Kim Haugh gave birth to Jeziah (left) on the day of the quake and Levi exactly four years later.
Kim Haugh gave birth to Jeziah (left) on the day of the quake and Levi exactly four years later. Richard Cosgrove

As Christchurch crumbled, this teen gave birth to her son

AS she lay in the hospital bed, bracing for emergency surgery, 15-year-old expectant mother Kim Haugh was already petrified.

And then the shaking began.

Violent waves erupting beneath the Christchurch earth sent her hospital bed careering across the ward.

Heavily medicated, with needles in her arms, she tried to flee. Doctors held her down.

Her mum "freaked out" and crouched under a desk.

One terrified nurse was calling Ms Haugh by a different name. Several floors up, the building was swaying.

After the magnitude 6.3 quake at 12.51pm, the aftershocks kept coming.

But despite the fear, chaos and rocking, Ms Haugh's pre-eclampsia meant an emergency caesarean section still had to proceed.

As the anaesthetist performed an epidural injection, a giant aftershock hit. Another injection had to be administered.

"By then I was pretty out of it. It was so scary," said Ms Haugh in an exclusive first interview with the Herald.

Three hours later, baby Jeziah was finally born, two months premature, weighing 3lb 4oz (1.47kg).

He was immediately rushed to the neo-natal unit. Ms Haugh wouldn't see him until the next day - February 23, 2011.

"He was really healthy, just really tiny. Not being able to hold him for so long was just awful," Ms Haugh said.

They both stayed in the broken hospital for two weeks before being transferred to Palmerston North Hospital.

After three more weeks there, they were allowed back to their home in the Christchurch suburb of Addington.

They returned to a shattered city, where 185 people had lost their lives.

For the first year of Jeziah's life, thousands of aftershocks bounced and rolled his crib.

Shortly before his first birthday, Ms Haugh and her mother escaped the cracked streets, fallen buildings, and fractured infrastructure by moving 50km west to the more solid ground of Darfield.

Ms Haugh later became pregnant again. Her due date landed around the February 22 anniversary.

"Everyone thought he would be born on the same day. I really didn't want it to happen," she said.

But with an eerie symmetry, baby Levi was born on February 22, 2015.

"It was fate, I guess," said Ms Haugh, now aged 20.

A bright, energetic Jeziah starts at Darfield Primary School this week.

Asked what he thinks when he hears the word "earthquake", Jeziah says: "I think about mummy stuck on the bed when mummy was in the hospital.

"She was almost stuck. Weren't you mummy?"

Ms Haugh smiles. She pulls both boys in and hugs them both.

"At least I'll never forget their birthdays."