems like it would not be rude to say, hey, what with the pregnancy and all, I'm not totally comfortable going to this without my husband, but I'd really like to be there, would that be okay?

Given that it's just a cocktail hour and you're not drinking, it's not like the sort of situation where inviting both of you seems likely to involve substantial extra cost for her or anything. It's one thing to just presume and bring the person, but another to ask when you've got a very good logistical reason, I would think. You know the culture you're living in better than we do, of course, but it seems like it'd be fairly uncontroversial, because making a few extra allowances for a woman at this stage of pregnancy is such a normal part of life. Not that the answer will necessarily be yes, but I can't imagine anybody holding it against you for asking.
posted by Sequence at 11:07 AM on March 2, 2017 [3 favorites]

I was 34 weeks pregnant when I went to a wedding about 100 miles from home. It was a fairly uncomplicated pregnancy before that so I wasn't worried about being that far from home. There were no incidents. I went with my partner, which was good because it was a wedding on his side of the family but also because I had somebody to help me get around a bit. The buddy system was nice to help me stay comfortable, also because it would have been weird not knowing people.

I normally don't like people insisting on a +1, but this seems like it might be warranted. I would first try to see if any of your other classmates are going. Is there one you're closer with that you might be able to float the idea by?
posted by kendrak at 11:09 AM on March 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

I see no reason to worry about being 50 minutes away from home on month 7 1/2 of an uncomplicated pregnancy. Babies very rarely show up that early with no previous warning signs.

See if you can carpool with your classmates and have a great time! Make sure to let whoever you're carpooling with that you're not up for a crazy late night, but you should feel just fine, if a little stiff from the car ride.
posted by lydhre at 11:20 AM on March 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

I would not be worried about the distance. Obviously, people's discomfort with this varies, but personally I'm planning on flying 4.5 hours to attend a work training that is across the country at 31 weeks pregnant. There's always a risk of premature labor but absent some particular factor that makes preterm labor more likely (knowing you have a shortened cervix or previous preterm labor), it's not the sort of thing that I or my OB consider at all unreasonable at 32 weeks.

With my first pregnancy, I was totally fine physically at 32 weeks pregnant and this would have been no big deal. I got tired earlier in the day than I usually did, and wasn't as comfortable standing for long periods as I am non-pregnant, but in general I didn't get really uncomfortable until 35 weeks. YMMV, of course.
posted by iminurmefi at 1:11 PM on March 2, 2017

I was a big wuss during pregnancy and would have been fine with this. I'd go for it. You might have to stop more often to pee on the way.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:32 PM on March 2, 2017

I would definitely go. I went to a wedding 2 hours away at 37 weeks pregnant with my second. It was great. And this was after my 1st was born at 37 weeks, but with a complicated pregnancy. As long as you continue to have an uncomplicated pregnancy, and feel good before the wedding, you should go, worry free.
posted by sulaine at 2:05 PM on March 2, 2017

I had a tough pregnancy and was pretty cautious, but I'd be very comfortable with this. I went to a (local) wedding when I was ~36 weeks pregnant and generally quite physically uncomfortable and had a really lovely time.

If you're especially nervous about driving, one option would be for you to drive there with your husband, he hangs out somewhere nearby (and reads or whatever) while you go to the cocktail hour, then drive back together.
posted by insectosaurus at 4:43 PM on March 2, 2017

Yep. Have your hubby bring you and find something to do during the reception. He'll probably have a good time.
posted by Fister Roboto at 7:02 PM on March 2, 2017

Ask your husband to drive you there, find something to do while you're at the wedding, and pick you up when you're done.
posted by Kwadeng at 9:54 PM on March 2, 2017

I went to a wedding over an hour away from home when I was about 31 weeks and it was completely fine, however my husband was with me. It was the full ceremony/cocktail hour/dinner reception thing and finished late, so we stayed the night at a nearby hotel. If I were you I would do it; make sure your hospital/"go" bag is packed and if you can't find a buddy then ask your husband to drive with you and hang out somewhere while the wedding proceeds.
posted by snap, crackle and pop at 11:15 PM on March 2, 2017

Response by poster: Thank you so much for your answers, everyone!
posted by colfax at 1:44 AM on March 3, 2017

At my wedding there were three people in various states of gestation. The furthest along ended up having their baby about a week after the reception, but it was her third so was already a daft hand at this birthing business. My sister-in-law ended up having her baby a month and a half after the reception so she was essentially as far along as you will be. She ended up flying to the UK from Philly to go to the wedding so a 50 minute journey shouldn't be a problem.

Obviously if it makes you uncomfortable then don't go, but I think the taking the husband and staying the night in a hotel sounds like a good plan.
posted by koolkat at 4:52 AM on March 3, 2017

Response by poster: Update for future people who might come across this question: I went to both the wedding and the reception and it was fun. One of the other people in my class asked about carpooling first, so we all went together.

We stayed at the reception for 2 hours and then went home. It was a drinks and hors d'oeuvres reception rather than a sit-down dinner. It would have been a long time for me to stand, but we found a little table and sat down the whole time, so it was fine.

By the time I got home, I was sort of tired, but not completely wiped-out. Just tired by the socializing, because that always tires me out a bit.
posted by colfax at 1:38 PM on March 28, 2017 [2 favorites]

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