IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Trapped by Hurricane Harvey, Texas woman gives birth at home

As Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast early Saturday, Baby Kataleya Rose wasn't going to let a storm wash out her big debut.
/ Source: TODAY

As Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast early Saturday morning, Baby Kataleya Rose wasn't going to let a historic storm wash out her big debut.

But she didn't exactly make it easy.

Baby Kataleya Rose was born Saturday at 3 a.m. in Corpus Christi during Hurricane Harvey. She was later brought to CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-South with mom Isabel Pena and dad Lee. Courtesy of CHRISTUS Spohn Health System

Isabel Pena gave birth to her daughter in her Corpus Christi home before EMS could navigate through flooded roads to reach her. With the electricity knocked out because of the storm and windows rattling from the wind, her sister-in-law Jennifer helped deliver the 6-pound, 9-ounce baby in the dark at 3:20 a.m.

"The only light we had in our homes were from our phones," Pena told "My sister-in-law was terrified, I’m not going to lie. I just kept telling her that the baby was coming, and she was telling me, 'Don’t push! Don’t push!'

"But I couldn’t help it. She saw the head coming out. She just grabbed the closest blanket and caught the baby. I tell her every day (since), if she wasn’t there, I don't know what I would have done."

Pena's husband, Lee, missed out on that drama as he stood outside trying to flag down the ambulance driver who couldn't find the house on the darkened street.

Courtesy of CHRISTUS Spohn Health System

It may sound like a scene out of a movie, but the birth didn't exactly go according to script. There was a scare as Kataleya didn't breathe for her first two minutes.

"That was so scary, but the EMS got there in seconds," recalled Pena. "I yelled, 'Don’t worry about me, worry about her.'

"When I heard her crying, I knew it was okay."

The family was taken by ambulance to CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-South, with the vehicle forced to drive slowly as it was buffeted side to side by the wind and the rain.

Kataleya and her mother were discharged the following afternoon.

"We’re going to explain it all to her when she gets older," said Pena. "But she’s probably going to think we’re crazy and we’re making it up."

At least four babies were born as Harvey made landfall in the coastal Texas city Friday night, The Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported — one of them named after the storm.

Mother Irma Rodriguez had not decided on a name when she went into labor at the Corpus Christi Medical Center Doctors Regional, but took a nurse's suggestion of Harvey, according to a hospital rep.

Baby Harvey Rodriguez arrived at 7:55 p.m. that night, weighing in at 7 pounds.