Missouri mom Lauren Flaugher was “in shock” when a midwife told her that her newborn son, Finn, was “too big” to fit on their scale.
“The scale only went up to 12 pounds, so our midwife looked at me and said, ‘We can’t use it,'” Flaugher, 29, tells PEOPLE, with a laugh. “I thought the scale was broken!
“But, turns out, Finn weighed 13 pounds at birth, so they had to bring in a bigger, digital scale,” she continues.
Flaugher, who lives in O’Fallon, Missouri, welcomed Finn, her second child with husband Joe, on May 3 at Birth and Wellness Center, a freestanding birth center staffed by certified midwives.
“I could not believe it when they said he weighed 13 pounds,” she says. “I thought they had misread the scale, I kept thinking, ‘This is not possible!’ Joe thought the same thing.”
Even more shocking? Flaugher gave birth entirely drug-free.
Finn’s birth was “intense” for the mom, who opted to use the Birth and Wellness Center’s hot tub and shower.
“Part of the prep for natural birth was not to think of it as painful, but intense,” explains Flaugher. “And it was really intense — I felt very aware of what was happening to my body.”
Flaugher’s husband was there holding her hand from the moment her water broke on May 2.
“He got me popsicles when I wanted them!” she says. “And during the pushing he said, ‘You’re doing it! He’s going to be here soon!’ “
Finn, a little over 3 weeks old now, weighs 14 pounds 2 ounces — and is growing every day.
“My sister had big babies, too, but when Finn was born she turned to me and said, ‘Lauren, you win!’ ” says Flaugher. “He’s a big baby with so much love.”
Flaugher, also mom to 3-year-old Aurea, says she was in labor for 8.5 hours, with only 30 minutes of true pushing.
“When I was pushing he got a little stuck, so we did some different maneuvers,” recalls Flaugher. “[The midwives] were never concerned about his weight after birth, his blood sugar was good and he wanted to nurse right away and frequently after birth.”
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The family decided to pursue a natural birth after reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth.
“It’s a powerful book with inspiring stories and explains the power that can be witnessed in birth,” says Flaugher. “If natural birth is at all possible, it’s so great.”
The family first found out that Finn would be “a bit bigger than normal” at a 20-week ultrasound.
“They said, ‘He’s showing a little big,’ ” says Flaugher. “A midwife did the measurement and we thought maybe he would be at most a 10 pound baby.”
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The Flaugher family has been getting a lot of attention on social media due to Finn’s extraordinary weight at birth, but Joe hopes his wife — an English language learners teacher for elementary school children in Saint Peters, Missouri — can be recognized for more than delivering their son “completely natural.”
“What the world doesn’t know is that besides our children Finn and Aurea, she has had hundreds of children. Lauren is a teacher. She has the task of teaching those who do not speak English as their first language. She has shed blood, sweat, and tears over hundreds of children. She has been tough enough to discipline them when they do wrong and caring enough to give them hugs and cry with them when they feel sadness. I’ve seen it all personally. She has so much love in her heart that she has not only our own children, but her hundreds of students,” he wrote in a touching Facebook tribute after Finn’s birth.
“While our children are amazing and I love them more than I can express in words, I cannot fathom how much love must be in ones heart to do what she does day after day. While the story of the birth our son is wonderful, this is the story of my wife that should be shared for the world to see.”
Finn, who gets along “great” with adoring older sister Aurea, is a “very happy” baby who loves to snuggle.
“We feel very blessed,” Flaugher says of their newborn son. “Finn has such a bright future, he can be whatever he wants to be.”