As soon as I was pregnant with my third, I knew it was a boy. I knew this because I could eat non-stop, just as I could with my first boy. So when I kept growing, and growing, and ended up weighing 50 pounds more than my 6’1” husband, I knew he was going to be big. What I didn’t realize was that his head would be so large it would set a record at the hospital.
And if you’ve ever birthed a baby big-headed baby you feel my pain.
While not every baby with a giant head makes your pregnancy or labor harder, it certainly was the case for me. If you’re also headed towards a big delivery, here are just a handful of things to expect:
1. You think your labor is starting every day the last two months of your pregnancy.
You feel that head all the damn time. The weight of it makes you pee a little every time you sneeze, bend over, stand up, or move.The pressure—I will never forget the pressure. It felt like I was on the verge of a contraction every second. You feel it in your back, your pelvis, everywhere. And when he had the hiccups, I half expected to reach down and feel him crowning. A big, heavy head feels a lot lower than it actually is.
2. Labor is intensified.
Every labor is intense, but labor with a big-headed baby was even more so. I still have nightmares about it. Pushing him out was like nothing I had ever experienced. I simply couldn’t get behind those contractions. I'd given birth twice before, and I knew something was different this time. My husband kept saying, "Oh, there he is, I see the head," only to say "Oh, it's gone again," after my contraction was over. My midwife finally told him to stop, because that wasn't being helpful. She was much nicer than I was.
I expected to see a watermelon propped up on two tiny shoulders after birthing him, but he was just perfect.
3. Your nurse may have to recheck her measurements.
I was watching the nurse measure my newborn's head, and she giggled, then did it again. After I asked her if everything was all right she said," Yes, he just has the biggest head I’ve ever measured since I’ve worked here." When I asked her how long that had been and she told me 29 years, I almost died.
4. Chances are, you will tear.
I had third-degree tears, which were painful, but let's face it, pushing out a baby the all-natural way is just blinding pain any way you look at it. On the bright side, it didn't seem any worse than my other two labors… not at first anyway, that came after they were delivered. See #5.
5. You may have to ask your doctor for more Novocaine while you’re being stitched up.
In my case, I had to ask three different times since I wasn't able to have an epidural. I started to feel my doctor inserting the needle and tugging thread through my lady bits and had to let her know I could feel her sewing me up and to please make it stop. The stitching took almost two hours. Yeah… NOT fun.
6. Their heads don't look much different than a normal-sized head, they just feel different coming out.
My son looked completely normal. He was just a big boy, and his head was the perfect size for his body. I expected to see a watermelon propped up on two tiny shoulders after birthing him, but he was just perfect.
7. You can forget about those cute little newborn hats.
You will always need a few size bigger than their age, probably for the rest of their life. My son came home and I immediately grabbed his older brother's 10-month-old hat. It was still snug, but it worked until I could buy a bigger one.
And I'm sure you are dying to know, so I’ll tell you: My cave of wonders is just as good, if not better, than it was before I birthed my big-headed baby.
Vaginas are amazing.