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Family of 16-pound baby born in California seeks to claim state record for birth weight

A California couple is hoping to retroactively claim the state record for birth weight for their son – who weighed more than 16 pounds when he was born in August, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Sosefina Tagalu and Pavasio Otuhiva, of Daly City, Calif., knew their baby was large. But they didn’t realize just how large until they read that another California baby born in January, Andrew Jacob Cervantez, was being hailed as the state’s heaviest newborn at 15 pounds, 2 ounces.   

"I'll be honest with you. I was hurt that the claim wasn't ours," Otuhiva, 37, told the Chronicle. "I wanted to share our story."

As a result, Tagalu and Otuhiva waived the right to medical privacy for their son, Sammisano Joshua Talai Otuhiva, in order to publicly reveal his birth weight and snatch away the title. According to the records, Sammisano weighed 16 pounds, 1.7 ounces at birth.

Birth weights aren’t officially tracked by state health officials, so it’s difficult to definitively say whether Sammisano is the heaviest baby born in California – but the family wanted to state their claim to the record.

"My friends and family told me I needed to set the record straight," Tagalu, 39, told the Chronicle. "They said you have an amazing gift that nobody else has."

Doctors aren’t sure what cause some babies to be born larger than others, but they believe genetics, length of pregnancy and the mother’s health may play a role. Tagalu, who is diabetic, gained 110 pounds during her pregnancy and underwent a cesarean section to give birth. The family’s Pacific islander roots – Tagalu is also from American Samoa and her husband’s family hails from Tonga – may also play a role, as larger children are more common in this area of the world, according to the Chronicle.

Now, at 5-months-old, Sammisano weighs 25 pounds – as much as an average 18-month-old, and at 28 inches is nearly as tall as his 6-year-old brother.

"You know, diapers only go up to size 6," Tagalu told the Chronicle. "I don't know what I'm going to do when he gets bigger."

Click for more from the San Francisco Chronicle.