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Texas Mother Gave Birth As Hurricane Harvey Struck


A family caught in the middle of Hurricane Harvey this weekend is safe, with a new baby and an incredible birth story to share.

Hurricane Harvey, which hit southeast Texas over the weekend, has been called the most powerful storm to hit the U.S. mainland since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. As many as 450,000 people are affected by the hurricane, and millions more are on "flood watch."

Isabel Pena and her boyfriend Andrew Garza from Corpus Christi were among the 300,000 people who lost power during the height of the storm on Friday night, as intense winds whipped the state and more than 2 feet of rain fell in some areas. But the family had an extra problem to worry about: Isabel was 38 weeks pregnant.

After being stuck in the dark for hours, Isabel warned her husband that she could feel her contractions starting. "I just kept trying to tell him: 'She was coming. She was coming,'" she told KRIS TV. Andrew called for an ambulance, but didn't expect they would arrive any time soon.

"We didn't ever think they were going to show up as bad as it was," Andrew said. "The wind was blowing bad and there was debris everywhere." Sure enough, Isabel went into labor moments later, with only Andrew there to help her.

But that was just the start of the couple's wild night.

With their power off, Andrew and Isabel had to rely on the light from their cell phones to deliver her baby.

Andrew was checking for the ambulance by the front door when Isabel shouted "We need the light!" Andrew could see the baby was already crowning, and while Isabel gave birth very quickly, the couple were still in trouble.

Their baby girl was a healthy 9 pounds and 6 ounces, but wasn't breathing. Thankfully, rescue workers arrived in the nick of time to rescue her. "She was out and not even two seconds later, they were already knocking at the door," Pena said.

The emergency medical crew managed to resuscitate the baby, and the family quickly loaded into an ambulance. Getting to the hospital involved driving through flooded streets, and Isabel says they were "dodging debris" and fallen trees, but they made the trip in one piece.

At the hospital, doctors confirmed that mother and baby were both happy and healthy. 4 mothers in Corpus Christi gave birth during the storm, including one who chose to name her son Harvey after the hurricane.

Pictured: Baby Harvey.

Isabel and Andrew chose the name Kataleya Rose instead.

To support the victims of Hurricane Harvey you can call 1-800-REDCROSS or text the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

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