‘Just push and pray’

Eileen Rose Carabana and her mother were in their mountain village house when the 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck the central Philippine island of Bohol. Moments later, she felt an unmistakable intense pain in her abdomen — she was about to go into labour.

CALAPE, Philippines — Eileen Rose Carabana and her mother were in their mountain village house when the 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck the central Philippine island of Bohol. Moments later, she felt an unmistakable intense pain in her abdomen — she was about to go into labour.

There was no other way to get to a doctor but to hike several kilometres down a mountain to the hospital in Calape, a coastal town devastated by Tuesday’s quake that killed at least 171 people and destroyed thousands of homes and a dozen or more centuries-old churches.

“I was worried for my baby because I could already feel tummy pain,” the 19-year-old recalled Thursday.

When she made it to the hospital, Carabana found patients had already been evacuated to a tent outside, where a humming generator provided light for emergency procedures.

As she went into labour, Carabana said she felt the ground shaking from aftershocks. “I was very scared and I prayed that I would just have a normal delivery in spite of the tragedy,” she said.

She recalled the words of the hospital staff: “Just push and pray, push and pray.”

Later Tuesday night, she gave birth to a healthy, 2.4-kilogram (5.3-pound) baby named James Lyndon.

Carabana was one of five young mothers who have delivered in Calape since the quake hit Bohol Island.

Another expectant mother whose house was destroyed had to walk down a mountain to seek help from her relative before finding a ride to the hospital in Calape, said Meneleo Guibao, a nurse who is also the administrator of the 12-bed municipal hospital in the town.

On the way, along bumpy roads torn open by the quake, the woman’s water burst, he said.

The baby came out not breathing and had to be resuscitated, Guibao said. Both the mother and baby were sent to a larger hospital in the provincial capital Tagbilaran, which was better equipped for emergencies. There was no word about their condition.

“Our theory is that she was trying to stop the baby from coming out because it was difficult travelling to the hospital,” Guibao said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary chiefs from Wet’suwet’en First Nation are expected to return to British… Continue reading

Fort Macleod, Alta., to get special advance screening of new ‘Ghostbusters’ film

There will be something strange in the neighbourhood of Fort Macleod, Alta.,… Continue reading

Hundreds turn up at Coldest Night of Year walk in Red Deer

It wasn’t the coldest night of the year, which probably helped the… Continue reading

Police in Saskatoon shoot two dogs that attacked man, then advanced on officers

SASKATOON — Police in Saskatoon say officers had to open fire at… Continue reading

13-year-old Maskwacis teen missing

Maskwacis RCMP are asking for public assistance to locate 13-year-old Rebecca Soosay.… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

Wranglers win wild Game 1 double OT thriller over Red Deer Vipers

The best-of-seven series continues Sunday in Sylvan Lake

Kings and Queens basketball triumph over Ambrose, keep playoff hopes alive

Guard Sandra Garica-Bernal sets new Queens all-time steals mark

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

TORONTO — Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world… Continue reading

View of a longtime economist: Slower growth but no recession

WASHINGTON — In this high-profile election year, the U.S. economy boasts an… Continue reading

Amy, chasing: Klobuchar, already beating odds, faces uphill climb

WASHINGTON — It’s been a running gag ever since she launched her… Continue reading

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s attorney general hopes an inquiry into money laundering… Continue reading

Russian spy case documents missing or destroyed, Canada’s info watchdog finds

OTTAWA — Federal officials lost or possibly destroyed sensitive records about the… Continue reading

Most Read