NAPA (KPIX 5) — A pregnant North Bay couple who were chased out of their Windsor home by the encroaching flames of the Kincade Fire were forced to deliver their new baby at a Napa hotel earlier this week.
Evacuees from the fire zone are turning to hotels in Napa for refuge, the Hotel Andaz just experienced a very different kind of room service on Monday.
Newborn Penelope Page is only two days old. Her parents — Rachel and James Page — were hoping for a home delivery. But since they live in Windsor, the Kincade Fire had other plans for them, forcing an abrupt evacuation this past weekend.
“We would pack, I would cry, we would pack, I would cry,” remembered Rachel. “Because I’m like, ‘We might have a baby not at home and this was not our plan and what are we going to do?'”
So they evacuated to the Hotel Andaz in Napa. On Monday afternoon, baby Penelope — who was supposed to be born on Halloween — ordered an early delivery to their room.
Luckily, the couple had been working with Heather Hilton, a Napa Valley midwife with a experience that fit their unusual situation. Two years ago, Hilton had actually delivered another baby to another evacuee couple at another Napa hotel during the Wine Country fires. She remembers the hotel’s reaction after the baby was born.
“They were really great and said, ‘You know, people do all kinds of weird things in hotels. We don’t really have any control over it!'” Hilton explained with a laugh.
Penelope’s delivery went off without a hitch. Though the couple doesn’t know the status of their home back in Windsor, James Page is just happy to get his loved ones out of harm’s way.
“However it happens, it happens. I have my family, so I’m…I’m ok,” he said.
Ironically, while the couple was being interviewed by KPIX 5, the hotel had its yearly fire alarm test. Once again, the Pages ended up — for a moment — back out on the street. But this time, as they held Penelope, they knew they had everything they really needed already in hand.
“Sometimes you need to let go and try to surrender to what is happening in life,” said Rachel. “So there’s definitely a big lesson in this, for sure.”
The Pages said their “Halloween baby” became their “fire baby,” and they’re pleased that Penelope will have a great story to tell for the rest of her life.
The three of them left the hotel Wednesday to stay with family in Sacramento, where their two-year old daughter will finally get a chance to meet her new little sister.