For most mothers, the final weeks and days leading up to thier due date are spent mostly at home, nesting and resting. But many mothers who live in the path of Hurricane Florence don’t have that option right now. For these mamas, the final days of pregnancy are being spent away from home, seeking shelter from the storm. Hurricane Florence has forced so many people to change their lives and plans, but babies can’t change theirs. They’re coming, storm or no storm. Their birth stories are a bright spot in a week that’s been anything but for those facing Florence. Let’s meet some of the babies welcomed by brave mamas so far during Florence.

Rachel and Levi English welcomed baby Matilda

The day before their baby girl was due, this North Carolina couple had to evacuate their home in New Bern, North Carolina, where thousands of homes have been damaged by rising flood waters. “It was really scary knowing we were expecting a baby really any minute and potentially unable to get to the hospital or left without electricity for days and days with a newborn,” Rachel told CBS Philly. Rachel’s family lives up in Haverford, Pennsylvania, and that’s where the couple headed. An eight-hour drive could not have been easy for Rachel, and not long after she arrived in her hometown, the contractions started. On Friday morning Matilda was born at Lankenau Medical Center in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. Neighbors reportedly told the Englishes that their house looks okay, but the couple is confident they made the right choice. “We’re just really glad we got out of there,” Rachel told CBS Philly.

Amber Simmons and Conner Faulk welcomed baby Carson

Not all expecting mamas were able to travel out of state like the Englishes did. The day before Matilda was born, little Carson Faulk came into the world at Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center in Bolivia, North Carolina. His mom and dad, Amber Simmons and Conner Faulk, live in nearby Supply, North Carolina. In the days leading up to their son’s birth, the couple was growing anxious, even though their due date wasn’t until September 25. “Everybody kept telling us it was going to happen during the storm. We didn’t want it to, but it did,” Faulk explained to Good Morning America . Thankfully, Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center remained open (but in lock-down mode) during the storm to care for urgent medical needs. “We’re glad we’re in a safe place. They’re looking out for us really well here at the hospital,” said Faulk.

Cpl. Nicholas and Danielle Digregorio welcome twins Sadie and Scarlett

With a storm and twins on the way, Danielle Digregorio and her husband, Cpl. Nicholas Digregorio, decided to leave Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina while they could, and headed home to St. Augustine, Florida last week. “We were pretty nervous to leave North Carolina while expecting twins, but our doctor and our family felt like it was the right thing to do,” the new parents explained in a joint statement to TODAY Parents. “We were confident we could make the drive, which is normally seven hours, but turned out to be a long 12 hours.” “It was very uncomfortable being so far along and cramped up. But, it was worth it in the long run,” Danielle tells Motherly via Facebook messenger. Not long after the Digregorios arrived in Florida, their twins, Sadie and Scarlett, were born at Naval Hospital Jacksonville. The couple says the “nurses and doctors at Naval Hospital Jacksonville have been awesome, and everything worked out perfectly with the care here.” Danielle hopes that pregnant women who face a similar natural disaster or storm will listen to both their doctors and their instincts when making a decision about how and when to leave their home. “It all boils down to what the safest option is for their family and their conditions. I would have to say, it took quite a bit of faith and trust that we were doing the right thing,” says Danielle, who recommends talking through a few different plans with your medical team until you’re comfortable that you’ve come up with the safest option. “At the end of it all, I would have never did anything any different. We turned out safe and so did our beautiful girls,” she says.
[Update, September 16: Added direct quotes from Danielle Digregorio]

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