Pregnancy

Mother Gives Birth To 14-Pound Baby And He Was ‘Early Term’ According To New Nonsense Guidelines

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shutterstock_128729195In news that makes my uterus hurt just reading it, a woman in Utah gave birth to a 14-pound baby.  Most media outlets are talking about how Joel Brandon Jr., nicknamed J.J., is unofficially the biggest baby born in the U.S. this year, but so many other details of this birth are shocking to me.

Not that we can ignore the sheer number on his baby scale.  Fourteen pounds is nothing to sneeze at (and I imagine mom Sara Brandon won’t be able to do a lot of that anymore).  That’s almost as much as both of my 40-week singleton newborns combined. I think about how bad my back hurt and how hard it was to carry around the extra weight of just my seven-pounders.  I can’t imagine what kind of shape she was in at the end.  I feel for her.

But that’s just the start.  Odd details abound in this story.  First of all, the ultrasound predicted he would weigh 11 pounds, according to mom Sara Brandon.  I actually have no idea why they do this (I’m sure there’s an actual medical reason, but I don’t know it), especially when the ultrasounds always seems to be a terrible predictor.  They told me my first born would be in the 5.5-pound range at 40 weeks, though he ultimately tipped the scales at seven pounds, possibly because I gorged myself with ice cream when I felt guilty for growing a small baby.  But that doesn’t explain why they told Brandon her baby would be 11 pounds and they were off by THREE pounds.  And did I mention he was “early term” according to the new American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists guidelines?

J.J. was born at just 38.5 weeks.  The doctors at Timpanogos Regional Hospital in Orem, Utah were prepared for a big baby as they performed the cesarean.  Brandon spoke to HuffPost:

Since they knew he was going to be a big baby, I had two doctors delivering him instead of just one. They said that they had to use some maneuvering for shoulder dystocia that they normally only use in vaginal births — in other words, he was so big and crammed in there that they had a hard time getting him out.

A fourteen pound newborn conjures up visions of a child that pretty much walks out of the womb, already able to talk.   A “Family Guy” Stewie-type, if you will.  But that wasn’t the case for baby J.J.  He suffered respiratory problems and was “blue and floppy” according to Brandon.  J.J spent his first 10 days of life in the NICU.

The good news?  J.J. is healthy and thriving at home.  The best news?  He is so big he is sharing diapers with his two-year-old identical twin sisters.  That’s right.  Two-years-old.  Looks like she’ll be ordering size 4 nappies in bulk.  Seriously.

(photo: danilobiancalana/Shutterstock)