Blizzard results in harrowing drive to hospital for local woman in labour


Published on February 17, 2017

Nicole Anderson and Jeffrey Hicks and their newborn James will certainly have a story to share about his arrival into the world. Anderson went into labour at the height of Monday’s blizzard and was taken by ambulance to hospital in Amherst where she gave birth.

©Darrell Cole – TC Media

POINT DE BUTE, N.B.. – James Hicks will have a story to tell his friends in a few years about how he entered the world.

The healthy eight-pound, five-ounce baby boy was born at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre early Wednesday morning. It was how he got there that was story.

His mother, 33-year-old Nicole Anderson of Point-de-Bute, N.B., started having contractions just after 6 p.m. on Monday, but several hours later they were getting closer and there was little relief. Thats when she realized her baby was coming.

I was scared because this was my first baby and didn’t know what to expect. I knew the baby was coming but didn’t know if we’d make it to the hospital. Nicole Anderson

His mother, 33-year-old Nicole Anderson of Point-de-Bute, N.B., started having contractions just after 6 p.m. on Monday, but several hours later they were getting closer and there was little relief. That’s when she realized her baby was coming.

“The first thing I thought was the baby is coming then it was Oh my God, how are we going to get to the hospital?” Anderson said early Friday. “I looked outside and you couldn’t see a thing it was snowing so hard. I was scared because this was my first baby and didn’t know what to expect. I knew the baby was coming but didn’t know if we’d make it to the hospital.”

She knew she had to get to the hospital, but didn’t know the blizzard had shut down the highway between Amherst and Moncton, N.B.

Her husband, Jeffrey Hicks call 911 and an ambulance and snowplow arrived about 30 minutes later.

“I knew there was no way were getting the car out to drive to the hospital, the only way was the ambulance,” he said. “It was an experience.”

Even when the ambulance and plow arrived, there was too much snow in the driveway for the ambulance to safely navigate so she volunteered to walk out to the road with the help of the paramedics.

While her doctor was in Moncton and that’s where she was supposed to give birth later this month, driving snow and strong winds made that impossible so it was decided to go to the hospital just outside Amherst.

As the plow guided the ambulance toward Amherst it was supposed to be met by a plow from Nova Scotia at the border. That plow, however, experienced difficulty and the New Brunswick plow operator agreed to continue toward the hospital.

“It was not a drive I would want to make,” Hicks said. “I was riding up front and you could see out the front window how bad the weather was. He did an amazing job getting us through that.”

Anderson was in the back of the ambulance and couldn’t see how bad things were, but she could feel the ambulance shaking in the wind and snow and for a few moments thought she would be giving birth there instead of in the hospital.

The normal 10 to 15 minute drive to Amherst took close to an hour.

When the couple made the hospital, little James was in no hurry to come – waiting approximately 24 hours before being born at just after 1 a.m. on Wednesday.

Jeff Hull from New Brunswick’s Transportation and Infrastructure Department said everyone is happy with the ending.

“We are pleased to hear that both the baby and family are doing well,” Hull said. “When an emergency call is received, DTI personnel know how important it is that they are available to assist emergency responders in any way they can. DTI’s Division responded accordingly during the most recent storm and the department thanks them for their professionalism and dedication to their community and province.”

darrell.cole@tc.tc

Twitter: @ADNdarrell