Every time Max Tagaloa looks at the sleeping baby girl in his arms, his eyes fill with tears.

The much-wanted second child, 8-week old Zemirah, was born on August 30 - the same day her mother Angela died during labour.

The 35-year-old McAuley High School science teacher suffered a seizure in the early hours of that Friday morning after a 16-hour labour at Middlemore Hospital in South Auckland.

The circumstances of her death are not yet clear.

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Max Tagaloa said of his newborn daughter: "When I look at her, I see Ange. She definitely looks like her. Zemirah's a blessing because God gives and He takes - He blessed us with Zemirah and He's taken his angel, Ange."

To donate to the family, visit Givealittle.

Sitting with his eldest daughter, Christabella, 5, in their home in Ōtāhuhu, Tagaloa said he and Angela would have celebrated their eighth wedding anniversary yesterday.

Angela Tagaloa, 35, died on August 30 after suffering a seizure while she was in labour with her second child. Photo / Supplied
Angela Tagaloa, 35, died on August 30 after suffering a seizure while she was in labour with her second child. Photo / Supplied

Large photographs of a heavily pregnant Angela stand nearby. She is pictured at the school ball, in July, wearing a sparkling dress. Her hands rest gently on her belly.

Tagaloa first met her at university.

"When I first saw her, it was her smile," he said.

"She lived by faith. Her morals were God first, family and everything else after that. My faith wasn't that strong until I met Ange and I started going to church with her."

They were excited to welcome another child and had picked out their second daughter's name - a biblical reference meaning a song, palm and a vine.

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Angela had a good pregnancy, Tagaloa said, but was booked to be induced on Thursday, August 29, after blood results initially showed she might have gestational diabetes.

That condition was later ruled out, he said.

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They were told although everything was fine, the baby's growth had slowed down, so she was to be induced to be on the safe side.

"When we went back to the car, she said: 'Oh, I knew this was gonna happen. I just had this feeling. This is God saying to just do it now just in case something happens with baby'."

That Thursday, Angela was induced at 12.55pm. Everything looked good.

Angela and Max Tagaloa on their wedding day. Photo / Supplied
Angela and Max Tagaloa on their wedding day. Photo / Supplied

She was induced again later that night - about 7pm, Tagaloa estimated.

"On Friday morning, when the [hospital] midwife left, I asked her: 'How are you feeling'?

"This was about 6.30 or 6 in the morning. She said: 'I feel sick'.

"I turned around, grabbed a bucket, and she had a seizure. That was the last time I spoke to Ange.

"I was standing there not knowing what was going on, confused. The doctors told me to go out. I think they were trying to resuscitate her."

When the doctor just stood there, I said: 'Is she gone?'

An emergency C-section was performed and someone came out to let him know that the baby had been delivered and was well.

"When I was in one of the rooms waiting for the outcome, I kind of had a feeling when they all walked towards me - not in a happy way. I just had this feeling something's wrong.

"When the doctor just stood there, I said: 'Is she gone?' He said: 'Yeah.'"

Tuiuli Max Tagaloa with his two daughters, Zemirah Angela Tagaloa, 8 weeks, and Christabella Tagaloa, 5. Photo / Michael Craig
Tuiuli Max Tagaloa with his two daughters, Zemirah Angela Tagaloa, 8 weeks, and Christabella Tagaloa, 5. Photo / Michael Craig

The Coroner's office confirmed it is investigating the cause and circumstances of Angela's death.

Tagaloa said he had not been told a cause of death, only that it was being investigated.

A Counties Manukau Health spokeswoman said the death of any patient in its care was treated with the "greatest respect'' and was carefully reviewed against a set of protocols and guidelines.

The DHB could not comment further as the case was before the Coroner.

A teacher who cared for her students

McAuley High School principal Jan Waelen paid tribute to a "truly beloved teacher'' who was innovative, creative and inspirational to all students who passed through her care.

For Max and his girls, life goes on with the help of an extended aiga - family - and community that continue to help them.

He said one day he will tell Zemirah - whose middle name is Angela - what happened the day she was born.

"When she's older and she understands and I have to tell her what happened to mum, I don't want her to think: 'Was I the reason why mum passed?'"

To donate to the family, visit: Givealittle page - Father left to raise his little girls
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