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My name is Kate Sarjeant, I’m a 38 year old graphic designer and married to James. We live in Tunbridge Wells and have 3 gorgeous children: Poppy, 6, Suki, 3 and Remy who is now 8 months old.

People always seem to say that the more children you have the bigger they get. I was hoping to buck the trend. I’d already had 2 gorgeous girls at 8lb5oz and 10lb11oz…surely I couldn’t have one bigger than that? We didn’t know what we were having as we like the surprise but my community midwife had said if the baby was a boy that he was bound to be heavier than Suki, my second…
Boy was she right! On 12th June 2018 at 40weeks+12 I gave birth to Remy James Sarjeant and he weighed in at a staggering 11lbs 2oz…I can see the expression on your face so I’m here to show that in my case size didn’t matter and that birthing a big baby with a giant head can be done with little damage!

All of my pregnancies have been straightforward in terms of the baby but all 3 were awful in terms of morning sickness. On week 5 with all of them the sickness hit me intensely. Nausea right from the moment I woke to the moment I went to bed, up until I gave birth. Physically sick throughout the day up to week 28…with my first I held onto the hope that every day it would pass; but by the third pregnancy I just accepted it with the mantra “eyes on the prize”. I knew that no matter how awful I felt it would all be worth it.

I’d been overdue with both my girls, 10 days and 13 days so I figured that perhaps my dates were a bit out especially as I had a long cycle. At 11 days over I was exhausted, felt massive and emotional. I knew I had a big baby on my hands anyway and every day going overdue meant baby was that little bit bigger! I was desperate to have the baby at Crowborough Birthing Centre in Sussex (even though our local hospital was really near) because it was such a calm, homely place and I’d already had 2 very positive birth experiences there…but I was getting closer to the deadline for not being able to go there and I was terrified I’d have to be induced. I’d done a hypnobirthing course to reacquaint me with the whole birth process again and had discussed induction with my lovely teacher Louise. She’d given me the confidence to know it was my body and I had choices if I went 2 weeks over but I still was starting to feel deflated and a bit scared because all I knew was the birth centre. I’d had 4 sweeps since my due date and was 3/4cm dilated but nothing was happening. The midwife could touch our babies head and reassured me that she thought that it would be a very quick labour when it happened. I’d done everything that is suggested to get things going; sex, drank Malibu and coke (don’t judge me! I have a sweet tooth!) prunes, walking sideways up the stairs but by this point I was starting to feel like baby was never going to come out. However, I’ve always been a very positive person, and pulled myself together with my PMA and on the night of the 11th I took a bump selfie and told James that I believed that would be the last bump picture that I took…

At 1.30am I was woken up by light period type pains. I got out of bed and had a wee, I’d had a lot of Braxton Hicks so didn’t really think that much of it. I got back into bed and lay there and the cramping only increased a little. 20 minutes later I got out of bed, woke James and said that I didn’t think it was anything but I was going to move around and see what happened. He sprung out of bed and got everything ready although I thought he was being a little premature! At 2.10am I told him that I was getting quite strong contractions so maybe call his mum and warn her that we needed her to come and look after our sleeping girls but no rush. (Thank god she ignored me and came straight over!) I started timing the contractions. One for about a minute every minute, I was still in denial but knew the best place to be was at home. Goes to show that even third time around you don’t really know how far along you are or when to make your move! I called my parents and told them to come over and when the time was right we would go in convoy to the birthing centre. I’d had my mum with me, along with James, when I gave birth to Suki and it was really important to me that she was there for my third.
At 2.25am I called the Birthing centre and had a couple of contractions whilst on the phone…a midwife called Tina with a wonderfully calm, kind voice told me that I needed to come in right away because I was in active labour and that if I had the urge to push then I had to stop and call an ambulance…it was starting to get very real. I texted my mum and said to meet at the BC, and James’ mum arrived to look after Poppy and Suki. On the way over I still managed to be bossy and told James to go a different way and we ended up getting stuck behind a very slow moving lorry – he started to think that he was going to have to deliver the baby in the car as he recognised the sounds I was making as the birth being imminent (Moral of the story here is perhaps don’t let a woman in labour make decisions other than to do with her body!) The contractions were ramping up and the drive was a good 20 minutes…we arrived at the birth centre at 2.55am. I remember walking in the door and hearing the same voice that I’d heard on the phone, which instantly relaxed me. Tina led me to the same room I’d had both the girls in and I inhaled the gas and air like there was no tomorrow…it took off the edge but the contractions were going wild. I just wanted to be naked and get in the bath.
I told them I felt like I needed a poo and I got into the very shallow bath that was slowly filling up. The pain was incredibly intense and that’s because the head was crowning and I just remember thinking that it was almost the end, even though it had only just really started! At 3.10am I delivered the head with no gas and air as they wanted it to be slow and controlled as everything was moving very fast and once the head was out they expected his body to follow. It didn’t. My baby had shoulder dystocia: his shoulders were stuck. I had to get out of the bath and waddle over onto the bed with my babies head in between my legs. This is where for my mum and James everything got scary, but I can honestly say hand on heart I didn’t once worry or panic. Tina pressed the alarm to dispatch an ambulance over from the hospital. I could hear the alarm sounding but I felt detached from it, my focus on my body and my baby. I remember one of the other midwives very firmly saying I had to listen to what they wanted me to do and do exactly that. I had to pull my legs right back and when I had a contraction I had to push my legs straight. The baby came out first time. At 3.16am my third baby was born. The alarm was turned off, and my beautiful baby was placed onto my chest! James told me with tears in his eye that we had a boy, and all I could shout was (I’ll blame the entinox!) “what the f***? A boy? What the f***?”…I’d been convinced, as the pregnancy was identical to the others, that it was a girl. I looked down at this beautiful, perfect, massive boy and totally and utterly fell in love. The midwives guessed he was heavy but all seemed very surprised as to actually how much he weighed…11lbs 2oz with a head circumference of 38cm! No one could believe that I had pushed out this huge baby and only had one small tear in the same place as the others. One of the midwives said most women aren’t meant to be able to birth a babies head bigger than 36cm!

My mum asked Tina after if she was worried at any point. She said she wasn’t. That her job is to stay controlled under immense pressure. She was so calm, so composed. She knew exactly what to do and said if the first technique hadn’t worked they would have moved to the next. They had to press the alarm because they couldn’t afford to lose any seconds. Remys head was out of me for roughly 6 whole minutes, 6 minutes that James said felt like a lifetime. He told me after that he was so worried he was going to lose us both. But I have to reiterate I didn’t feel like that. And that’s the amazing super power of a supportive midwife (plus a supportive husband and mother with great poker faces!)

Remys birth was super quick. Each of my labours was half the time of the last. It was insanely painful all of a sudden, I almost had no time to catch my breath. I wailed like a banshee, my dad could hear me in the waiting room down the hall! But I felt safe, instantly safe in the hands of a wonderful midwife with a lovely calm voice I had only just met 15 minutes before! I was never frightened; I knew I could do it. She helped me believe I could do it.

Everyone that has heard about my giant baby says I’m a superwoman. When they hear that I had him naturally they always look stunned. But to me the midwives are the superwomen. Every single midwife I had met during this pregnancy made me feel that birthing a big baby was no big deal. My body makes big babies (I’m 5ft 9) and my body would birth it whatever size it was. I’d done it before and I could do it again.

However…I definitely won’t be doing it again. Remy is without a doubt our last, the final piece of our crazy family puzzle. Just imagine what the next baby could weigh…