Cyclone Debbie delivers baby boom nine months later
NINE months on from Cyclone Debbie, the consequences of two weeks without power and internet are rearing their little heads.
A "baby boom" at Proserpine Hospital has been attributed by staff to the Category 4 system tearing through the region, with 17 babies born there since December 21.
Cannonvale mum Danni Rowan had to bunker down in a general ward to deliver son Ari because the maternity ward didn't have the room.
Soon after Debbie hit, a friend of Ms Rowan on Facebook posted an update when she realised she was pregnant.
"We must have been a bit bored during the cyclone because we now have a bun in the oven," she wrote
After two weeks without power and shaky internet, many left in the dark seemed to have come up with an age-old way to pass the time.
"There were four other women in the hospital when I went in to have Ari and all the birthing suites were taken so I had to take another room," Ms Rowan said. "There were five babies born on the same day."
For new mum Kathryn Cygan, it was not until a scheduled eight-week ultrasound that the penny dropped surrounding the circumstances of her son Isaac's conception.
"When I found out how far along I was at eight weeks, we counted backwards and realised it lined up with Debbie arriving," she said.
"We had a bit of a laugh about it and it definitely lined up but I don't know if it was the actual night of the cyclone or whether it was just that week of having no power.
"It has been a running joke throughout the pregnancy."
Proserpine Hospital clinical midwifery manager Ruth Roberts said 17 babies were born there from December 21 up until now.
Within 24 hours between December 21 and 22, five babies were born, Ms Roberts said.
Two were born on Christmas Day and another two on Boxing Day. Three babies were born on New Year's Day and another five from January 2 until yesterday.
"We are very happy and excited to welcome babies at any time of the year, but Christmas is particularly special. It is all about the coming together of family - what symbolises this more than a newborn baby?
"The parents are more excited than usual and it does seem extra special. They said that it was the best Christmas present they could ask for," Ms Roberts said.
Hospital staff were in a festive mood wearing Christmas outfits and reindeer ears, sharing lunch together and celebrating the Christmas babies including little Hendrix Lewis, son of Kayla Cuneo and Steven Lewis.
For a Proserpine family, an unexpected surprise came after Christmas lunch, en route to visit family down in Midge Point.
Mother Rosalie Maree Bundesen wasn't at all expecting an early or even on-time birth after her first child arrived six days late and thought the labour of her second child was Braxton hicks contractions.
Baby Grace Judith Miotto was born on Christmas night at Proserpine Hospital, eight days early weighing in at a healthy 3234g.
Ms Bundesen said baby Grace wasn't necessarily a planned addition to the family and a bit of a miracle baby: "the birth was better than the first and all natural with no drugs".
"I'd like to say thank you to all the staff at the maternity ward that worked over the Christmas and New year period," the happy mum said.
Proserpine Hospital staff work tirelessly all year round and the arrival of babies on Christmas and New Year's Day seemed to be no exception to their 365-day roster.