General Question

keobooks's avatar

Anyone have experience giving birth to a 9+ pound baby? What was the experience like for you?

Asked by keobooks (14283points) August 14th, 2010

I’m only 34 weeks pregnant, and my daughter is already about six pounds. The ultrasound technician gasped and said “Oh… wow… wow.. ” when she saw her thigh bone on the screen. My doctor is estimating her size at 9 – 10 pounds at birth. She’s telling me horror stories about vaginal birthing at this size and she’s scared me lots. She keeps telling me “It’s not the head.. it’s the shoulders that will tear you up..”

Anyone have any stories about giving birth to big babies? I’d like to hear.

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17 Answers

MissAusten's avatar

First of all, I am horrified that your doctor would scare you like that. Was she trying to be funny? That’s especially mean if this is your first baby. :(

Second, one of my kids weighed in at 9 lbs 2 oz. The ultrasound showed he’d be about 8 lbs. Keep in mind that the ultrasound could be wrong and the baby might not be as huge as you think. After all, there’s not much you can do about it and worrying will only stress you out.

Having a 9+ pound baby wasn’t a picnic, but it wasn’t quite a horror story either. The worst part of it, for me, was the pitocin to start labor which had stalled when I was 4 cm dilated and the staidol they gave me for pain. The staidol made me very loopy, and the pitocin made the contractions pretty awful. I don’t think those things had anything to do with the size of my son, and I know other moms who didn’t have those reactions. Each labor and delivery is unique, so just remind yourself of that whenever you hear a horror story! Anyway, when it came time to push my son was born very quickly. I had a small episiotomy which I didn’t even feel and which healed very well. Because of the staidol, I was basically high as a kite and had trouble following the doctor’s directions. My son’s shoulder did get stuck briefly, but one more push and he was out. Actually getting the baby out was not nearly the worst part of the experience.

You will be fine, and your baby will be fine. Your body is very specially designed to do what it will be doing in a few weeks, and once it’s over it’s over. If you are considering an epidural, that will make things so much nicer. ;) I had one with my third baby, and it was by far the most peaceful and easy labor and delivery. He weighed 8 pounds but was a week and a half before my due date.

Good luck, and don’t listen to the horror stories! I don’t know why people do that to pregnant women. I hated it when I was pregnant, and it’s still a pet peeve of mine!

wilma's avatar

It’s not the head, it’s the shoulders. She is right.
My big baby was my fastest birth. Over and done in about four (very hard) pushes. He helped pushed himself out, by bracing his feet against my ribs. The big shoulders were harder to get out than his big head, but after they are out, it’s over in a hurry.
If the baby is positioned in a good way, then probably everything will be OK. Women have given birth to large baby’s for centuries. There is always the option of a C-section if you are not progressing well.

Good luck, and don’t be scared.

le_inferno's avatar

My boyfriend is 6’6’’. He’s a big dude, he was also around 9 pounds at birth. Whenever his mom wants him to do something, she guilts him by talking about his birth and saying, “You were so painful! You were huge! You ripped me in two!” In front of me, which is kind of awkward. So yeah, it probably won’t be easy, but it’s pretty effed up for your doctor to scare you like that.

Coloma's avatar

I totally agree with @MissAusten

I am appalled that your doctor would share these horror story birthing issues with you!

As MissAustin said, I had a similar experience with induced labor and that was the worst of it all in all, although my daughter was 8.4 and not over 9–10 lbs. still…a big enough baby! lol

Babies have gotten bigger in the last 30–40 years due to better nutrition and less emphasis on weight gain.

Studies have shown that mothers that gain, on average, 35–40 lbs. tends to have an 8+ lb. babies, which is healthier for the infant to be born at a robust birth weight.

I was only 5.7 back in the late 50’s when doctors put mothers to be on strict diets and encouraged only 20 lb. weight gains.

I did experience some pretty good tearing even with an episiotomy but, my daughters head never ‘molded’ the way babies usually do, it was like a cantelope, and that was what caused my tearing, her shoulders slipped out like a bowl of jello after that canonball head of hers. lol

I read somewhere once that a woman is designed to give birth up to a 15 lb. baby. Your body is prepping itself for this task now, never fear, it will be fine, and yes, everyones experience is unique.

And remember…it IS true…the SECOND that baby is born the pain stops and you forget it completely!

I remember how great it was to stretch out on my belly that first night after the birth….sheer joy!

PupnTaco's avatar

My wife gave vaginal birth to all three of our kids – 10 lbs 8 oz, 10 lbs & 9 lbs. No anesthesia. She survived just fine, you will too.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You’ll do fine. A woman’s body can do some amazing things. However, I’d seriously consider turning your medical advisers in to what ever board.

JLeslie's avatar

I have never birthed a baby, but my girlfriends talk without restraint in all detail about everything. I am not totally upset your doctor gave you some scary stories about big baby births. Well, he should not have given you scary stories, but a warning that it might cause a complication, if that is what the doc is worried about would be ok with me. Especially if you were in the mindset that you want it to be totally natural no drugs. Now, the drugs are generally for labor, so I think you can still go no drugs if that is what you wanted. I know woman who have done labor and delivery with drugs and no drugs, and they all seem to favor the no drugs.

I think psychologically you might need to ready yourself for a possible c-section. Possible. I am not saying Probable. If you go into labor at 8 months, you will probably will have an 7.5–8 pound baby. Also, it depends how petit your pelvis is. I have a relative who could not birth her babies, the first one never even turned around all of the way. She was a size 2 barely 5’2” woman with an over 9 pound overdue baby. The baby simply could not get out. She did her darndest to try, labored for over 12 hours, until they finally decided it was going to have to be a c-section. Meanwhile, I know many many women who have delivered 9 pound babies who did just fine.

My point is, don’t get yourself all worked up, as you get closer to the due date you will evaluate the situation.

Jeruba's avatar

Don’t worry, @keobooks. Really, don’t worry. There’s absolutely nothing to gain by it. When labor starts, that’s soon enough to find out what it’s like. Don’t drive yourself nuts trying to imagine it beforehand. People’s experiences differ greatly. One person can just slide out an 11-pounder, and another can spend 36 hours pushing out 7½ pounds.

Like @MissAusten, I don’t understand some women’s appetite for regaling first-time mothers with their L&D horror stories. Don’t listen. They have nothing to do with you. Consider: one person’s dentist appointment is not like another person’s dentist appointment, right? The number of variables is immense, despite what they have in common. Same here.

I don’t want to shake your confidence in your doctor, but in my opinion she has already done that. I’m amazed that she spoke to you in that fashion. Are you considering changing practitioners?

keobooks's avatar

@Jeruba basically it’s way too late to do that. OB docs don’t take new patients after they are at week 28. I got her when I was 24 weeks pregnant because my husband switched jobs and we changed providers. Basically, I went down a list of providers and got the first one willing to take me on such short notice and at such late term.

I don’t want to go into too much detail, but I had some problems with the last OB service I had too. My husband worked for the Medicaid hospital and we had to go through the Medicaid OB program on his plan. So I had all kinds of complications like untreated gestational diabetes (Most doctors would have started treating me when it got up to 140, the clinic waited until I hit 200 on the blood sugar)

The new doctor has been trying for weeks to get my old medical records but they have lost a whole bunch of them. I think my doctor was venting some frustration on the poor quality of care I had in the past. Sometimes I think she is of the opinion that I wouldn’t be in this situation if I had her as a doc all along.

I’ve noticed that some doctors try to be more upbeat to keep your spirits up and some try to give you the worst case scenario so that you’re prepared. I think I’ll choose a different OB next go around but this time I had no choice.

wilma's avatar

@keobooks It sounds like you have had a bit of a run-around already.
Your body will do what it needs to and you will be amazed at what you can do when the time comes.
Don’t worry, I’m sure it will all work out and soon you will have your little girl in your arms.

MissAusten's avatar

@keobooks Your situation with the OBs is too bad. The first OB I had was awful too, but I switched very early on and loved my next doctor. He had the perfect balance of informing patients without being alarming. As an example, I had an abnormal pap smear that came back as being very nearly cancerous. My doctor was so wonderful about explaining exactly what that meant, exactly what he would do, and exactly what I could expect. It’s hard to worry and panic when you have a doctor that takes such care of your emotions as well as your body. He delivered my first baby and had the best bedside manner of any doctor I’ve ever known. I really wish he’d been on call when my 9 pounder was born!

Seriously, you’ll be fine! I knew a woman who delivered a 13 pound baby without any problems!

Rarebear's avatar

As someone who has delivered about 800 babies in my time, I agree with everything that @Jeruba wrote. I wouldn’t bother changing doctors, though, based on one off-handed comment. Talk to your doctor about it and tell her how much that comment frightened you, and s/he should allay your fears.

lostmelodies's avatar

My son was 8 lbs. 12 oz., so not as big as you said, but like everyone is saying, it’s different with everyone, and the size of the baby DEFINITELY is not the biggest factor in how birth goes. My opinion is to give it your best shot before resorting to C-section!
My mom is 5’6” and gave birth to four babies, all between 9 lbs 2oz and 10 lbs. She had no troubles or complications at all and recovered quickly for all of us.

Seek's avatar

I had a 42 week pregnancy that resulted in a 10½ lb baby. No weight gain on my part (I actually lost weight due to hyperemesis) and no gestational diabetes.

Forced induction with Cervadil and legal maximum of pitocin. 37 hours of labor, two hours of pushing, shoulder dystocia (15 inch chest. They didn’t measure his shoulders. They’re broad), a 2nd degree tear, and a severe postpartum haemorrhage.

I didn’t even meet the OB until three hours before my induction. I had planned a natural waterbirth at a birth center. Yay, 10 month pregnancy. Oh, and her ultrasound promised me a “6½ to 7½ lb baby”. They were off by a little bit. I didn’t like her – she was rough – but she didn’t push the C-Sec idea on me too much. That may or may not have something to do with my stating “I’m doing this naturally. Period.” upon first meeting her.

augustlan's avatar

I weighed 9½ pounds at birth, and was delivered vaginally. Of course, in those days, they knocked the mother out just before the birth. Like everyone else has said, don’t panic. I’ve had 3 kids, delivered vaginally with no epidurals. While none of them were even 8 pounds, it was actually my smallest (and third) child that gave me the most trouble with labor and delivery. And she was only 5lbs 14 oz! You’ll be just fine, no matter how it goes. Best wishes for an uneventful delivery and a happy, healthy baby. :)

keobooks's avatar

Thank you SO much. I’ve been scared. I hope that everything goes well. I think just the new info with my pregnancy hormones are a terrible combination. Every time I blink, I think of something new to worry about.

As for my doctor, I do think some people respond well to getting scared about stuff—I’m not one of those people. I am sure plenty of people like her just fine.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Like @Seek_Kolinahr, I thinks it’s bad your doctor has the attitude 9lb and larger babies are so bad. Women have been vaginally birthing that size of babies for thousands of years and not all of them died or had their innards fall out between their knees later.

My mother had me when she was 19yrs old and I was a 10lb+ baby. She had me natural and came through just fine. My ex husband has 5 sisters, all of them have had at least one baby larger than 8lbs and all of them healed fine but they did recommend the scissors cut. All of these women, including my mother were slightly built, average height women and not all “big” babies grow to be big people- I’m only 5’2”.

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