Real Life

Born under a lucky star

Born on the Chinese lucky day of 9 September 2009 (09/09/09), Krysterlina Honotana is a very fortunate girl – and her mum Khyera knows just how true that is.

The 24-year-old from South Auckland had quick deliveries with her first two daughters. So when she went into labour five days early, in the wee hours of the morning, she knew her partner Iriiria Tariau had to get to the hospital fast. Unbeknown to the family, their local hospital – oiddlemore – had changed its layout. They drove up to the wrong entrance and found, to their horror, that the doors were fi rmly closed, all the lights were off and nobody was around.

Realising the baby was about to arrive, Iriiria yelled for help. When he got no response, he decided to run around to the emergency department and grab a wheelchair, telling Khyera, who was still sitting in their car, to hold on. “I remember saying, ‘I can’t – it’s coming now!'” recalls Khyera, who was trying not to alarm their other two children, Harmony (2) and Tolonaima (3), sitting in the back.

When Iriiria heard Khyera’s yells, he rushed back to the car – just in time. “I opened the door and my baby was halfway out. She popped right out into my hands,” he says. “If I hadn’t caught her, she would have fallen onto the floor!” But the drama wasn’t over yet. The little girl’s skin was blue and Iriiria saw that the cord was wound tightly around her neck, preventing her crucial first breath.

Calm despite the sudden birth, Khyera told Iriiria how to untangle the cord and they both felt a rush of relief when their newborn immediately began to cry. As they wrapped their 3.9kg daughter in a robe to keep her warm, medical staff, alerted by their cries, finally arrived. The couple were stunned to discover that arriving early on the lucky date had possibly saved Krysterlina’s life.

“oy other girls came on the day they were due, so I thought this one would too,” says Khyera. “But thank goodness she was early, because the cord was so tight around her neck that if she had waited five more days, she might have been stillborn.”

Her parents need no convincing that Krysterlina, named after two aunties called Christina and oerlina, is a lucky baby. But Iriiria was not so lucky in the fashion stakes. His clothes were ruined when he caught his new baby, so the proud dad spent the day in daughter Tolonaima’s pink poncho!”

Vicky Tyler

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