Colorado mom delivers baby during Marshall Fire evacuation

Local News

LOUISVILLE, Colo (KDVR) — Delivering a baby can be one of the most stressful moments in any woman’s life, a high-pressure situation filled with pain, anxiety and excitement. 

But few births can compare to one that happened Thursday night, as flames from the Marshall Fire ripped through Boulder County.

Christa Regnier was working as a nurse in the labor and delivery unit at Avista Adventist Hospital when the evacuation order came over the intercom. 

“From the minute they said let’s go, I mean, we just went running,” she said. “In 21 years, I’ve never encountered anything like this. It was scary.”

At the time, Regnier was caring for a patient named Mercedes, who was preparing to give birth to a baby girl. 

“She was in active labor,” Regnier said. “She was about 5 centimeters. Her water was broken. She had an epidural — thankfully, she had just gotten an epidural, and was comfortable from that.”

Regnier remained calm, gatherings Mercedes’ belongings and bringing her down to the emergency room, where they waited for an ambulance.

In total, 51 patients had to be evacuated from the hospital that night.

Regnier vividly remembers the moments as she waited for their ambulance to arrive. 

“It wasn’t her first baby, and second-time moms, third-time moms, tend to progress a little quicker in labor, so we needed her not to,” she said. “We needed baby to wait just a little longer. It would have made things a little more difficult if we were delivering in the ER during all of this.”

Thankfully, baby Claire stayed put, waiting for an ambulance to take them to St. Anthony North in Westminster, where she was born a few hours later.

Regnier said Mercedes had a great attitude the entire time and trusted the team taking care of her. 

“I think that she trusted me,” Regnier said. “She was exhausted, of course, but was in good spirits, and was a trooper and handled it very well.”

Regnier said it’s a testament to the work done by everyone at the hospital Thursday night.

“It’s a miracle that we all made it out safely,” she said. “As much we were afraid, and scared, and anxious and so saddened by everything, it also makes you very thankful for what we do have.”

Regnier has since followed up with Mercedes, who reports baby Claire is at home and doing well. 

“She had a healthy baby, and that’s all that matters,” she said.

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