Matthew brings Grace into the world

Published 9:45 pm Monday, October 24, 2016

Hurricane Matthew blew in more than just wind and rain when it swept through Hampton Roads a few weeks ago.

This submitted photo of the Colberts' daughter, Grace Denise, shows just how small she is.

This submitted photo of the Colberts’ daughter, Grace Denise, shows just how small she is.

Along with the storm came Grace Denise Colbert, weighing just one pound and eight ounces. Her parents — and even the doctors, her parents say — are convinced the hurricane had something to do with the extremely pre-term delivery.

When Tamerio Colbert went to the doctor earlier that week to have her glucose test done, they realized she was already in labor at only about 25 weeks pregnant, she said.

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She was sent to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where doctors attempted to stop her labor. However, the treatments didn’t work, and baby Grace was born by emergency Caesarian section at 1:42 a.m. Oct. 9, during the worst of the storm.

This was the third pregnancy for Colbert, who said her other babies were born at full term.

To make matters worse, her husband, Jerry Colbert, was not able to be there for the birth. Not realizing the severe nature of his wife’s health or of the storm, he had come home to Suffolk to shower and change, but then he got stuck at home because of the storm and was unable to get back to Norfolk.

“I wanted to be there,” Jerry Colbert said. “The storm held me up.”

Despite her early and eventful birth, Grace is doing well, her parents said. She is gaining weight slowly but surely and already has been taken off the ventilator, Tamerio Colbert said.

The Colberts said even their doctors agree the hurricane may have encouraged the pre-term labor.

There’s little to no evidence that tropical systems actually trigger labor, but the old wives’ tale goes that the drop in barometric pressure during a hurricane can speed up the process.