Three of Jenna Reyes’ four older children were large babies at birth, ranging from nine to 11 pounds.
So when she was told on April 22 that her fifth child was expected to be around 10 pounds, it wasn’t too surprising.
That changed in the delivery room.
Raymond Jay Reyes was born at 5:11 p.m. April 30 at 13 pounds, five ounces and 22.5 inches at Mercy Medical Center in Merced.
The son of Jenna Reyes and Rogelio Reyes Jr. was six days early.
“Everyone was just so shocked,” mother Reyes said about the moments after Raymond was born.
Little Raymond’s big birth weight makes him among the heaviest born in Northern California. CBS San Francisco reported that a Sacramento baby born two days before Raymond weighed 13 pounds, 11 ounces.
The Guinness world record belongs to “Babe,” from Ohio, born in 1879 at 22 pounds, according to the organization.
Reyes agreed to deliver Raymond through a primary cesarean section on the advice of her family practice physician, Dr. Timothy Johnston.
Johnston and Dr. Samuel Laredo delivered the baby, Reyes said.
“We made an extra large incision ... saw the head and thought it doesn’t feel too big,” said Johnston. “It wasn’t until we saw the thighs, we said, ‘Oh my gosh this is really big.’ ”
Reyes said she hadn’t told many people about Raymond’s weight, just some close family members.
“Everybody was asking, ‘Where did you put that thing,’ ” Reyes said. “I only gained 40 pounds. More of it was the baby.”
Compared to his two sisters and two brothers, Raymond felt heavy, Reyes said. And it was her first time delivering through a C-section.
Raymond had several minor issues that required him to be placed in the neonatal intensive care unit, Reyes said, including low glucose, sodium and calcium levels and infant jaundice.
The next day, Raymond was transported to the NICU at Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera, where he was placed on intravenous fluids and monitored.
Johnston said serious issues sometimes accompany heavier babies, including diabetes. So doctors closely monitored Raymond’s sugar levels.
“But I think the baby is doing fine,” Johnston said, adding that Raymond is the heaviest baby he has ever helped deliver in his 32 years of family practice in Merced. Second place goes to a baby born a little more than 11 pounds.
Putting it in perspective, Johnston noted that Raymond was heavier than the combined weight of many sets of twins.
Raymond was released from the children’s hospital on Saturday at a weight of 12 pounds, 7 ounces — it’s common for babies to lose some weight after birth.
He was surrounded and doted on by his parents and three siblings as they walked out of the hospital.
“He’s really strong,” Reyes said of her new boy. “It’s really been a blessing.”
Vikaas Shanker: 209-826-3831, ext. 6562