Ambulances get stuck on way to baby deliveries across East Coast
Several babies were delivered under unusual circumstances during the record-breaking snowstorm
PHILADELPHIA — The plans made by expectant mothers to get themselves to the hospital went out the window when a massive blizzard struck the East Coast.
Several babies were delivered under unusual circumstances during the record-breaking snowstorm. In Maryland, a woman had to be taken to a hospital in a fire engine. In Philadelphia, a woman hitched a ride in a police car.
Paramedics were called to the Germantown, Maryland, woman's home early Saturday morning because the woman wasn't able to get to the hospital on her own, county Fire and Rescue spokesman Pete Piringer said.
The medics loaded the woman onto an ambulance, but it broke a snow chain and got stuck. The fire department has arrangements with drivers of plows and military all-wheel-drive vehicles, but they were too far away, Piringer said, so the woman was taken to Holy Cross Germantown Hospital on the fire truck.
She gave birth to a healthy baby girl at 11:18 a.m. Saturday, hospital spokeswoman Yolanda Gaskins said.
In Virginia, meanwhile, Stafford County emergency officials received a 911 call Saturday afternoon at the height of the storm.
The caller said a woman was in labor, but the midwife was unable to reach their home because of the storm.
While the county's fire and rescue was sent to the residence, the dispatcher talked the father through the delivery of a healthy baby boy.
In Cornelius, North Carolina, with ice covering the roads, Amanda Anderson gave birth to a baby girl Friday morning.
The Charlotte Observer reported Anderson had been having contractions in close proximity Thursday, so she and her fiance went to the hospital thinking they would have the baby before the storm hit. They were told by doctors and nurses at two hospitals that she wasn't ready to give birth.
They stayed at the second hospital for several hours, until 11:30 p.m. Thursday, when they were sent home.
"I had a feeling I was going to get stuck delivering her at home or stuck delivering her in the car," Anderson, who has two other children, told the newspaper.
On Friday morning, her contractions got stronger so her fiancé began warming up the car, thinking they'd return to a hospital more than a half-hour away.
"I said, 'I can't. There's no way,'" Anderson said.
They called 911 instead, and her daughter was born after paramedics arrived.
In Philadelphia, a new mother said police helped her get to the delivery room after an ambulance got stuck.
Brittany Gillette, 21, told The Philadelphia Inquirer that she felt her water break at 5 a.m. Saturday and feared she might not make it. Her fiancé and her father tried for an hour to shovel a path for the car. Then they called an ambulance, which got stuck.
"I was at the top of block and they told me to walk to the bottom because they couldn't make it through with all the snow," Gillette said. "By the time I got there, they got stuck in the snow, so we called the police and waited."
Minutes later, police picked up Gillette, her mother and fiancé Robert Robinson and took them to the nearest delivery room at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where she arrived at 7:30 a.m. Saturday and 13 hours later gave birth to Ka'lei Xaria Robinson — 7 pounds, 2 ounces.