birth stories

In defense of the fat baby

Fat Felix. 

Fat Felix. 

"You poor thing!"

That's the response I get most often when I tell people how much my babies weighed.

Felix was 9lbs 6 oz. Amos was 9 lbs 11.5 oz. Griffin was 9lbs 7 oz.

That's over 28 pounds of baby!

People assume my boys were difficult births. I've even had a few people make references to tearing. But guess what? Don't feel sorry for me and my chunky monkeys. I'm hear to clear some things up, especially for all you preggos living in fear of anything over 8 lbs.

Fat babies are where it's at.

First of all, my births were not difficult. (Well, I wouldn't describe Amos's birth as easy but I don't ascribe that to his weight.) I progressed naturally, was able to manage the pain, and had minimal tearing. Now, I won't say their birth weights had anything to do with my easy births. However, I will argue that a high birth weight doesn't mean you will automatically have a difficult birth.

I'm not an Amazon. I'm only 5'5" and while I do have some pretty major birthing hips, you wouldn't look at me and assume I have huge babies. I simply don't think we give our bodies enough credit for what they can do. We would be a weak link in the evolutionary chain  if we regularly grew babies that we couldn't give birth to. Sure, we have better access to prenatal care (and McDonald's) but I know plenty of petite mommas who gave birth to anything but petite babies.

So, if you're pregnant, breathe easy. Big babies come out just like little babies. And believe me when you're pushing those little buggers out  you're not exactly thinking, "I bet this would feel SO much better if this baby weighed a few pounds less!" Giving birth hurts. Period. No matter the weight.

Second, in my experience, big babies are easier once they get here. My mother-in-law (and mother of five) has famously said that once a baby reaches 10 lbs they should be able to sleep through the night. And I have to say that has been my experience. Griffin was sleeping from 10pm to 7am at about one month old with one night time feeding about 3am. Now, you can't ask for much more when it comes to newborns. I thought maybe he was a fluke but Amos and Felix - although a very different babies - have  followed suit. 

And let me just state the obvious - when they come out weighing nine pounds, you get to ten pounds A LOT quicker.

I can't begin to imagine how often a five pound baby eats or as a result how little they sleep, but I'm pretty sure if I had one I would strap that little sucker (no pun intended of course) directly to my bare chest and leave them there.

Now, I have nothing against tiny babies...except the self-control it takes me not to gobble up their teeny little fingers and toes. In fact, I think I would really enjoy a newborn that actually cuddles as opposed to my boys who come out holding their heads up and ready for pre-school.

Alas, I think I am destined for giants. Although they DO SAY that girls are smaller...

Felix's Birth Story

The word STORY seems a bit of a stretch for something that took less than two hours but nothing about this child's arrival fit the mold so we'll just go with it. 

Let's begin at the beginning. Both of my other births began in the morning after a nice full night's rest. Not this one! I woke up around 12:35 am with a hard belly. I thought maybe I just had to pee but knew it was odd because I almost never have Braxton Hicks contractions in the middle of the night. On the walk back from the bathroom, I realized the hard belly was accompanied by the slightest bit of cramping. 

So, I laid down and waited to see if I would have another one. Sure enough, a few minutes later the hard belly made another appearance - this time with WAY more cramping. I decided to download a contraction counter app and call my midwife. 

"I can't get out of my driveway," she replied when I told her I was in labor. 

Ashley Martin and "Picture Perfect Births"

Home birth is back in the news. In early December, the British health service released new statistics on the use of midwives at home and in birthing centers. Based on these findings, they concluded healthy women were safer delivering with a midwife at home or in a birthing center than in a hospital. These findings prompted the New York Times Editorial Board to officially recommend a more welcoming approach to midwifery and home births here in the United States

On one of her recent shows highlighting these findings, Diane Rehm noted that there seemed to be consensus among her guests and the medical community - midwives offer a better standard of care and real lessons for the medical community on how the patient experience. 

Unfortunately, despite the growing evidence that midwives and home births can be a safe options for mothers, my most recent discussions involving home birth have centered around a viral post on PopSugar entitled "What A Home Birth Is Like: My True Feelings Regarding My Home Birth Experience" by Ashley Martin.