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.
About Tom Johnson
I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.