TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) Many lives have been lost during Hurricane Harvey, but the storm has brought a new life to Central Texas.
Aviana Navayah Aguirre. (Photo courtesy of Baylor Scott & White)
Aviana Navayah Aguirre was born Tuesday afternoon at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Temple after her parents evacuated from the Houston area.
She’s being called ‘the hurricane baby.'
"With every storm comes a rainbow,” said mom Marissa Salinas. "Never in my life did I think I was gonna have my daughter here but I'm very blessed that I did."
The new mom had woken up with contractions Monday morning as her home in Manvel, near Alvin, started filling with floodwaters.
"The water started rising, it was to our ankles already,” said Salinas.
She had two choices: take a boat to get to the hospital nearby, Clear Lake Regional Medical Center in Webster, or get to another hospital.
Salinas decided to take her chances on the road, driving six hours with her parents through the night, in bad weather and darkness, to make it to the Temple hospital.
"Being able to get here safely for our daughter…it means a lot,” Salinas said with tears in her eyes.
They arrived at 2am Tuesday.
Already 36 weeks pregnant, and a high-risk pregnancy, doctors decided to induce her right away.
12 hours later, at 2:20pm, Aviana came into the world.
"Girl, you were born at a crazy time, you came at a crazy time,” Salinas said.
Making the situation even ‘crazier’ was the fact that her fiancé, Jordan Aguirre, wasn’t with her; he was stuck in Houston.
Visiting his grandparents when the weather hit, he was unable to evacuate until Wednesday.
"Luckily I made it here safe to this wonderful hospital and I couldn't be happier that, ya know, that my daughter was born here healthy and safe through all the tragedy and everything,” said Aguirre.
He missed his daughter’s birth, but he got there as soon as he could.
“I just prayed and waited for the waters and the streets to clear up, finally I took an opportunity, she told me not to, she told me to wait, but you can’t miss your baby girl being born,” said Aguirre.
Although Harvey prevented him from being there in person, hospital staff put him on FaceTime so he could see his daughter’s birth.
“It was hard telling him, but I was like ‘I'd rather you be here for her whole life, than you trying to come just to see her for her birth,’" said Salinas.
Despite never meeting or treating Salinas prior, hospital officials said the birth went smoothly.
“It was just fortunate that we were able to offer those kind of services,” said Dr. Russ Fothergill, Vice Chair, Department of OB/Gyn at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center Temple. “It was a community effort, a team effort, we had specialists in the NICU that are able to help us, so a good effort by all.”
The doctor said it was an honor to have helped the family in need.
"To have the, the opportunity to take care of people who are displaced, is a special thing for us,” said Fothergill.
The flooding at the home where Salinas and her parents live became so severe they had fish in their driveway and lost three vehicles, their sheds and storage were washed away, and the bottom of their house was ruined.
"You don't expect things like this to happen you know, you can never be prepared to lose a lot, but um, I'm thankful to have a blessing through this all,” Salinas said of her newborn daughter.
“So it's really helping.”
They said they’ll take Aviana back there as soon as it’s safe, but they’re going to take it day-by-day.
Salinas said her grandparents live in the Buckholts area.
Even if they do get home to Manvel, Salinas said all the doctors offices in the area are closed, so it’s likely they’ll have to return to Temple to see a pediatrician in two weeks.
“Everyone was great, and if I could, I would deliver at this hospital again…in different circumstances,” said Salinas.