Molly Noelle Stoddard

Our precious little girl was born on Friday June 17, 2011 after I labored for about 2.5 days. The labor was rough (perhaps I will write an entry about this at a later date) but well worth the reward of our sweet little child! At birth, Molly weighed 6 lbs 14 oz and was 19.5 inches long.


We were able to go home from the hospital on Sunday June 19 – which also happened to be Father’s Day – what a gift for Jon being able to celebrate being a new dad AND take Molly home all in one day.


Molly did very well on the car trip home but did manage to spit up on her cute outfit – go figure – guess I’ll have to get used to this. Unfortunately, the episodes of spit up seemed to greatly increase over the next several days as well as excessive, unconsolable crying when we would try to feed her. Both by breast and bottle (we were desperate to get food in her any way we could) Molly would take a few sips and then begin to cry, grimace, and appear so completely uncomfortable. Jon and I were baffled – being new parents we figured this was something all babies go through, but it did seem unusual that she would cry when being fed – it seems like crying is a precursor to being fed and that being fed should alleviate it! But what did we know?!

Anyway, this continued to concern us but our pediatrician reassured us on Tuesday June 21 that Molly looked great and appeared very healthy despite her weight on his scale being 5 lbs 14 oz. (He wasn’t concerned as it was a new scale and all babies lose weight initially). Just to be sure she wasn’t losing too much weight though and also to obtain a lactation consultation, we made an appointment with the pediatrician’s wife who is an NP and a lactation consultant for 2 days later.

We returned to the pediatrician’s office on Thursday June 23 and met with Joanne, the NP. Despite worsening emesis and poor eating, Molly’s weight had miraculously increased up to 6 lbs 3 oz. But, Joanne observed Molly trying to breast feed and also bottle feed and agreed with us that something wasn’t quite right. Molly had a good latch and seemed very hungry but also seemed very much in pain when trying to eat which was unusual. So given that, and the amount of vomiting (often multiple times between feedings), Joanne wanted to rule out any possible anatomical abnormalities that may be making it difficult for Molly to eat but also mentioned that it could be GERD. To be safe, Joanne wanted Molly to be evaluated at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and called the ER to let them know we were coming.

It’s a little hard to recall every event that happened once we got to the ER, but I will give the cliff notes version. Essentially once in the ER, it was determined that Molly was pretty dehydrated and after being poked 7 times, had an IV placed and was pumped with IV fluid. The ER also performed multiple other tests including EKG’s & X-rays to thoroughly examine every possible cause for what was going on. It was clear that Molly was having reflux but unclear as to why. After 8+ hours in the ER, Molly was admitted and went to the pediatric floor.

On the peds floor Molly was connected to a monitor that constantly checked her heart rate, respiratory rate, and pulse oximeter (oxygen saturation). She was immediately started on Zantac as, like I said, it was clear she was having problems with reflux. The nurses and doctors all mentioned that it could take a few days to see if the Zantac would work. The physicians also wanted to run a few more tests to further rule out any anatomical abnormalities.

Well, praise the Lord the only thing the physicians could come up with was that Molly had very, very severe GERD! They said that this was unusual in full-term newborns as they don’t normally have high acid levels. But…the Zantac worked and nothing anatomically was wrong so 5 days after our admission we were able to go home. What an eventful 2 weeks Molly gave us!

Since Molly’s 2nd time in the hospital, things have vastly improved. Sure, we still have spit up, and sure, she still cries, but it’s different…it’s normal newborn behavior. Molly is eating so well although getting her to swallow her medicine is sometimes a bit of a battle! She’s not the biggest fan of artificial grape flavoring. 😉

Also, Molly is now exclusively breastfeeding (except for once or twice at night when Jon gives her a bottle)! She decided that she really liked breastfeeding around 6 weeks and I’m so glad that I persisted in trying to get her to do so. My best friend Katie was a huge encouragement to me as well as her little one didn’t breastfeed until she was about 6 weeks old as well. Spit up still happens…at pretty much every feeding…but Molly doesn’t mind it for the most part and she is still gaining weight and eating really well. Apparently the reflux is just something she will grow out of as her system matures.

Jon and I are also doing much better – our families have both been out to help us and we have been able to catch up on some much needed sleep! We are loving being parents and still baffled that the Lord would entrust us with the life of this amazing little girl…but we are overjoyed at the same time that He did choose us!

Here are some more pictures of Molly over the last several weeks. You can see that she is really filling out nicely!

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