Shock delivery: Mum gives birth during earthquake

Posted in Birth.

Every birth is an unforgettable experience, but WA couple, Stephen and Alesha Tormey will certainly remember the day their daughter arrived, considering it was the exact moment an earthquake hit Australia.

Stephen and Alesha were at Karratha Hospital in the middle of labour contractions when the earth literally moved. Suddenly a 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of WA, and the couple’s birth situation suddenly became a little more exciting.

A labour to remember

Labour is hard enough in relatively normal circumstances, but through an earthquake, things would definitely be a little scarier. However, once everyone in the hospital room realised what was going on, there was only one thing for Alesha to do – give birth!

“We were nearly at the end of the labour, then the window, blinds and monitor machines starting shaking,” Stephen Tormey told “It added to the stress in the room, but it somehow clicked mammy into gear and eight or nine pushes later little Ayla joined the world.”

Amidst the massive trembling and shaking, Alesha gave birth to a healthy little girl called Ayla Rose, weighing 2.9kg. The couple are, of course, over the moon, not only to finally meet their beautiful daughter but no doubt, to get safely out the other side of what is one of Australia’s biggest earthquakes.

Massive shake-up

It will be a tale to tell for years to come. Considering it was the equal-biggest earthquake to be reported in Australia, alongside an earthquake in Tennant Creek, Northern Territory in 1988.

The earthquake hit on Sunday around 3.39pm, between Port Hedland and Broome. The couple were labouring in Karratha’s newly built hospital, approximately 235km south of Port Hedland and were not the only ones to have their world rocked. Incredible shakes and tremors were felt far and wide. Shops rattled, cars rocked from side to side, even pool water got a little choppy.

Fortunately, the earthquake didn’t cause any major damage. In fact, quite the opposite with the safe arrival of a beautiful little girl who certainly came into the world with a bang that her parents will never forget.

“I’m sure she’s going to continue to rock our world from now on,” Stephen told 7News.

Earthquake or no earthquake, this much is very true.


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