At the moment there is a bit of a niggling fear in the back of my mind. I have 19 days to go until we get to this baby's due date, and so far everything is progressing along very well. But I can't shake that 'what if something goes wrong?'
I think it's more prominent this time around, because last time, it was my first pregnancy and I steadfastly tried to avoid as much information about childbirth as I could. I didn't go in totally blind, we did the birthing classes and I read books. But I kind of just listened to my Mum's advice of "it's going to be the hardest work you ever do, but you will get a baby at the end of it." (Pretty good advice). I steered clear of horror stories of 60 hour labours, and tried to avoid those charming women who seem to actively seek pregnant women to terrify, and were eager to tell me of the ordeals they had suffered through to get their children (seriously, what is up with those women?).
But this time I've been exposed to lots more than I needed to know. Partly because of the Internet, also because of the joy of mothers groups, and the battle stories that are told there, and also because in the past 6 months two of my friends from playgroups have had their babies flown to the city after complications (isn't that a scary word?). There's the memory of my Aunty Jenny lurking in there somewhere, and I think I am also a bit more aware of just how precious having a baby is. But for whatever the reason, I am a lot more worried about what can go wrong.
This time around, we have also elected to stay at home and have the baby at our local regional hospital, rather than travel to the city and have the baby privately, the way we did with Georgie. We just decided it was going to be easier on Georgie and myself, because it was difficult to have to travel for appointments and scans so often, and I would have had to be in the city for a month before the birth, which would have been quite difficult. Plus it is a whole lot cheaper. And I didn't have too many dramas with my first pregnancy, so we decided it was for the best.
But now I do wonder if we made the right call. It's not that our local hospital hasn't been wonderful, but it is a small hospital, there is no NICU, and no permanent obstetrician. Just a flying obstetrician who services the whole area. So if something goes badly wrong, you are flown away to the city. But occasionally there just isn't time or opportunity to get the help that is needed. And that is a bit scary.
I'm telling myself that childbirth is a completely natural process, and I do think that far too often there is too much medical intervention these days. But I'm still worried about all that could go wrong. And I'm scared that it could be my fault, because it was mostly my decision to stay. Could I ever forgive myself if my child grew up with a problem, that may not have been a problem if they had received adequate medical care from the moment they were born?
I don't really expect any answers or any reassurance. I guess I just have to trust this baby with God. But it's hard. I just hope that this baby can arrive safely and without too much drama or 'complication' (there's that word again!).