Marianna Harutunian’s birthday will forever be linked to Superstorm Sandy, a dynamo of storms that collided along the East Coast the day before Halloween, leaving millions without power and roads in accessible.
The little girl weighed in at 7 lbs, 5 ounces and arrived at 8:38 p.m. that Monday night amidst the howling winds of the historic weather system. Marianna was just one of 18 babies born that night at the North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y. Terry Lynam, a spokesperson for the hospital, says the number of babies born is not out of the ordinary for a Monday but it did keep them hopping.
Marianna’s parents were hoping she’d be a Halloween baby but apparently she had plans of her own. Dad Vartan Harutunian, 44, of Glen Oaks, N.Y. and his wife Marina, 40, a lawyer were definitely surprised by the baby’s unplanned arrival. Harutunian says getting to the hospital which is only a couple of miles from the couple’s home was challenging because of downed trees and fierce winds.
Meanwhile, at NYU’s Langone Medical Center Julia Almany was in labor. Though she and her husband couldn’t see the storm, they were able to hear it. The sound of rushing water was clear. The basement and ground floor of the facility flooded as Julia labored.
As Julia’s contractions grew stronger, her husband Doron had to help doctors administer an epidural in the dark. He held his cell phone over his wife for light while the doctors inserted the epidural and IV. Then Julia was transferred to Mount Sinai Hospital by ambulance. As they travelled a loud sound frightened them and they learned a tree limb had fallen on the ambulance. Still, they made it to the hospital just fine and welcomed baby boy Micah.
Little Liam Schleppy also made his appearance that Monday at 11 p.m. in Hillsborough, NY. He was born in a medical shelter trailer that was built by Hackensack University Medical Center and arrived five weeks ahead of schedule. His parents were unable to reach two different medical facilities because of downed trees and closed roads. They were forced to head for the emergency medical unit set up inside a church gym for help. With no epidural, Christine gave Folk lore has it that low barometric pressure can cause pregnant women to go into labor. Superstorm Sandy did come close to setting a record with a bottom measurement of 27.76 inches according to one weather site but most scientists and obstetricians discount any correlation.