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March 05, 2007

420 Pound Woman Doesn't Notice She's Pregnant Until She Drops

At 420 pounds, I'm not sure she'd've even noticed the sex:

pril Branum went to her local emergency room Monday night complaining of stomach pain and emerged with the biggest shock of her life. She was pregnant with a full-term fetus.

Doctors, who discovered the baby when they took X-rays of her abdominal area, immediately sent Branum to UCI Medical Center in Orange for prenatal testing.

The fetus's lungs were fully developed, the heartbeat was strong, and no defects were detected. The baby was ready to be delivered.

Two days later, the first-time mother gave birth by C-section to a healthy, 7-pound, 7-ounce boy named Walter Scott Edwards III.

"Usually you can tell if you're pregnant, but with me, I couldn't tell," the 39-year-old Garden Grove resident said Thursday, pointing to her belly and explaining that, at about 420 pounds, she was so large that no one – including herself – could tell she had carried a baby to term.

Branum says she never had morning sickness and did not feel the baby kick, at least not until after doctors told her what was inside her womb. "If he kicked, I didn't feel him kicking," she said.

The layers of fat padding her belly likely insulated the baby's movements, said her physician, Dr. Afshan Hameed.

"When she moved or laid down, she had so much weight of her own that the tiny movements of the baby didn't register as well," said Hameed, a UCI obstetrician-gynecologist and cardiologist.

Branum, who lives with her fiancé Walter Edwards II in the Garden Grove house where she grew up, gave up hope years ago of having any children with him. She stopped having a menstrual cycle about two years ago – likely a complication of her obesity – and had grown accustomed to her lifestyle working as a baby sitter of six children.

Meanwhile, she was struggling with an unsuccessful gastric bypass surgery she had about seven years ago. The surgery did not help her lose as much weight as hoped, her doctor said.

Branum and Edwards, who plan to marry by the year's end, met in a Costa Mesa karaoke bar about four years ago and have been engaged for 2 1/2 years. They have adopted four dogs together, including their puppy Junior, which they added to the family in September."

Thanks to Nice Deb.


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posted by Ace at 06:15 PM

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