New Baby Molly

Shannon had baby Molly on September 1, just a couple of hours before midnight. Molly is 8 lbs 15 oz and about 20 inches tall. She is healthy and has brownish hair.

Before we went to the hospital, Shannon was about a week and a half overdue. Every extra day seemed like an eternity and we were glum with anticipation waiting for the contractions to start.

After 12 days, at her checkup the midwife noted a slight deceleration in the baby’s heart rate and recommended induction. Shannon wanted to have the baby all naturally, and with Pitocin (the drug that prompts your body to start contractions), the contractions are three times as fast and painful. So she didn’t want to go the Pitocin route, but she was also in desperation for being so overdue, and with the midwife’s recommendation, we we went to the hospital that night.

They hooked up Shannon with Pitocin for about an hour at a low dose. The drug jump-started her body’s contractions, and then the nurses took the Pitocin away. It didn’t take long before Shannon was having major contractions. Within an hour she had dilated to a 9, and she was in serious pain. She asked the midwife ahead of time not to offer her any pain-minimizing drugs (mainly, no epidural). I held her hand and put pressure on her lower back to help where I could.

When it came time to push, she pushed for at least an hour, in different positions, and several times cried out that she couldn’t do it because the pain was so severe. But when you’re dilated to 10 centimeters, you can’t suddenly inject an epidural, so you have to go through with it. She would say I can’t do it!, and the midwife would respond, You can, because you already are.

She kept pushing, and the baby finally crowned. When the baby’s body was out, there was a giant feeling of euphoria and relief in the room. With our previous babies, Shannon always had the epidural, so there wasn’t as much pain or pushing. But when you have the baby naturally, there’s much more build-up because the mother has to work much harder, push longer, and there is so much pain and agony that by the time the baby comes out, you’re excited because the mother is still alive and you get the baby. The mother’s pushing moans are replaced with the baby’s cry. It was such an emotional experience everyone is the room was crying.

Because Shannon didn’t have the epidural, the baby was a lot more alert and awake. The baby learned to breastfeed in about 3 minutes.

Molly is the fourth girl in our family. We have only girls, and Molly will fit in well with her three older sisters (ages 3, 5, and 9). Because she was born on September 1, just two hours before midnight, she’ll be the youngest girl in her class (the birthday cutoff for kindergarten is Sept 1 at midnight). Her birthday will always coincide with the first week of school.

As we were filling out the birth papers, Shannon left the name blank. We were going to name her Molly Shannon, but then Shannon said, at the last minute, that she liked Molly Marilla more. Marilla is a character out of Anne of Green Gables, and the name comes from “mar,” or sea. So Molly Marilla it is.

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By Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer working for the 41st Parameter in San Jose, California. I'm interested in topics related to technical writing, such as visual communication, API documentation, information architecture, web publishing, JavaScript, front-end design, content strategy, Jekyll, and more. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

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  • Linda O

    Congratulations! I hope you, Shannon, Molly, and your 3 other daughters all have a wonderful “Labor” day weekend! Luckily, Shannon’s baby-producing labor is over…now the labor begins of raising another child to adulthood! WHAT FUN! Blessings to all!

    Linda O (STC)

  • Bill Kerschbaum

    Many congratulations, Tom!

  • Louellen Coker

    Cogratulations to you and you girls!

  • Rixa

    Just saw the good news! How great that they were able to turn the Pit off and Shannon accomplished her goal of having the baby the way she had planned. Anyway say hi for us and enjoy your new little one!

  • Renae the Neighbor

    I posted a long congratulatory comment, but it didn’t post! I don’t know if I can wax poetically again. But the bottom line is this: Mother and daughter are absolutely beautiful. So thrilled with the happy ending after such a miserable August.

    Much love, rbs

  • LaurieBee

    Congrats, Daddy! I’ve left a note on Shannon’s blog for her, but wanted to congratulate you too! You have a wonderful family!

  • Beth

    You tell Shannon that I’m so proud and happy for her!! I said the same thing during my (unexpected) natural childbirth that I couldn’t do it and yet somehow you do and then there is this amazing little baby and you forget what all the kvetching was about.

    Molly Marilla is a beautiful name, a beautiful baby, and I could not be more happy for you both!! She will round out the bevy of beauties already filling your home.

    Yeah for mommy, yeah for daddy!!

  • deb

    Congratulations Dad! She is beautiful!

  • Larry Kunz

    Heartiest congratulations to you, Tom — to Shannon, and to all the girls.

  • Sharla

    I’m so excited to get to hear the whole story now! Sounds like it was a success, and I’m so glad Molly and Shannon are doing well! Please let me know if I can do anything.

  • Irene

    I have just added this blog to my feeds on a recommendation from somewhere. This was my first visit.

    Was a bit surprised to read about this happy moment in a blog entitled “I’d rather be writing.”

    I don’t think you would have rather been writing.

  • Angi~Mistress of Mayhem

    Congratulations! So glad to hear that all went well. Your girls are beautiful!

  • Carina

    LOVE the name.

  • Gil Vinokoor

    As they say here in Israel, “Mazal tov!” (“Congratulations” in Hebrew)

    May she bring you and your family a lifetime of joy, happiness, and pride.


    (father of two little kids myself)

    p.s. IMHO, it’s personal posts like this one that turns your readers into followers. 😉

  • CJ

    Congratulations, Tom and family! I’ve been waiting for the good news and I’m glad everything turned out just right after such a long wait.
    You’re going to have a lot of shoes in your house!


  • Ram

    Congratulations, Tom!

    –Ram (happy father of a girl)

  • Tiffany

    wow, go Shannon. I would have been crying right there with you. You’re BRAVE! And inspirational.

  • Rob

    Congratulations sir: to you, your wife, and indeed your whole family. I hope the new addition to the clan keeps you all smiling but not up all night!

    I’m not sure where you get your energy from but if you can let me in on the secret…

    Rob – tired father to Alfie!

  • rory

    Many congratulations Molly looks like a little cutie already. You wife looks over the moon as I’m sure you are. Best of luck for the future for your whole family.

  • Rengaraman

    Congrats Tom and my best wishes to your entire family. I liked that little feet snap. :)

    – Rengaraman (happy father of a 2 year old boy)

  • Patty Blount

    CONGRATULATIONS! So happy for you and your family, Tom.

    Like you, I seem to have only one type of baby, but mine are boys. I had one 8-15 and the other 9-11. The first was Pitocin induced and the second NOTHING, not even an aspirin. He was early and came too fast for us to go with an epidural, even if I’d wanted to.

    Yes, I’m bragging. (I’ve earned it.) Please tell your wife that I’m fist-pumping in her honor, since nobody gives us parades or anything. I was panic-stricken during that delivery. I couldn’t vocalize anything but my mind was screaming with unexpressed worries along the same lines. “I can’t do this! I’m going to die!” But I was doing it, although not as long as your amazing wife.

    Savor every moment!

  • Tom Johnson

    Thanks for all the congratulations on the birth of our new baby. I really appreciate reading all the comments!

  • Emily

    Love the name Molly Marilla! SO perfect! Congrats to Shannon. I did the natural childbirth thing and distinctly remember wanting an epidural at a 10 but no such luck. Fortunately I only had to push a few times before baby was out, so I was lucky. Shannon is my hero (or heroine if you’d like)!

  • justin brock

    That’s wonderful, Tom. We’re about to have our fourth, too, and are considering going natural this time. I sent this link to my wife. It’ll encourage her.

    Congratulations to you and your wife.

  • Paul Pehrson

    YAY!! Congratulations!! We’re thrilled for you!

  • Nina

    Congratulations! I love the name!

    Shannon is a much stronger woman than I. I’d planned to go natural, but ended up getting the epidural at 8 cm. To my relief, my daughter was out within 45 minutes after that and was breastfeeding before they ever cut the umbilical cord.

    I bow to Shannon’s strength and endurance!

  • Nikki

    WOw! I have chills. I love to hear birth stories. She is beautiful. Shannon looks awesome before and after. I love the name you chose. Thanks for the update!

  • Amy (from RJ days)

    Congrats to you and Shannon! How very exciting to add another beautiful girl to your family! And I’m go glad to hear that things went how Shannon wanted them.

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