Quake baby’s ‘epic’ birth on night of quake
Quake baby Maisy Rain was born while the earth shook violently around her.
On the anniversary of the magnitude-7.8 Kaikoura quake, her mum Katie McRae still can’t believe she gave birth during the ordeal.
‘‘I can only describe it as epic,’’ she said. ‘‘It wasn’t just the earthquake, but it was also the flooding afterwards as we tried to get home. I wondered what Mother Earth was throwing at us.’’
McRae, her husband and their three children shifted from Blenheim to Golden Bay just before the birth of their fourth baby.
She wanted the same midwife as her previous birth, so she travelled back to Wairau Hospital in Blenheim to be induced into labour on the eve of the quake.
McRae said she fell asleep as the first niggling labour pains started, but was woken just after midnight by the violent shaking.
‘‘I was holding on to either side of the bed, and I remember it being so incredibly loud, and it felt like the room was moving a metre back-and-forth.’’
She will never forget the horrific sound of the babies in neonatal unit screaming. Just after the quake hit, the contractions came in full force.
‘‘I remember being so desperate for the baby to come out, and the second the earthquake hit I thought, I do not want to be in labour right now.’’
They called the midwife, Cathy Middleton, who left her own family to attend the birth.
Powerful aftershocks shook the bed in the delivery room every 15 minutes, and the light over her shuddered.
She could hear rescue helicopters taking off and landing constantly on the roof.
Amongst the chaos, Maisy Rain was finally born, exactly four hours after the quake hit.
She was named after the flooding that would ensue as they des- perately tried to get her home to Golden Bay.
They drove through the heavy rain and aftershocks, water completely over the tyres, all the way to Golden Bay.
‘‘Watching the news it was like armageddon or doomsday, I felt so far away from our two older girls and I just wanted our whole family to be safe in one place together,’’ she said. One year on, the memory of Maisy Rain’s birth is still surreal. ‘‘At the time, I knew I had a job to do, and I knew it was to bring this baby into the world safely on that wild, wild night.’’
‘‘I wondered what Mother Earth was throwing at us.’’ Katie McRae
Katie McRae and her baby, Maisy Rain, born on the ‘‘wild, wild’’ night of the magnitude-7.8 November earthquake.