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Woman gives birth to 15-pound baby after infertility struggle

The baby girl made a big entrance into the world and set a new record at a New York hospital.
Woman welcomes 15-pound baby
Harper Buckley weighed 15 pounds and 5 ounces when she was born.NBC News
/ Source: TODAY

This baby is a lot of joy in one bundle.

Joy Buckley, 31, had a feeling her child was going to be bigger than average, but even she was stunned when she gave birth on March 12 to her daughter Harper, who weighed 15 pounds, 5 ounces and took two doctors to deliver.

"I knew she was gonna be big, but I didn't anticipate no 15-pound baby,'' Buckley told NBC affiliate WETM.

Harper is the largest baby ever born at Arnot Ogden Medical Center in Elmira, New York, according to the hospital's records from the past 30 years. She is twice the size of the average newborn.

"I felt like I had been hit by two tractor-trailers simultaneously,'' Buckley told The Washington Post about her condition the next morning.

The baby girl is the newest addition to the family for Buckley and her husband, Norman, who were told only a few years ago that they had less than a 15 percent chance to conceive.

Joy was diagnosed with the hormonal disorder known as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which makes it harder to get pregnant by thwarting the regular release of eggs. She also has Type 2 diabetes.

"I still had some resentment like 'so and so's pregnant, they have six kids already, why are they pregnant again? I've wanted to for years and I haven't been able to,''' Buckley said. "The thing I've always wanted to do in my life was to be a mom."

The couple adopted a daughter, Heaven, and then Buckley received the great news in 2016 that she was pregnant with their first child, Chase, who weighed 11 pounds when he was born.

Harper, who was 23 1/4 inches long when she was born, made Chase look like a small fry with her record birth weight. She was kept in the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital following her birth so that doctors could monitor her sugar and oxygen levels.

"It's definitely hard, but I know she won't be here forever,'' Buckley said. "She'll be coming home soon. She's in good hands. I trust the doctors, they know what they're doing."

The Guinness World record for the heaviest baby to survive infancy belongs to a boy weighing 22 pounds, 8 ounces, who was born in Aversa, Italy, in 1955.

More recently, a 17-pound baby was born in Brazil in 2005, and a 16-pound, 1-ounce baby named JaMichael Brown was born in Texas in 2011. His parents, Janet Johnson and Michael Brown, appeared on TODAY with their pride and joy.

The Buckleys want Harper's birth to give hope to other couples struggling with infertility.

"Don't give up because it's right there,'' she said. "It's definitely right there because my kids are total proof of that."