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Bradenton woman evacuates for hurricane, gives birth

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BRADENTON, FL (WWSB) -- Marissa Christiansen evacuated Bradenton Saturday with 11 relatives, and came back with 12.

"We were hoping she would wait but that didn't work out," said Christiansen of her 4-day-old daughter Paytenn.

Christiansen said she started having contractions just hours before Manatee Memorial Hospital closed for Hurricane Irma, but she wasn't dilated enough. She and her family evacuated to Gainesville, and that's when Paytenn decided to make her entrance.

"When they checked I was only four centimeters and that's when they decided they were going to keep me there," explained Christiansen of her hospital visit. "And a few hours later I had Paytenn."

The entire family is now back in Bradenton, and like many families on the Suncoast, they're still without power. The florida heat is too much for them to handle., and Christiansen said and its hard to take care of a five-year-old and newborn in the dark.

"We couldn't see anything, we couldn't see if there was damage or anything," said Christiansen of her return to Bradenton.

The family is now staying with friends in Myakka City. Christiansen said she and her fiance are happy they have a new addition to their now family of four and a story to tell Paytenn when she gets older.

"If I had to put this into a couple of words I would say that it was a crazy experience," laughed Christiansen.