An Unexpected Delivery During Hurricane Florence

Predictions regarding Hurricane Florence’s trajectory and approach broadcasted on weather stations a week well in advance of the storm’s landfall, giving Tanikqua Stevenson of Ridgeland, South Carolina, plenty of time to plan for an evacuation. Having seen three previous hurricanes in her lifetime, she was no novice to evacuating in preparation of a storm, but it was the first time she’d ever evacuated south—and doing so while nine months pregnant.

mom and baby“I wasn’t due for another two weeks, and with the hurricane approaching, we decided to get out of its path,” says Stevenson, referring to herself and a cousin. “We should have been able to evacuate, stay out of harm’s way, and then return before my baby was born.”

But her baby had different plans.

“We were eating out at Golden Corral in Brunswick when I started feeling abdominal pain. I returned to my hotel room to lay down, shower and relax, thinking that the pains might be false contractions – but they just kept coming and coming,” explains Stevenson. “And then they got worse. So we decided it was time to go to the hospital.”

Her cousin drove Stevenson ten minutes from their hotel to Southeast Georgia Health System’s Brunswick Campus, but once they parked in the Emergency Room parking lot, Stevenson’s water broke. She felt a sharp pain, and the sudden urge to push.

“My cousin told me to wait, to cross my legs and not to push, but I just couldn’t. I pushed, and the next thing I knew, I’d given birth. And he wasn’t crying,” says Stevenson. “I was terrified – everything happened so fast, and I didn’t know if he would make it.”

But a few short moments later when Health System personnel arrived on the scene, little Jayceon Bellamy let her know he had a healthy set of lungs and proved it to anyone who would listen. Both Stevenson and Bellamy are happy and healthy, and planning to return home now that Hurricane Florence has passed. Bellamy is Stevenson’s second son. Her first, now four, was two weeks early as well, but according to Stevenson, he didn’t put her through the same adventure as her youngest.

Stevenson has a two hour drive to return to Ridgeland, but she’s heard word that her home survived the storm without any major flooding or damage. Many things in life are delayed when a hurricane hits, including the postal service, UPS and Fed Ex, but baby Ballamy is one delivery that Hurricane Florence didn’t postpone.

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