I recently wrote about my experience of birthing two very large babies. The post gained a lot of interaction and opened the dialogue with other mothers who have also had larger-than-average babies, which gave me the idea of running this series.
Today Amie, who blogs over at the wonderful Mum Amie website, has kindly shared her story:
From quite early on in my first pregnancy it was obvious that I was going to have a big baby. I had anticipated a big bump, as big babies ran in my family (I was a big baby myself).
However, as my bump grew at an alarming rate I started to panic a bit. From twenty weeks onwards strangers were saying to me, ‘any day now?!’ and when I replied that I was only halfway I then heard, ‘It must be twins, surely!’ These comments did nothing to alleviate my fears.
I voiced my concerns to a midwife, who after measuring my bump, said there was nothing to worry about. I was only measuring a centimetre bigger than my dates apparently. When I look back now I wonder how that was possible as I was huge. However, at each appointment no one seemed to be concerned. I never saw the same midwife twice during my pregnancy, perhaps if I had built up a relationship with a health professional I would have been more comfortable in relaying my fears.
I found a website where women posted their bump pictures and spent ages comparing my bump to the pictures of others. Each time I came away feeling worse – my bump just seemed so much bigger than everyone else’s! Pregnancy was causing me to inhale food at a rapid rate, so perhaps that was the cause?
I went into labour two days after my due date. I started off in the hospital birth centre, naively believing I’d be able to do it all on gas and air. After hours of agony and learning that I was only 6cm dilated, I requested to be transferred to the labour ward and have an epidural. I was so lucky that an anaesthetist was available right away. Oh the sweet relief!
When the epidural kicked in I slept for a while and about 6 hours later it was time to start pushing. Obviously it’s hard to push when you can’t feel anything and so I was pushing for hours with no success. Eventually, a new doctor arrived on the scene and decided that I was having a big baby and there was no way I was going to be able to do it without assistance. When I look back now I often wonder how it took so long for anyone to notice.
I was prepped for a C-section; however they said they would try to get her out with forceps first. Luckily my daughter was delivered by forceps eventually. I had an episiotomy and lost quite a lot of blood, meaning I had to stay in hospital a couple of extra days.
When my daughter was placed on my chest, I remember thinking, ‘God she’s huge!’ She weighed 10lbs 4oz. All the new-born clothes I had bought for her didn’t fit; she went straight into 0-3 months.
When I think back now I wish I’d had more confidence to speak up to the health professionals about my concerns over the size of my bump. I think a combination of never seeing the same midwife or doctor twice and generally having no idea what I was doing, meant I lacked the assurance to voice my fears.
In the end, I was blessed with a beautiful healthy baby (who is now almost seven) and that’s all that mattered. The recovery from the episiotomy was pretty painful but I was so relieved to get home I didn’t care.
My second daughter was delivered by C-section at 32 weeks because she had a rare heart defect. She was 5lbs 2oz, which I was told was big for that gestation. Sadly, she was so poorly she didn’t make it. My son was also delivered slightly early due to different pregnancy complications. He was 8lbs 2oz at 38 weeks and I have no doubt if he’d been left until 40 weeks he would have been another ten pounder!
Thank you for sharing your story, Amie and I’m sorry to hear about your second daughter. I agree your son sounds like he would have certainly been around that 10lb mark!
I think it’s also worth pointing out how wonderful she looks in those photos, that bump must have been quite heavy and uncomfortable and she still managed to look gorgeous. I think I stopped even bothering to brush my hair after about 20 weeks!
If you had a bigger than average baby and would like to feature on this blog, please get in touch over at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you!