Brave Mom Gave Birth During the Oklahoma Tornado: Read Her Amazing Story

Photo Courtesy of The Huffington Post Photo Courtesy of The Huffington Post

Though mom-to-be Shay-la Taylor knew full well about the severe weather watch happening in Moore, Oklahoma, the news wasn’t enough to keep her baby-on-board from making his chaotic debut!

In the midst of the Oklahoma tornado, as Moore Medical Center nearly fell to pieces around her, Shay-la was in labor with her second baby boy! But even as she checked into the hospital to be induced at 9 a.m., she wasn’t overwhelmed with nerves. “We’re used to tornadoes and sirens,” she told the Huffington Post, “If you freaked out every time you heard a siren, you’d have an anxiety attack every May in Oklahoma.”

Though doctors initially wanted to send Shay-la home and reschedule her induction, baby boy Taylor had different plans in mind for his mama and her doctors: she’d already started having contractions. When 2:30 p.m. on Monday rolled around and there was still no baby, hospital staff at Moore Medical Center moved Shay-la out of Labor and Delivery and into an operating room stocked with four nurses. Her husband, Jerome, and their 4-year-old son, Shiaden, took cover on a different floor, separated from Shay-la.

Still, mama-to-be Shay-la was calm under pressure (and tornado warnings). Because there was no TV to watch to keep up with the threat of a tornado, Shay-la tracked the tornado by using an app on her phone. She said, “I knew it was headed for the hospital but just didn’t know it would be a direct hit.”

Just an hour later, at 3:30, the tornado did exactly what Shay-la wasn’t able to predict from her phone app: it hit the hospital head on, flattening the entire building. Only 25 patients and staff were in the hospital at that time. Recalling those terrifying moments, Shay-la said, “The floor was shaking like an earthquake and then I saw the ceiling shaking too. You could see insulation starting to fall. Me and two of the nurses were all just holding hands and praying. My eyes were closed, but you could kind of see daylight. And I opened my eyes and I could see out the wall.” As the hospital fell around her, Shay-la was 9 centimeters dilated and experience intense contractions, despite the nurses giving her a shot to slow down baby boy Taylor’s arrival. Amazingly enough, Shay-la stayed calm. She requested a hand Doppler (to monitor the baby’s heart beat) and made a call to her mother, who was with her husband and her 4-year-old, safely tucked away in the hospital  basement cafeteria.

While it was clear that Shay-la was going to deliver at any moment, her medical team needed to find a way to move her to a new hospital — one that hadn’t been picked to pieces by the tornado. Her husband, Jerome, made his way to the operating room and carried his way all the way to an ambulance — one that would drive her from Moore, OK., to the closest facility: Normal Regional HealthPlex.

Miraculously, despite thirteen hours of contractors, a tornado and a crumbling hospital — Shay-la gave birth to a  healthy, 8 lbs., 3 oz. baby boy at 7:25 p.m. Throughout the course of their horrifying day, Shay-la said that her 4-year-old, Shaiden, never really understood what was happening, which meant he wasn’t overwhelmed with fear. As luck would have it, their home is fine — as well as all of Shaiden’s toys. The sweetest thing Shaiden told his mom after the birth of his baby brother? He asked her to tell God not to make any more tornadoes because “He broke the hospital.”

Fittingly enough, Shay-la and Jerome named their newest addition Braeden Immanuel, which means “God Is With Us.” Though they admitted to settling on that name months before, Shay-la told Huffington Post, “It definitely fits.”

It definitely, definitely does. Congratulations to the brave second-time mama, her courageous husband and her two happy, healthy, unscathed baby boys!

Could you do what Shay-la did?

Plus, more from The Bump:

How to Help Oklahoma Tornado Victims

Amazing Labor and Delivery Stories

Craziest Places Moms Went Into Labor