A pregnant North Bay couple who was forced out of their Windsor home by the Kincade fire has no choice but to give birth in a Napa hotel where they were evacuated - life truly always doesn't go as we plan!
The couple, who had expected to deliver their baby at home, had to welcome little Penelope Page in a hotel room on Monday. Kincade Fire that has burned more than 76,000 acres in Sonoma Country, California, had different plans for the family, as they had to pack their bags and shift to a hotel in Napa during the weekends.
The mother of the two-days-old child, Rachel Page, recalls, "We would pack. I would cry. We would pack. I would cry because I'm like, ‘We might be having a baby, like, not at home and this was not our plan and what are we gonna do?’"
From @Space_Station I was able to catch these pictures of the California wildfires burning north of the Bay Area. Thinking of the people who have lost their homes and the brave first responders on the front lines protecting them. pic.twitter.com/islV3DP5yM— Andrew Morgan (@AstroDrewMorgan) October 30, 2019
They were evacuated to the Hotel Andaz in Napa, and Rachel, who was due on Halloween, ordered an early delivery to their room. Fortunately, they had been working with Heather Hilton, a Napa Valley midwife who had an experience that was entirely in sync with their unusual situation – she had hands-on assisted hotel births previously.
Two years ago, during the Wine Country fires, Hilton had helped another evacuee couple deliver a baby in a different Napa hotel. “They were really great and said, ‘You know, people do all kinds of weird things in hotels. We don’t really have any control over it!'” Hilton laughed.
In spite of all the ordeal, the delivery went on smoothly. Though the couple doesn’t know their Windsor home’s condition, they feel blessed to have their family safe with them. James Page said, “However it happens, it happens. I have my family, so I’m…I’m ok.”
Ironically, while the couple was giving an interview to KPIX 5, the hotel had its yearly alarm test, which once again brought the family on the streets for a few moments. However, this time, it was different as the couple had their baby with them.
Rachel learned the truth of life the hard way around, and she added, "Sometimes you need to let go and try to surrender to what is happening in life. So there’s definitely a big lesson in this, for sure.”
The “Halloween baby” of the Pages became their “fire baby,” but they are content that little Penelope will always have a great birth story to tell. The family of three left the hotel on Wednesday to stay in their Sacramento home, where their two-year-old daughter was eagerly waiting to meet her new baby sister.
It’s an experience for the Pages, but it's a lesson for all us – life always comes with a pinch of salt, and we should rejoice to have all that we have! We also pray for the other evacuated families and the firefighters working to end these tragic fires.