No pregnancy is the same. From the first trimester to childbirth, women have similar but different experiences. They are exciting and unique in their own ways. There is a certain pattern in childbirth stories. Babies born prematurely, before completing their period of gestation usually weigh less and are small. Those who take longer than the usual weigh more and tend to be bigger (1). In such cases, there might be difficulties in childbirth, and they might have to switch to an assisted birth or even a Caesarean section. However, now and then, some babies come along and change the rules of the game. Here’s such a story of childbirth that made headlines in the UK in October, when a woman gave birth naturally to a baby weighing more than 10lbs, without any pain relief.
Jessica Drake, a 23-year-old woman from Sutton in the UK, got the biggest surprise of her life — a baby weighing 10lbs and 10oz (2). In the metric table, this averages to 4.8 kg. While babies normally take up to 2 months to be of that weight, baby Lily-Grace was born a rule breaker.
Jessica Drake went into labor on 5 October 2019, two weeks earlier than her due date. She was admitted to the Fatima Allam Birth Centre and later transferred to the main labor ward of Hull Women and Children’s Hospital for assisted birth. The baby, who was named Lily-Grace, was stuck at the shoulder, which called for intervention.
The baby’s weight was reportedly a massive shock for the couple. Jessica said she had a normal pregnancy without any warning or signs of the baby being big. Out of the hospital bag they had packed, she said, only a few things would fit the baby. The rest was not of any use.
Because she had opted for a water birth, she was in the birth center for the first part of her labor. Since the process wasn’t yielding any results, and the baby seemed stuck, she was sent to the labor ward. By then, the time for using pain relief had elapsed, and Jessica was left with no choice but to go for a ventouse delivery. Ventouse is an assisted delivery that uses a vacuum device. Obstetricians and gynecologists usually resort to this method if the second stage of the labor does not progress as required in time (3).
This came as a surprise to the father of the baby, Benjamin, too. The couple said that they hadn’t realized how much their baby weighed until she was weighed. Except when the doctor mentioned the possibility of the baby being big because the shoulders were stuck. Jessica, a new mom of one, said that it was painful for her, but the pain soon subsided.
Speaking to a British tabloid, she opened up about how a big baby is unprecedented in her family. This is definitely new, considering that the baby is two weeks early. She looked bigger and weighed more than all the babies in the clinic when she was born. In the month of October alone, 417 babies were born at the Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
Lily-Grace is now an adorable, happy baby who loves snuggling up with her mum and dad. Though she is now almost three months old, they have to use 6-month clothing as 3-month clothing is not big enough for her. Apart from being the big bundle of joy for her parents, baby Lily-Grace is now a favorite among everyone around her.
Babies born prematurely are usually small and weigh light. The case with baby Lily-Grace was quite the opposite. Nothing about pregnancy and childbirth is set in stone. Different couples have different stories. Do you have an interesting story about pregnancy and childbirth? Let us know in the comments.