Three years we tried. Three years filled with sorrow, grieving, and uncertainty. There was a time where I wanted to give up completely and we almost did. But here I am, sitting down to write her birth story. God is faithful.
After my trip to India in 2016, I decided to try just one last time. If it didn’t happen, if we ended up miscarrying again, that was it, I was done. I couldn’t take the emotional rollercoaster any longer. With each loss, a part of me was lost with them.
Just a month later I noticed changes happening. Signs that life was forming. Fear gripped me. What if this baby didn’t make it? I had to let go as much as I could. As each week past, my shoulders felt less heavy but it didn’t stop me from still checking the toilet paper after each bathroom break.
Did I Make The Right Choice?
Margaret’s pregnancy and birth was by far my most difficult out of the four. I suffered from extreme nausea and ended up being treated for depression halfway through. There were many days when I questioned if we did the right thing. After all of our trying and persevering did I actually make the right choice? Guilt set in and that’s when my depression flared up.
With all my previous pregnancies I knew that I was in till the bitter end, 42 + weeks. I was getting weary as those last weeks rolled in. My body was screaming for relief. Even sleeping became difficult on my bones. When I couldn’t take it anymore I decided to do something about it.
I birth big babies, David came in at 10lbs 7oz. I knew that by my 39-week mark my baby would be full term and most likely already packing on some good poundage. What I am about to confession right now is NOT something that I recommend you ever do but it is apart of my story.
If you have ever had a midwife you may know about a cocktail they give once you pass your estimated due date if you want it. This cocktail helps to encourage your body into labor. With a quick YouTube search, I was able to find out all the ingredients and I went out and bought them. They sat in my fridge for a good week.
I “know” that babies come when they are ready, for the most part. I “know” that my body knows what to do and when. But my mind was yelling at me needing this baby out.
March 19th 2pm. I mixed up the cocktail, went outside to bounce on an exercise ball and prayed. “Lord, be with me and the baby. Please let her come tonight, I am so very tired.” The hours went by and at about 6pm I started to feel like contractions were picking up and regular. I kicked my mind into go time. I told myself this was it. She was coming tonight, finally. My husband, on the other hand, wasn’t convinced. He has been through this with me three times before he knew more than I did the shifts between each labor stage. But I forced him to take me to the hospital. I NEEDED this to be it.
Of course, on the way to the hospital, everything stopped. My heart sank, my husband was right. The Lord was gracious that night because I ended up being admitted.
The preeclampsia and HELLP
With each pregnancy my platelets always end up dropping near the end. There has been no answer as to why my body does this but it poses a huge risk because I hemorrhaged my last two births. My blood pressure had been rising as well over the weeks. With these two risks, my midwife and the OB on call decided to keep me in. We WERE having this baby.
The Day She Came
My midwife gave me an option of taking a second round (or to them the first because I never did tell) of the cocktail. I declined and wanted to see what my body would do on its own. All night I labored but never progressing. I stayed hopeful but was disappointed that nothing was happening.
After a really long night of labor stopping and starting and stopping again, we made the call to break my water. Once again, labor was not starting. This is when I started to lose hope. I started to question and feel guilty for rushing things. What if I lost her? I knew this could still be a possibility. My mind went into overdrive thinking about all the negative outcomes that could happen. The next decision was to start to induce through oxytocin.
At one point I was sitting on the hospital bed, I looked down and all I saw was wires. In each hand held an IV one pumping the oxy and in the other an IV on standby in case of hemorrhaging. Around my belly was the fetal monitor that now had to be there because of the induction. I broke.
With my previous last two births, I was free of all of that. Free to move around and listen to my body as it throbbed. This time I felt like a prisoner in a hospital bed. Chained by all the wires. Once again, the guilt and the mind games of all that could go wrong progressed. “I can’t do this” I whispered through tears to my husband. “Yes, you can Shannon. You are so close to meeting Margaret.”
With that, I calmed down a little and within the hour I transitioned into full-on active labor.
Is This Real?
My body started pressing down and I couldn’t stop the urge to push. She was on her way into my arms. My midwife hadn’t returned from a meeting so the OB just sat in a chair watching my progress. All of a sudden through the blur of the pain and pushing I see him stand up and say “Oh, she’s coming!” Just as he got suited up my midwife walked through the door. I was so relieved because I wanted her to be there so badly. She had been there for Elizabeth and David, she THE midwife for me. Since the OB was all ready to go he ended up delivering our sweet girl.
There was a moment that time almost seemed to go in slow-mo for me. I looked over at Jon and I could see his anticipation and excitement on his face. Then I looked over to the OB getting ready and then Tina walking through the door. Everything was perfect. It was time to meet my baby.
The exact moment that Margaret was placed on my chest felt like the most surreal moment of my life. “Is this real?” I asked Tina. “It is!” She responded with the biggest smile. I wish I had a photographer there to capture those first moments.
Three years. Three losses. Pain, sorrow, uncertainty. Then, beauty, love, grace. Margaret Allison Grochowski born March 20th, 2017 at 2:51pm. God is good.