“I’m just at the end,” the actress, 30, tells PEOPLE at the premiere of When You Find Me, a short film she directed and her father, Ron Howard, produced for Canon Imagin8ion.
“In order to fly here to New York, I had to get a permission slip from my doctor.”
Glowing in a bright yellow Max Azria dress, the expectant Howard says being pregnant won’t stop her from hopping around this holiday season.
“I’m actually going to be out of the country,” she says, explaining that her husband, Fringe star Seth Gabel, is working.
“I’m going there to be with him because it’s around the time of the birth,” notes Howard, already mom to son Theo, 4½. “The whole family’s coming with me.”
As for carrying around that baby bump, The Help star says c’est la vie.
“My first pregnancy I gained 75 pounds. I had every intention … I told myself, ‘I am going to be so fit this pregnancy,'” she laughs.
“But I have pound for pound been the same weight at every single milestone! I’m German — my body wants to carry like a tank. It is what it is.”
– Janine Rayford