Soon, a Florida mother will take home an almost 14-pound bundle of joy she only recently discovered was on his way.
Maxxzandra Ford didn’t think anything was unusual for most of her pregnancy. In fact, she had no idea she was pregnant. There was no nausea and relatively little weight gain that is until last fall when she started to gain weight rapidly.
A twin herself, Ford went in for a doctor’s visit suspecting she might be pregnant with twins as well. Instead, she discovered that she was 35 weeks along with just one baby.
“I was shocked,” said Allen Denson, the baby’s father, according to WTVT. “I couldn’t believe it at all. I thought she was playing.”
Fast forward to Jan. 29 and Ford was in labor at a Tampa hospital.
Thinking the baby was just about 10 pounds — thanks to an ultrasound — doctors proceed with a vaginal birth. But after 18 hours of labor, it became clear that the baby boy was going to be far bigger.
“When I felt his head come out, I knew he was bigger than 10 pounds,” Ford said at a news conference this week, according to WFTS.
By then, it was too late for a cesarean section, and doctors had to continue on, despite the risks to both mother and child that are posed by delivering such a large baby naturally.
“Before I knew it, he was already coming out. It was too late to turn back,” Ford said.
“I was cussing up a storm,” she added. “Yeah, it was bad.”
Newborn Avery Ford was delivered about 20 minutes later, and at 14.1 pounds, he had broken St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital’s record for the largest baby delivered in the hospital’s more than 30 year history.
His mother, exhausted and recovering from the labor, didn’t know exactly how big her baby was until she asked the hospital staff.
“‘What!? My baby weighed what?!'” she told them when she heard the news.”They were like, ‘Your baby is like adorably huge.'”
Avery has spent his time since birth in the neonatal intensive care unit because he had some difficulty breathing, which is expected for large babies, doctors said.
“They can have physical issues as they are coming out,’’ said Jenelle Ferry, a neonatologist at St. Joseph’s Hospital, according to the Tampa Tribune. “Some experience respiratory distress, where they have trouble breathing. Other babies have hypoglycemia, where they have low sugar levels, and some have trouble feeding.’’
Avery has already lost a pound due to natural fluid loss since he arrived on the scene. And he’s an eager eater — the hospital is feeding him 4 ounces of food every three hours, which is about twice what a normal-weight newborn is expected to consume, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Soon, Avery will join the rest of his family, which includes a 1-year-old brother and a 5-year-old sister, at home.
And Avery’s father is already thinking about the future.
“I’ve got a linebacker instead of a fullback,” he said.