NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

February 11, 2013

Blizzard babies arrive in a bundle of snow

Two area babies can always say they entered the world in dramatic fashion — on either end of the Blizzard of 2013.

For little Abigail Margaret Howard, it would have been neat to simply share a birth date with her grandfather.

But now she’ll also be able to share her arrival with that of the storm better known as Nemo.

It was weeks ago that William Howard and Cassandra Welcome had made the plans to welcome their daughter to the world. But the Amesbury couple didn’t exactly plan on contending with the fifth biggest recorded snowstorm in Boston.

Luckily, the storm was just beginning as they arrived at Tufts Medical Center Friday morning, as scheduled. But just as Gov. Deval Patrick was ordering everyone off the state’s roads, Abigail was making her debut.

She arrived at 3:32 p.m. Friday — 28 minutes before the travel ban went into effect — weighing 7 pounds, 6 ounces; measuring 20 inches long and sporting a full head of hair.

While mom and dad welcomed her into their arms, she would have to wait almost two days before being introduced to her big sister, 2-year-old Sabrina, grandparents and other family members since no one was allowed to drive from their homes in Greater Newburyport to meet her.

William Howard said he and his wife got very friendly with the nurses at Tufts Medical, who were forced to spend the night due to the storm. Because all elective surgeries and many appointments scheduled for Friday had been canceled, he said the hospital was pretty quiet, with few patients spending the night. The couple praised the hospital staff for their care throughout the entire pregnancy.

“It’s been a close-knit few of us here,” William Howard said Saturday night from their hospital room. “The hospital has been a ghost town. It’s been nice, but it would have been nice to have people come in.”

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