Happiest and scariest day - Claudette had C-section as storm approached
Claudette Williams scheduled her C-section for September 13, 1988, but later got the doctor to agree to change it to September 12 as it was her husband's birthday. She felt that giving birth to Nikolette on Norris Williams' birthday would be the "ultimate gift to him."
But their world was rocked when forecasters predicted that Hurricane Gilbert would hit the island as a powerful Category 3 storm on that day.
"I called my doctor to ask what I should do, and he advised us to check-in to the hospital that evening as scheduled," she said.
The couple made their way to the St Ann's Bay Hospital in St Ann and waited.
"Later that night, my husband left me at the hospital to go home and take care of our other two children and prepare for the incoming storm. I was filled with trepidation. I didn't sleep a wink that night," Claudette said, remembering how quiet the night was.
Claudette said that September 12, 1988 was "without a doubt one out of the four happiest days of my life and definitely the scariest".
"My doctor came in early so he could get the procedure over with before the hurricane hit. As I was being wheeled off to the theatre, I could remember the faint howling of the wind. It was almost like a whisper, warning us all of the impending destruction. For the first time my husband and support system wasn't there to hold my hand. He had to take care of the kids," she said.
Claudette said the fear of the unknown was the scariest part of the entire experience as she prepared to give birth.
"I literally slept through the entire hurricane. My doctor, however told me that as soon as Nikolette was delivered, a part of the theatre roof ripped off as the lights flickered much like a scene from the movie, OMEN," she said.
For her part, Nikolette used the words "lucky, strong, fearless" to describe what it feels like to be a Gilbert baby. She believes that the turbulent time at which she entered the world impacted her personality.
"I embrace life with so much zeal sometimes it makes even me dizzy. My family and friends think I'm a little over-exuberant sometimes, but that's me. I often wonder if my birthdate has anything to do with this," she said.