Giving birth is often a long and arduous process. Cary Patonai knows that journey all too well after experiencing 19 different miscarriages. She just gave birth to her third child, who came into the world weighing an astonishing 14 pounds.
She says her family is complete now that her son Finnley is in her arms.
Cary and her husband Tim already have two sons, Devlen, 10, and Everett, 2. They tried to have a third child unsuccessfully for over a year.
She suffered two miscarriages along the way, and 17 miscarriages prior to having their two-year-old.
“Two of those miscarriages were even sets of twins, so it was very difficult,” she said. “It was traumatic for the whole family, especially our oldest child [Devlen]. Each loss would break his little heart.”
Despite the pain of losing her unborn children, Cary pressed on.
After months of trying, she finally got some good news.
A Big Surprise
Devlen got a whopper of a baby brother when Cary gave birth on Oct 11.
Baby Finnley came out weighing 14.1 pounds, more than twice the average weight for newborns, and is already 24 inches tall.
“[Doctors] were like, oh my God, ‘I can’t believe he’s so big.’ They got him on the scale, like, ‘14.1, I’ve never seen it that big,'” said Cary.
“The doctors and one of the sweetest nurses there, they were all taking selfies with us. They asked permission, of course, but they were just so pumped.”
According to the doctors on staff, Finnley could have been 16 ½ pounds if he were delivered two weeks later.
“He was so big plus I had almost double the amniotic fluid, so to say I had a big baby belly and that I was absolutely completely uncomfortable isn’t enough,” Cary said. “However, I would do it all over again if I had to, to get this blessing.”
The new parents quickly realized that the baby clothes they had picked out weren’t going to fit. They had to run out to buy diapers and supplies because the ones at the hospital were too small.
“I wanted him to fit in the clothes we had saved from his other two brothers, but everything we had was entirely too small,” Cary added.
Tim says they are used to having big babies in the family.
“I mean, this guy right here was 11-11, and this one was eight-two, so we’re used to having big babies,” said Tim of their other two sons, Devlen and Everett.
Cary remembers joking with her doctor when she first gave birth to Devlen.
“When he was born, he was my doctor’s top five of the biggest,” said Cary. “I was like, ‘Just you wait, I’m gonna get to the top of the list,’ totally joking two years ago, and then we accidentally did it.”
Finnley ended up spending eight days in the NICU but is now home with his family. Cary admits that the experience gave her separation anxiety.
“It triggered a lot from my 19 previous miscarriages – leaving the hospital without a baby,” Patonai said. “I knew it was for a good cause and he was in excellent care, but it still was extremely hard for me to emotionally handle. The reason I’ve had 19 miscarriages is due to my blood clotting disorder and fibroids. It’s been beyond hard to go through.”
Tim already sees some potential in the newest member of their family.
“Football player, get him in those pads,” said Tim.
The two couldn’t be happier now that their family is complete.
“Finnley just goes along with everything. He’s a very well-behaved baby,” Cary said. “I am so grateful everything ended on such a great positive side.”
Despite his large size, Finnley didn’t quite make the Guinness Book of World Records. The largest newborn on record came in at a whopping 22 pounds. However, that baby died 11 hours later.
Now that the experience is over, Cary wants to give other families hope.
“I think it’s important for other people to know there is hope behind all of those closed doors and that they aren’t alone as they are going through their own trying times,” she said. “Every woman has a different path than the next, some are easier, and some are harder. What matters is that we support each other, with love, care and respect.”