By Karen Brooks
AUSTIN (Reuters) - Texans love to brag about how everything is bigger in the Lone Star State. Now they have proof, with the birth of a baby boy who weighed a whopping 16 pounds and one ounce.
JaMichael Brown's weight was more than double the national average for a newborn and he measures 24 inches long, just a few inches shy of an average one-year-old.
JaMichael holds the title of the biggest baby ever born at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview, located on the border between Texas and Louisiana. The hospital has been open since 1938 and last year delivered nearly 2,900 babies.
The previous record there was set by a child born in 1988 who was just over 15 pounds, Victoria Ashworth, the hospital's marketing director, told Reuters on Tuesday.
JaMichael was born at 9:05 a.m. on Friday to Janet Johnson and Michael Brown. This is Johnson's fourth child, but the couple's first together, officials said.
Johnson delivered him by scheduled Caesarean section in her 39th week of pregnancy, just a few days early, hospital officials said.
The state is still trying to determine whether JaMichael breaks all records for Texas-sized newborns.
Johnson was released from the hospital on Tuesday but is staying there until JaMichael, who is under observation in the neonatal intensive care unit, gets to go home in the next few days.
"He's ... stabilized and is just being observed and watched carefully," Ashworth said.
The little bruiser, who has already earned the affectionate nickname "Moose" across the Internet, gets his size partially from the fact that his mother had gestational diabetes during her pregnancy, Ashworth said.
But it's also a matter of big Texans begetting other big Texans, she said. His father is 6 feet 6. His uncle? 6 feet 8.
"They do have some genetics that play in," Ashworth said.
No word on how many Texas universities have already contacted his dad to set up his football scholarship.
JaMichael may be making waves in the land of tall hats and taller tales, but he's not the biggest baby ever born.
News reports and record books tell of newborns more than 23 pounds in the late 1800s, and an Indonesian boy born at 19.1 pounds in 2009.
(Editing by Greg McCune)