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Mom gives birth during ice storm

An Ajax, Ont. woman is a proud new mom, after doctors delivered her baby boy in a room illuminated by flashlight during the height of the ice storm.

Paula Mbonda went into labour early Sunday morning, as much of southern Ontario was being slammed by the storm system.

She told CTV News Channel that, while her own home never lost power, that wasn't the case at the Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering Hospital.

Paula Mbonda went into labour early Sunday morning, as much of southern Ontario was being slammed by the ice storm.

"The hospital, that was another story," she said Tuesday with a laugh. "I knew ahead of time from my midwife that the power was out (at the hospital), but I didn't realize that the generators were out also. So when we arrived it was pitch-black."

But Mbonda said the hospital was well-prepared and paramedics guided her through the darkened hallways using flashlights.

"I honestly can say that I felt calm and I don't know how," she said, adding that it was the drive along icy, tree-covered streets that frightened her the most.

"Once I arrived at the hospital in the care of the midwife, with my husband there, I felt calm."

Mbonda eventually gave birth to her son in a room lit by flashlights and one small, battery-operated light in the corner.

And after tossing around the idea of giving their son an ice storm-related name, the couple finally settled on "Pearson."

"We stuck with 'Pearson" which was on our top 10 list," she said. "Certainly through the night I was hearing lots about Pearson airport and the trouble and delays they were having, and it just seemed like a name that would work."

Mbonda, now safely back home, said she feels blessed after the entire ordeal.

"We're lucky, look at us," she said as she cradled her new son. "We have light and we're happy and healthy."

Still, she does have one tip for other women. "Well, if you're fortunate enough to conceive so easily, maybe plan a summer baby," she said.

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