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BABY, WHAT AN ENTRANCE!

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Air filled the tiny lungs of Elizabeth Patrice Cupples for the first time on Oct. 17 at 5:03 p.m. One minute later, her new world shook violently.

"I thought, `We'll just have to wait until it stops, then they can sew me up,"' Marilyn Cupples recalled one week after the bumpy delivery at AMI Community Hospital.Drs. Katherine Corby and Marsha Muir had just delivered 7-pound, 14-ounce Elizabeth by Caesarean section when the operating room began shaking.

"The baby had just been born when the earthquake started. Things started moving around - the lights started to sway, the walls were moving and things were bumping along," said Corby.

At that moment, the newborn girl was whisked away to the nursery while Corby and Muir fought to stay on their feet to protect the mother and shield her from flying debris with their bodies.

Mrs. Cupples said: "The room started shaking and all I heard them say was, `Let's get her (the baby) out of here."'

Mrs. Cupples, 40, was awake during delivery but numbed from the waist down. Her husband, Jim, was at her side.

Corby was astonished by the way Mrs. Cupples handled the disaster. "While we were sewing her up, she talked about what the Richter reading would be," she said.

"He (Cupples) was in a bit of an altered state, though. He was laughing and telling his new daughter, `You were born and the Earth moved.' They named her Elizabeth but during all this they said they considered calling her Eartha," Corby said.

Elizabeth Patrice is the first baby for Mrs. Cupples, a personnel consultant. Her husband is an engineer.

"We have been thinking of all sorts of nicknames because of the earthquake," Mrs. Cupples said from her Santa Cruz home.

"Eartha, Quaker, Tremblor and Epi are the ones we've thought of. Epi might stick because her initials are E.P. and it also sounds like epicenter," Mrs. Cupples said.