Akbar Risuddin — or "the Great" in Arabic — is a bouncing baby boy who could break a knee. Ani, his mother from Jakarta, Indonesia, delivered the 19.2-pound, 2-foot-long child on Monday via Caesarean section.
His arrival, chronicled on TODAY Thursday, was marked by a cry that sounded more like a roar and an appetite of epic proportions.
Akbar's weight record for a newborn in Indonesia, although a bit short of the world record of 23 pounds set in 1879, was likely caused by his mother having gestational diabetes. And even though mom Ani was saved the grueling task of pushing the child out herself, the surgery to bring him into the world was still touch and go.
“This heavy baby made the surgery really tough, especially the process of taking him out of his mum’s womb,” Dr. Binsar Sitanggang told Agence France-Presse. “His legs were so big.”
Big may be an understatement. The child was born at a birth weight that nears that of a year-old toddler, and in a picture taken of the baby alongside a normal birth-weight newborn, he seemed triple the size.
Doctors explained Ani’s diabetes likely caused the child to receive too much glucose in the womb, accounting for his massive size upon delivery — but so far, so good, in terms of the newborn’s health.
“I'm very happy that my baby and his mother are in good health,” father Muhammad Hasanuddin said Friday. “I hope I can afford to feed the baby enough, because he needs more milk than other babies.”
Big newborns seem to be a pattern for the Risuddin family. Akbar, who is the third child of Hasanuddin, 50, and Ani, 41, has two “little” brothers who weighed 11.6 pounds and 9.9 pounds at birth.
Still, the wide-mouthed male proved to be a handful and then some upon his first few hours in the world. “He’s got a strong appetite, it’s almost nonstop feeding,” Sitanggang told the news agency.
“This baby boy is extraordinary; the way he’s crying is not like a usual baby. It’s really loud.”
The TODAY hosts dropped a collective jaw in eyeing a picture of the newborn — and then the jokes began. Al Roker commented on the big baby lying next to the swaddled, normal-size newborn, saying, “He looked [over] and said, ‘Oooh, a burrito! In my belly!’ ”
But Ann Curry said the outsize child may be a special gift to his mother, who has two older children. She commented that Ani has “more to love” with her newborn.