Nothing stops a hurricane. Or the arrival of a new baby.
With pounding rain and surging winds as the backdrop, Amber Simmons and Conner Faulk welcomed their first child at Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center in Bolivia, N.C. on Thursday night.
He's named Carson, and was delivered via C-section at 8:17 p.m. by Dr. Li Xu.
The new parents, like everyone along the North Carolina coast, were concerned about the worsening weather caused by Hurricane Florence.
"We were pretty nervous," said Faulk, who lives in nearby Supply, N.C. "Everybody kept telling us it was going to happen during the storm. We didn't want it to, but it did. We're glad we're in a safe place. They're looking out for us really well here at the hospital."
Brunswick Medical Center's emergency department is open - and in lockdown mode - for urgent medical needs during the hurricane. Anyone arriving for treatment won't be allowed to leave for safety reasons until the storm has passed.
About 185 team members have remained in the building since Wednesday.
"We had a lot of inquires as the storm approached," said Shelbourn Stevens, Brunswick Medical Center president. "We chose to remain open to serve the community. Stories like Conner and his family make it worthwhile."
Mom's due date was Sept. 25. But two forces of nature - childbirth and weather - intersected to produce a joyous event during a tumultuous night.
"The wind was blowing," Faulk said Friday morning, "but it wasn't as bad as it is now."
Stevens said the medical center messaged expectant parents that anyone 37 weeks or more into their pregnancy (39 weeks is normal) should seek shelter inland, but "we'd be here if they needed us."
Photo L-R: Dr.Li Xu, baby Carson, Amber Simmons, Conner Faulk, and Jill Ward, chief nursing officer, Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center.