All the preparation and plans in the world could not have prepared one mom who gave birth to a baby in a candlelit laundry room during a tornado. Yes, you read that correctly. As a tornado ripped through Dallas late Sunday night, one Texas family was going through a storm of their own as their little girl was ready to make her grand debut.
Amid reports of funnel cloud sightings around Dallas, winds as high as 65 mph, and widespread power outages, the Bump Birthing Center wasn't able to shut down like most other businesses in the area. Instead, the superstar midwives there helped Mech Metiege deliver her baby — in the laundry room, without power.
Metiege had gone into the center expecting to have a relaxing water birth, according to the Dallas Morning News. But all that changed when midwife Lyndee Cleveland learned of the tornado warning. "I think we should move to the laundry room," she told her team, the Dallas Morning News reported.
The laundry room just so happened to be the only room in the birthing center that had not been remodeled to promote relaxation with calming colors, pillows, and chairs. There was no comfy wicker bed, no birthing tub. Instead, Metiege was surrounded by plain white walls and hot air from the dryer. The little, brick-lined room housed seven people, with four more relatives waiting outside for support. Metiege laid on the floor and pushed while her husband Derrick smiled down at her, the Dallas Morning News reported. Less than a mile away, the tornado was spinning through town.
Kasie McElhaney lead midwife/owner of the Bump Birthing Center tells Romper that the biggest obstacle was "probably just getting the laundry room set up quickly so we could get her in there and keep everyone safe. And of course no electricity made things interesting."
Despite circumstances out of their control, McElhaney says that the team was just focused on mom and baby. "Honestly the only thing we could think about was keeping everyone safe," she says. "Once we got into the laundry room, what was happening outside our walls was not a concern. We knew we were in the safest place possible and it was time to focus on mother and [baby's] safety. We heard lots of emergency vehicles driving past us outside so we knew that if we had to call 911 we would most likely not get anyone to us very quickly so we had to be sure we were on our A game!"
Half an hour after the team moved into the laundry room, Metiege's sweet girl made her arrival. And once the storm passed, they left the room triumphant with the baby in their arms.
The center shared the incredible story on its Facebook page, saying, "Baby girl born in our laundry room with the tornado sirens going off, a tornado on the ground half a mile away, and no electricity…..by candle light!! Welcome to the world beauty!" along with the hashtags, "#tornado #crazymidwifelife #laundryroomdelivery #wereallsafe #godisgood"
The post quickly went viral, racking up more than 2,000 likes and 300 comments as of Tuesday. Comments ranged from congratulations to mom to name suggestions for the little miracle, like Stormy Rain or Autumn Rain. But Metiege went with the beautiful name Sekani, which means joy.
"Mom and baby are doing great!" McElhaney tells Romper. "Luckily there were no complications with a delivery or postpartum. They are home resting now and recuperating from a whirlwind birth!"
Whew! If that story doesn't knock your socks off, I don't know what will. And McElhaney's takeaway from the experience is that, "People just need to understand that birth is a natural process... Midwives believe in the woman’s body’s ability to do what it was made to do."