A BABY girl was born inside a moving pumpboat en route to the neighboring island of Olango at noon yesterday.

Delivering her daughter in the most unlikely place was not the only Christmas present 20-year-old Mary Jane Inoc received during that 15-minute trip from Lapu-Lapu City.

Her fellow passengers all pitched in, with some taking off their shirt, to make sure her baby was protected during the bumpy ride.

Nalipay kaayo ko kay naa pa gyod diay concerned citizens nga andam motabang, Pasko gyod kaayo (I was really happy that there are still concerned citizens who are willing to extend a helping hand. I really felt the spirit of Christmas around me),” she told Sun.Star Cebu.

Bad feeling

She named the baby girl Billy Rose, a name her 18-year-old sister, who was traveling with her on the boat, suggested.

Mary Jane, a factory production worker for three years, said she thought she was suffering from an upset stomach the other night when she felt the rumbling in her tummy.

Nag-untol-untol og kalit, nagtuo ko panuhot lang kay nauwanan man kog maayo, nagpapalit pa kog luy-a sa akong manghod (I was farting constantly and I was embarrassed so I asked my sister to buy me ginger not knowing that I was ready to give birth),” she recalled, while sitting inside the Sta. Rosa District Hospital hours after the incident.

When she realized she was bleeding that night, she told her sister they would be going home to Olango yesterday.

Her leave from work was scheduled to start tomorrow yet, but she knew she would be delivering her baby yesterday.

In good health

When news of her delivering the baby on board the pumpboat reached her mother, the latter rushed to the pier.

“She was rattled, afraid that I gave birth in the boat),” Mary Jane said in Cebuano, laughing at the memory.

Mary Jane assured she and Billy Rose are healthy after the delivery, thanks to the people who gave their shirts that protected the infant from the bumps caused by the waves.

“I know their faces, but I am very thankful to them. Because of them, my daughter and I are safe),” she said in Cebuano.

Mary Jane said they will leave the hospital today so they can prepare for Christmas at home. She said she plans to file a two-month maternity leave.

After that, Billy Rose will be left in the care of her grandparents in Olango together with her older brother Nathan Jay, who turned one last Monday, while Mary Jane returns to work in Lapu-Lapu.

She and the chidren’s father separated a few months ago.

Wala na mi ana niya, pero mapasalamaton gihapon ko sa akong anak nga maoy naghatag og kalipay nako karon (We broke up, but I’m still grateful to him for our two children),” she said.