R.B. asks from Newport News, VA on June 27, 2007
Larger than Expected Baby
I am almost 36 weeks pregnant with my first, and my husband and I just found out that our little girl is already 8 pounds, 1 ounce. We are still in shock. That puts the estimate at 10 pounds at delivery. I am not a big woman, and I'm concerned about being able to have a safe vaginal delivery. The doctor said that this only raises our chances of having an emergency c-section to about 35%, but that some women elect to have the surgery instead of going through labor and then finding out the surgery is necessary.
I'd rather deliver vaginally, so I think I'm going to play the wait and see game. Still, I'm anxious about this. Has anyone else out there had babies that weighed at least 10 pounds at birth? Did your doctor let you tear or did you have to have an episiotomy? What are your success stories with large babies?
So What Happened?™
Thanks, everyone, for all of your stories and advice. I do feel better. I have learned to keep in mind that the numbers they gave me are only an ESTIMATE, and that our little girl may well end up being smaller than 10 pounds. Also, I'm going to talk to my husband about making sure that we do all I can to avoid an episiotomy unless it is truly an emergency. I would rather tear naturally; it sounds like I would heal much faster. If I need to have a c-section, I'll do what I have to do, but I feel much more reassured about trying for a vaginal birth.
Thank you so much! I'll keep you all posted. :-)
J.S. answers from Columbia on July 24, 2007
My 1st weighed 12 pounds even. We were given the option to have a Vaginal birth or a c section. The risk of the vaginal birth at his size outweighed the risk of the c section...so c section it was. I am happy with the decision I made and I hope you are happy with whatever decision you make too!
A.K. answers from Charlotte on June 28, 2007
I had several ultrasounds before having my daughter. They estimated her to be under 9 lbs at birth.. she was 9 lbs 11 oz. I had her via c-section at 38 weeks.. not just because of her size. I just wanted to say.. the ultrasounds can be off.. plus or minus. Don't freak too much. They could be wrong.
Good luck to you!!
S.J. answers from Charlotte on June 28, 2007
With my first son, I had an ultrasound at 36 weeks and they estimated him to be 8 1/2 pounds. Their biggest concern was the size of his head. After lots of discussion, we elected for the scheduled c-section about 10 days before my due date. He had still not dropped and there was no gestational diabetes. He was 10 lbs 7.6 oz. The doctor told me that there was no way I could have delivered him vaginally and I'm not a small person. He looked like a middle linebacker. I'm sure there are lots of people who had a different result, but that was my experience.
Good luck and congratulations!
S.F. answers from Charlotte on June 27, 2007
Just as the other mom's stated, it's an estimate. My son was 'estimated' to weigh 9#, and was born at exactly 7. It's all in the way he/she is positioned during the exam, your fluids/his/her fluids, etc. Don't sweat it! Remember, God never gives us more then we can handle!!
S.H. answers from Charlotte on June 27, 2007
10.6# Vaganal. One tear. Please, don't forget that it is an ESTIMATE. They have no idea how much your baby actually weighs. I asked them not to estimate for just your reason. I can push out a 6# baby, but if I had thought I was going to have a 10# baby I would have FREAKED. You can do it. Plus, they are probably off on the weight. Good luck!
M.P. answers from Charlotte on June 27, 2007
I'm an RN and i occasionally work at a Birthing Center. I've seen quite a few PETITE women push out LARGE babies. Keep in mind that what they are telling u is only an ESTIMATE. Speaking from experience, when I had my son my doc thought he was going to weigh at least 8 1/2 pounds, but he was only 6 pounds & 8 ounces. He was my first and I did tear, despite him being small.Try to think positive and don't let that freak u out!! Good luck!!
C. answers from Charlotte on June 28, 2007
I just delivered in April. He was my first baby, too. I was very scared of him being too big and me tearing a lot. I was even more scared of the idea of being cut...yikes. The doctor has told me since I was young that I had a "petite reproductive system" and could not give birth to a big baby. My son was only 7'13, but he came out with no problems whatsoever. You would have thought that he only weighed 4 lbs as easy as it was. I could have probably delivered a baby that was a couple pounds heavier as long as the head wasn't too much bigger...and I'm not big either. I did tear just a little, but it only took like 5 stiches to fix.
You should look into perineal message. I didn't do it before my delivery, but in the hospital the nurse did this wile I was pushing to get the baby's head down. She got a big container of this pink soap stuff and everytime I would push, she would gently message and stretch me. I'm pretty sure she saved me from tearing badly. You or your husband can do this while you are still pregnant to prepare you.
They are preparing you for the what-ifs because they have seen so many before. My water broke about a week and a half before my due date...I think our bodies generally know what it can handle. Just because you are small doesn't mean you can't handle a 10 pounder if they are right.
Estimates can always be off...a girl I work with was told her baby was about 6 pounds and he came out 9'1. Just relax and let nature do its thing.
One thing that might help, my doctor told me to stay away from processed sugar and anything made with white flour the last trimester. He said that this can in some people make the baby bigger (as in put on weight quicker) if you eat these type foods during the time the baby is loading up on pounds anyway.
Congrats on your new baby!
D. answers from Charleston on June 28, 2007
I just wanted to share this with you. My baby was also measuring larger than expected. They were saying 9 1/2 lbs when I was at 36 weeks and expecting him to be over ten at birth. I was VERY much wanting a vaginal, non-medicated birth but the doctors in-charge told my midwife I should have a c-section because of the possibility of shoulder distasia (sp?) with the baby's size and mine (I am 5'3 and normally weigh around 115-130.) Also, I asked about the measuring techniques because I had read that ultrasound can be off by up to 2 lbs and was assured that the machines now are so much more advanced that they could be considered very accurate. So, I went ahead with a C-section that I never wanted (along with the 6 weeks of pain and recovery compared to maybe one day of it for a vaginal birth)and had a beautiful, healthy 8lb 15 oz boy. Way off their measurements. This was at MUSC by the way. Now, saying all of this, I was unhappy about the C-section. However, once my baby was in my arms I could not have cared less how he got there. He was healthy and perfect. So my point is: don't make your decision solely on those measurements. Women have done this forever and the U.S. has a much higher rate of unnecessary C-sections. I hope this is helpful and if you wanted more information you could always call one of the libraries and ask how to get articles on this. Good luck and I hope your birth goes beautifully!
J.W. answers from Charlotte on June 28, 2007
Don't worry...I had a 9 lb 1 oz baby girl 05/05. I just had a few stitches (which you prob won't feel at all - they numb you). I felt sssooooo good after I had her, my husband asked me "how many more do you want", I told him "how many more do you want to give me". I felt like I could've run a marathon after I gave birth to her. The nurse told us that babies after their due date don't keep gaining weight, they actually start losing weight, so don't worry about the baby gaining weight after the due date...they don't. The doctor let me tear, he said it is usually smaller than if they give you an episiotomy. My Aunt had a 11 lb baby and DIDN'T tear!
The last thing you need to do is fear. Fear is the enemy!!!! If you can find this book, buy it and read it before you give birth. Supernatural Childbirth by Jackie Mize. This book helped me and I buy it for my friends and family who are expecting. I still read this book because I hope to have another baby. Relax your body knows what to do. Be Blessed.
D.C. answers from Fayetteville on August 19, 2007
I was in the same predicament. When I was about 36 weeks as well, my midwife said that our son was about 8 lbs already - I thought OH MY GOODNESS!! My husband is only 5'7 and athletic build and I'm only 5'4. So, we're not huge people. I thought the same thing - our son is going to be 10 pounds plus, but thank goodness he was born at exactly 8lbs. So her guess must have been wrong.
I delivered vaginally, and the midwife delivering our son, noticed that I would have had a 3rd degree tear, and she didn't want me to deal with that pain, so she did an episiotomy - which if you get an epidural you can't feel at all. I was all gungho about not getting "snipped", but it was unavoidable. So she did what was best for me.
I would stick with going for the vaginal delivery, but if all else fails, then just do what's best for your little girl.