Blizzard babies ring in New YearNicole Thompson got a ride to the hospital in a plow truck Friday afternoon. At 12:44 a.m. Saturday, she and husband Andrew welcomed their daughter, Zoey.
By: Sherri Richards, INFORUM
Nicole Thompson got a ride to the hospital in a plow truck Friday afternoon. At 12:44 a.m. Saturday, she and husband Andrew welcomed their daughter, Zoey.
Besides being a blizzard baby, Zoey Leigh Thompson was the first baby born in Fargo in 2011. She weighed 6 pounds, 13 ounces and was 19 inches long.
“We have good stories to tell her about how she got here,” Nicole Thompson said.
Her due date was Jan. 8, so the couple hadn’t really considered that Zoey could be a New Year’s baby. Nicole had a check-up Thursday and left not thinking she’d be back at Essentia Health on Friday evening.
Andrew, who plows snow for Master Construction, had been out working from 1 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday. He’d only been sleeping a couple of hours when Nicole told him it was time to go to the hospital.
They drove their sport utility vehicle to drop off Aiden, their 18-month-old son, at a friend’s house, but were worried by the visibility and snowdrifts along 32nd Avenue South. They went back to their West Fargo home to get the Master Construction plow truck.
At first, Nicole, 28, thought Zoey would share her Dec. 31 birthday. Nicole had been born 45 minutes before that New Year started; Zoey was born 44 minutes after 2011 began.
“I was thinking it’d be neat to share a birth date,” Nicole said. “But her birth date, 1/1/11, is pretty neat.”
Son Aiden’s July 7 birthday is also numerically repetitive. “Now we have A to Z,” Nicole said, referring to the children’s first names.
Landen James Gurskis wasn’t the first 2011 baby at Essentia, but he did end up having a timely birth: 1:11 a.m. on 1/1/11.
“It’s a neat birthday … a neat time,” said his mother, Katie Gurskis of Moorhead.
Gurskis is a nurse in the emergency room and clinical evaluation unit at Essentia. She had worked a 12-hour shift ending at 7 p.m. Friday. She said employees had been told to spend the night at the hospital because of the weather conditions.
She was playing a game with other hospital staff when her contractions started around 10:30 p.m.
“I was in the right place at the right time,” she said.
Gurskis called her husband, Dennis, to come to the hospital with their 7-year-old daughter, Kinsley. They arrived about a half-hour before Landen’s birth.
“At least he didn’t go in the ditch,” Katie said. “Otherwise he wouldn’t have made it.”
Fargo firefighters, F-M Ambulance and city plows helped another expectant mom get to Sanford Health on Saturday. Plows needed to clear side streets so the ambulance could get through at about 9 a.m. Saturday, said firefighter Eric Knutson. At one point, the ambulance got hung up at a corner, he said. The mother made it to the hospital before delivering.
The first 2011 baby at Sanford Health in Fargo, delivered by another woman, was born at 11 a.m., a hospital spokeswoman said.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5556