As L-Day approaches, I'm starting to feel some anxiety. The anxiety isn't around the labor itself. Nine months ago, if you'd asked me, I would've said that I was terrified of going into labor. Nowadays, I think that I'm as ready as I'll ever be. I guess nobody is ever truly ready. That being said, the combination of my pre-natal exercise class discussions and the HypnoBirthing class have put me much more at ease about this whole labor thing. My fears right now are broken down into main parts: pre-delivery, and post-delivery.
On the pre-delivery side of things, my biggest fear is of delivering a stillborn child. It's a terribly morbid thought, but it's always crossing my mind, especially as I get closer and closer to delivering. What if PK is okay one minute, but not okay the next? What if the umbilical cord gets tangled around her neck? Even as I write this, these very thoughts make me cringe. I also worry about all of the coughing and sneezing fits that I've had over the last couple of days. It's one thing to have been coughing in January/February, when PK was surrounded by a thick cushion of amniotic fluid. Even when I had my April/May allergies, she had a pretty nice cushion. Now things are crowded in utero, so whenever I sneeze or cough, I worry about hurting her.
For post-delivery, I wonder what type of baby PK will be. Every parent hopes for a healthy child. But what if the delivery itself causes her harm - brain damage, physical deformation, or something else that I can't even fathom. Or what if PK has a congenital defect, or some sort of developmental disability? How would I deal with that? I truly admire parents of special-needs children. They are truly brave and loving souls. Would I ever step up like these parents were I placed in a similar situation? My honest answer is that I don't know, and that scares me. I hope I would. At the same time, I don't want to find out. Does that make me a bad person?
I know that these are all "what ifs", and but they're out there. If they don't affect PK, they will affect some other kid out there. It's a scary world out there, and I don't blame PK for wanting to hang out in utero for a little while longer.