An Iowa woman gave birth to one of the biggest babies a hospital had ever seen Jan. 26. At nearly 14 pounds and 23-and-a-half inches, newborn Asher Stewardson is one big baby.
And he was born completely naturally: no painkillers, no cesarean section.
The parents of the infant, Kendall and Joshua Stewardson, say they've been blessed to have not one, but two children born completely healthy, and very, very big. Their other son, Judah, was born at a whopping 12 pounds.
"Just to have two [children] that had absolutely no issues, we're definitely very blessed that way," Joshua told WHO-TV.
Baby Asher, who looked smaller at about 11 pounds on the ultrasound, was quite a surprise to Mercy Medical Hospital staff and family. Even more shocking was Mrs. Stewardson's decision to turn down an epidural or a cesarean section, and deliver her second child in under six hours.
"Everyone like double takes when they see him, but for us it's pretty standard and it wasn't much worse than probably most people's [pregnancies]," said the mother of two.
Asher, whose 13-pound, 13-ounce body easily beat the hospital's other records for big newborns, is very rare. Only one out of every 1,000 children are born over 11 pounds, according to the National Council of Health Statistics.
Most newborns are between six and eight pounds. Babies born Asher's size are historically at risk for more medical problems, but so far he's fine, according to reports.
Although Asher is by all accounts a very large baby, he isn't even close to being the biggest infant ever born.
That honor is reserved for a Canadian baby born in 1879 at 23 pounds, 12 ounces. His mother was a giantess at 7'5," according to The Guinness Book of World Records. She died 11 hours later.
Asher's story has a much happier ending, however.
"We were very surprised," said Mrs. Stewardson.