Cary and Tim Patonai were expecting a large baby. But the Arizona couple got the surprise of their life when their son Finnley was born two weeks early, weighing 14 pounds, 1 ounce — about double the size of an average newborn. He was also tall, measuring 23.75 inches.
“Finnley was a little celebrity at the hospital. Everyone wanted a selfie with him,” Cary, 36, told TODAY Parents. “The OB/GYN who performed the C-section said that in 27 years he had never seen a newborn that size. There was so much excitement in the delivery.”
There were also big emotions. Cary experienced 19 heartbreaking miscarriages in the course of growing her family, including two between the birth of her second son and Finnley.
“Two of the miscarriages were sets of twins,” Cary revealed. “It was was traumatic for the whole family — especially our oldest child. Each loss would break his little heart.”
The Patonais also share sons Devlen, 10, and Everett, 2, who were born weighing 8 pounds, 2 ounces, and 11 pounds, 11 ounces, respectively.
If Finnley had arrived on his due date, Cary’s doctors estimate that he would have weighed roughly 16.5 pounds. According to the American Pregnancy Association, most full-term babies (39 to 40 weeks gestation) weigh between 6 and 9 pounds.
“I’m using to carrying big babies, but this was on another level,” Cary said. “It got to the point where I could hardly move. It would take me 30 minutes to recover from taking a shower.”
At two weeks old, Finnley is wearing size 2 diapers and clothing made for babies ages 6 to 9 months. Cary describes her third child as “snuggly and healthy.” She noted that he’s a “great sleeper” and has a hearty appetite.
“Typically, newborns are taking in about one to two ounces of milk,” she said. “Finnley is eating around four-and-a-half ounces.”
Cary and Tim can’t stop staring at their sweet bundle of joy.
“Our family is finally complete,” Cary said. “He’s absolutely perfect.”
The Guinness World record for the heaviest baby to survive infancy belongs to a boy weighing 22 pounds, 8 ounces, who was born in Aversa, Italy, in 1955. In 2019, a New York woman named Joy Buckley gave birth to a daughter who weighed 15 pounds, 5 ounces.
Rachel Paula Abrahamson
Rachel Paula Abrahamson is a lifestyle reporter who writes for the parenting, health and shop verticals. Her bylines have appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, and elsewhere. Rachel lives in the Boston area with her husband and their two daughters. Follow her on Instagram.