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Born During a Storm

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"Nothing brings on labor like a prairie blizzard. Women have been known to give birth in prairie blizzards even when they weren't actually pregnant."

This trope is when a baby is born while a storm rages outside. Not only does it add flair to a childbirth scene, the Dramatic Wind, rain/snow, Dramatic Thunder, and lightning thematically reflect the pain of the mother as she tries to bring her child into the world — bonus points if it's a Screaming Birth. By the time the birth is over the storm will usually have passed and the mother can hold her child in peace, although there may be added tension regarding how to keep the baby safe should the storm cut off access to utilities or access to society.

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This trope is used to mark a character as special as it's a dramatic and exciting start to their life — indeed, a woman might give birth during the Big Storm Episode for no reason other than Rule of Drama. This is doubly so if the storm is supernatural in nature. At the very least, the baby's life will be dramatic and exciting to match their birth; they may also have some weather-related name to match. This also juxtaposes the death and destruction caused by severe storms with the birth of new life — see Birth/Death Juxtaposition and Life/Death Juxtaposition.

If the baby is born at the beginning, this may be mixed with It Was a Dark and Stormy Night. If the mother is also in danger as she's giving birth (eg. she's trapped outside in the storm), it overlaps with Maternity Crisis. For when lightning itself brings forth life, see Lightning Can Do Anything.

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There is some Truth in Television to this: it's an old wives' tale that storms induce labor, and several locations claim surges in births during hurricanes, typhoons, blizzards, or other storms. In modern times, heavily pregnant women in safe zones sometimes head to hospitals as a precaution. However, there are very few studies that decisively link between natural disasters and the so-called "disaster baby boom". What causes this supposed increase in labor, if anything, is so far unknown — earlier theories had to do with drops in barometric pressure, while others purport that it has to do with stress or temperature.

Not to be confused with Child of the Storm.


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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • The titular character of Georgie! was born in a thunderstorm. Her birth mother died being crushed by a tree in the storm.
  • Layton Mystery Detective Agency: Katrielle was born during a storm. On a ship. That was sinking because of said storm. Her mom didn't make it.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Ed, Al, and Winry are visiting an automail mechanic up in the mountains when a storm breaks out and lightning takes out the bridge back to town. So, of course, the mechanic's pregnant daughter-in-law goes into labor.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • A reincarnation variation happens in Kyoshi Rising. Avatar Kuruk dies quelling a storm in the Northern Water Tribe. Cut to the birth of his reincarnation Kyoshi in the Earth Kingdom.
  • In The Lion Of The North, "Tommen Baratheon, second in line for the throne of Westeros, was born, blue-eyed, black-haired and screaming, during the fiercest storm that had swept over King's Landing in many years".

    Film — Animated 
  • 101 Dalmatians: Perdita gives birth during a rainy October night. The patter of falling rain and occasional distant sound of thunder adds to the anxiety of the scene as Roger and Pongo wait outside, then when Roger is reviving one of the puppies. When Cruella bursts in to buy the whole litter, she is backlit by a flash of lightning, accompanied by a loud thunderclap.

    Film — Live Action 
  • In Hours, baby Abigail is born as Hurricane Katrina bears down on New Orleans. However, the baby needs to be kept on a ventilator for two days, which proves more and more difficult the worse the storm gets.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show: The night Rocky is "born" is the night with a storm so bad it forced Brad and Janet to seek refuge in the castle.
  • Single mother Novalee goes into labor alone in the Walmart she has been living in during a thunderstorm in Where the Heart Is. The setting of the birth emphasizes her dire life situation. Good thing Forney arrives to assist with the birth.

    Folklore 
  • A long-standing tale about Nikola Tesla is that he was born during a lightning storm at night; the apparent implication being that the adult Tesla's dedication to the study and utilization of electricity was foreshadowed at his birth.

    Literature 
  • Dave Barry discusses this in his book Babies And Other Hazards Of Sex.
    If you'd like more technical details on the childbirth process, I suggest you view one of the many fine prairie dramas on television wherein some pathetic wispy-haired pioneer woman goes into labor during a blizzard in the most god-awful desolate prairie place, such as Kansas. Nothing brings on labor like a prairie blizzard. Women have been known to give birth in prairie blizzards even when they weren't actually pregnant.
  • Rose, the heroine of East, was born in the middle of a storm. This is the least of her family's concerns regarding her birth, as they had wanted her to be a genteel east-born child. She is instead a willfull north-born child to match her birth.
  • Esk from Equal Rites is born in the Ramtops, noted to be thunderstorm country, and the wizard who comes for her when she is born arrives in a storm.
  • Ronja the Robber's Daughter: Ronja was born during a storm so fierce that it split the castle where she was born in half.
  • Thowra, the ghost stallion of The Silver Brumby, was born during a storm. It's part of the reason he got his name, which is an Aboriginal word for "wind".
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire Daenerys Targaryen was born at the tail end of Robert's Rebellion, during a storm at Dragonstone which sunk the Targaryen fleet. This is the reason one of her titles is "Stormborn".
  • Crookedstar of Warrior Cats was originally named Stormkit, as he and his brother Oakheart (born Oakkit) were born as the RiverClan was fleeing a flood during a storm. Their mother took shelter in an oak to give birth to them.
  • Show Boat begins In Medias Res with the birth of Kim Ravenal on board the Cotton Blossom during a powerful storm swelling the Mississippi waters. While this birth scene was originally omitted from The Musical, it was added back for the 1936 film version and 1994 theatrical revival.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On the Big Storm Episode of The Night Shift, Topher's pregnant wife Janet and their daughter are stranded by the side of the road. Janet's water has already broken, so Topher deserts the hospital to deliver the baby in the car. They travel to the hospital to deliver the second baby.

    Music 
  • Marty Robbins: "Feleena (From El Paso)" begins describing Feleena's birth — she was born in a thunderstorm in New Mexico, and the storm died down as she first cried.
  • The Rolling Stones's "Jumping Jack Flash" was "born in a cross-fire hurricane, and [howled] at [his] ma in the driving rain," which was only the beginning to the man's tumultuous and exciting life.

    Theatre 
  • The Unsinkable Molly Brown discusses this regarding the title character:
    Shamus (Studying his wild offspring): There was a cyclone the day you was born. You musta swallered the tail a' that twister.
    Molly (Spinning around): I got a cyclone inside me, all right.

    Web Video 

    Webcomics 

    Western Animation 
  • Justified in The Dragon Prince. Sky Dragons, owing to the nature of their species, can only be born in thunderstorms. When the dragon egg he's been protecting throughout the first season, which is carrying the titular Dragon Prince they consider to be the key to peace, winds up in bad shape, Callum breaks his Primal Stone, unleashing a thunderstorm that forces the egg to hatch.
  • In Hey Arnold!, Arnold's mother went into labor during a volcanic eruption in the middle of the jungle. The eruption stopped the exact second Arnold was born.


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