Last week in Des Moines, Iowa a woman named Kendall Stewardson gave birth to a 13 pound, 13 ounce baby boy after enduring six hours of labor with no epidural injection! Her baby boy, Asher, is one of the biggest babies to have ever been recorded being born with a completely natural birth. Mother, Kendall, felt strongly about avoiding cesarean delivery and wanted to have a natural birth no matter what.
While Kendall Stewardson was preparing to give birth to nearly 14 pound baby Asher in Iowa, a woman in Los Angeles named Haydee Ibarra was preparing to leave the LAC Medical Center with the third smallest baby born in the world, according to Global Birth Registry figures. Haydee’s baby was born 16 weeks early last August and weighed only 9.5 ounces at birth. She spent the last 5 months in the neonatal intensive care unit and was finally able to go home last month.
Interestingly, statistics say that only one tenth of one percent of all newborns weight more than 11 pounds at birth. The average birth weight of an American baby is 7.5 pounds. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the heaviest baby to have ever been born weighed 23 pounds, 12 ounces and was 30 inches long. He was born to Canadian mom, Anna Bates, in 1879, but unfortunately died just 11 hours after birth. The heaviest surviving baby was born in Aversa, Italy in 1955 and weighed 22 pounds, 8 ounces. The lightest baby ever recorded to have been born and survive was Rumaisa Rahaman, born in Chicago in 2004. Rumaisa was 9 inches long and weighed under 8 ounces at birth.
These rare cases of abnormally large or incredibly small babies that are born and survive remind us to be thankful for the doctors that help facilitate these miraculous births.
No matter how great the pain, there is no pain too great to bear for a mother to bring a new life into this world. However, I am almost positive that Kendall Stewardson would happily choose not to experience the natural birth of a 14 pound baby again, or at least anytime in the near future!