Crista Hebel had originally planned to deliver her third child with the help of a midwife, but those plans quickly changed after tests showed the baby was unusually large. Scheduled to deliver her baby by cesarean section on May 5th, she was hospitalized early for dehydration and gave birth to her daughter Ayara 4 weeks early.
“They did tell me that the ultrasound could be 1½ pounds off either way. My jaw dropped when I heard that number in the operating room, but I knew that was in the realm of possibility”, the new mom told the Record-Eagle
After she arrived weighing a healthy 12lbs 3ozs, Ayara was placed in the neonatal intensive care unit for monitoring where she was doing “very well, excelling at every goal they give her. Everyone in the NICU tells me it’s very hard to remember she’s a preemie because she’s so large.”
Normally a baby born this large is due to gestational diabetes, but Ayara, doctors say, is just a big girl.
“This isn’t because of any kind of medical condition,” said new dad Bob Hebel. “She’s just a very large child. She’s got the physical characteristics of her mother and she looks very Polynesian, like a princess. She’s dark and she’s plump and her knuckles are like dimples.”
She is also the largest baby Debra Kurtz of Grand Traverse Women’s Clinic, has delivered.
“Hers was the largest baby I’ve ever delivered, and that was in 21 years of practice,” Kurtz said.
The couple will likely be returning some of the gifts they received before their daughter’s arrival as she has skipped 2 diaper sizes and won’t fit into any of the newborn clothes they had waiting for her.
Ayara joins Crista and Bob’s 14 month twin boys at home.