Baby delivered at home during Ophelia 'stormed into the world'

By Olivia Kelleher

A woman who delivered her baby at home in the midst of the chaos of Storm Ophelia is praying that electricity will be restored at her house in Crosshaven, Co Cork so that she can discharge herself from hospital.

Sonya Burke said her daughter Maria "stormed into the world" at 8.15am on Monday just as Ophelia was beginning to warm up.

In an interview with PJ Coogan, on Cork's 96FM, Sonya said that her house in Camden Road is pretty high up in the town and that the weather was really starting to deteriorate when her waters broke.

"At that time I wasn't really concentrating on the weather but the weather was shaky enough after she arrived and we made the trek to the hospital.

"I woke with pains at about 4.15am and I was passing them off because I had another three weeks to go.

Sonya Burke and Colm O'Callaghan from Crosshaven with their new baby Maria. Pic: Provision

"Then I thought these are getting quicker and quicker and the father of the child was at work so the only person in my house was my 14 year old son.

"So I called him to get the number of the hospital. He called my friend so she arrived and my friend delivered her."

Her waters broke at 7.25am and Maria arrived in to the world fifty minutes later.

Sonya said weather or no weather it all happened so quickly that she didn't have much choice but to deliver the baby at home.

"It was surreal the whole thing. The baby is called after my friend who delivered her. I would say my friend is headed for years of therapy. Trying to get home now with no water or electricity is going to be the thing."

Sonya said after baby Maria was born she was oblivious to the storm going on around her.

She admits she was just relieved to be going to Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) with a baby who was healthy, safe and well.

"We had to make a stop on the way to the hospital because of the weather and it was a little bit shaky but credit to the ambulance crew. They were fantastic.

"As were all the staff in the CUMH. All is great. She is a good healthy baby. She was 6lbs 15 ounces. She is a little bunter and is feeding well. I have had to wake her a couple of times to feed her. I am great and in good spirits. I just want to get her home."

Sonya said the baby's dad, Colm, arrived home just minutes before the delivery.

She said: "He had to come home from work. He was supposed to be working that night as well in the chipper. So my apologies to all the customers who couldn't get their pizzas delivered that night.

"But thank God all is well. At the start I could hear the wind and I didn't pay much attention to the storm. During the pain I didn't care. I was just hoping that everything would go ok.

"I would have been home yesterday if there was power and water at home. Maybe even before that. Hopefully it will be back today. Fingers crossed. If we get a bit of electricity we will be sorted."


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