News / Halifax

The Mighty Quinn: Nova Scotia woman gives birth to 13.3-pound baby girl

Brandy MacNeil said that while she knew her baby wouldn't be small, she had no idea the newborn would be this big.

Quinn Ava Catherine MacNeil shown here with her mother, Brandy MacNeil.

Contributed to Cape Breton Post

Quinn Ava Catherine MacNeil shown here with her mother, Brandy MacNeil.

The mother of one of the biggest babies ever born in Cape Breton says she had no idea her daughter would weigh so much.

So it came as a bit of a surprise during Saturday’s early morning delivery when Brandy MacNeil overheard the attending medical team speculate that the baby might weigh as much as 12 pounds.

“I laughed it off, but then I heard the doctor say that her shoulder blades were so big that they needed more hands to pull her out – so it was a quite the surprise,” said the 33-year-old mother of three girls.

For the record, Quinn Ava Catherine MacNeil was born at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital on March 12 at 3:34 a.m, about seven and a half hours after Brandy went into labour. She weighed at 5.98 kg (13.3 lbs.) and measured at 56.25 cm (22.5 inches) long.

“My oldest one was 9.8 pounds and she felt big, so this one definitely took the cake and the great news is that she is perfectly healthy,” said Brandy, who resides in Shenacadie, halfway between Boisdale and Iona, with husband Brian and daughers Oliva, 4, and one-year-old Breagh.

For her part, Brandy can’t explain how baby Quinn grew so big.

“There’s no rhyme nor reason – I wasn’t diabetic and I had a perfectly healthy pregnancy,” she said. “I was followed by a couple of doctors and everybody figured she would maybe be close to 10 pounds so it was a surprise.”

About two hours after the delivery, Brandy was found to be experiencing post-partem hemorrhaging and was rushed back into the emergency room.

The good news is that both mother and baby are doing fine and are expected to be released from hospital some time Thursday, but she said her husband Brian has hardly had any sleep since Quinn’s birth.

“It’s been a long few days and I don’t think he has slept much, so we’re all looking forward to getting home and we’re all excited about Quinn,” said Brandy, who said the care she received in hospital has been second to none.

“I can’t say enough good about the hospital and everybody here – it’s been really great and we’re very thankful.”

So, what about the new baby’s nickname - "The Mighty Quinn".

“I came up with that one,” said Brandy’s sister Ashley MacDonald. “The whole family is going with it and Brandy likes it, too.”

The “Mighty Quinn” was both a 1967 song (a.k.a. Quinn the Eskimo) by Bob Dylan and a 1987 thriller film starring Denzel Washington.

While statistics are kept on baby weights, the highest categorization is 5,500 grams (12.13 lbs.). The latest Statistics Canada figures show that only 17 of the 185,418 baby girls born in the study period were more than 5,500 grams. Overall, the accepted average weight of a newborn is 3,400 grams (7.5 lbs.) with the average range being 2,500 to 4536 grams (5.5 to 7.5 lbs.).

So, while babies weighing more than 5,500 grams aren’t rare, they aren’t exactly commonplace, either.

Anna Swan, who would grow to become a 7’, 11” giantess, was born in the Tatamagouche area in 1846 and weighed more than 18 lbs. at birth. Her 12 brothers and sisters were all of average height.

In 2013, a German woman gave birth to a 13.7 lbs. baby girl in a natural delivery. Later the same year in Toronto, a baby boy weighed in at 14.5 lbs. And, he was a month premature.

While there is no indication that the Mighty Quinn is the biggest baby ever delivered in Cape Breton, hospital staff at the Regional said it was the heaviest they had ever seen.

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