Tori Mason wasn't interested in making a "big fuss" about going into labor; she just wanted to get to the hospital quick and easy.
But because of a weekend blizzard that brought record-setting snowfall to Annapolis, she had to ride to the hospital in a firetruck.
She made it, though. Mason's daughter, Amberly, was one of the 19 babies born during Storm Jonas at Anne Arundel Medical Center. Fifteen babies were born there between 3 p.m. Friday and 11:59 p.m. Saturday. Four more were born between 12:01 and 7 a.m. on Sunday, according to hospital spokeswoman Patricia Ruschaupt.
"When we knew I was expecting, my husband was joking that there was probably going to be a big storm when she was born," Mason said. "So he kind of jinxed us."
Since Mason and her husband, Ted, 25, live in Chesapeake Beach, about 40 minutes away from the hospital, they planned on staying at a hotel two miles away. About 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Mason started feeling a different kind contraction. Soon after, her husband began to dig out their car just in case.
"But when the man clearing the hotel parking lot told us that roads weren't clear, we knew we had to call for an ambulance, which I didn't want to…It felt a little silly, when I wasn't sure (about the contractions.)"
Around midnight, the hospital told Mason she needed to come in and a firetruck and ambulance were sent to the hotel. When the ambulance got stuck in the snow, Mason was forced to ride in the firetruck.
"They were really nice and made jokes to make me feel less stressed," she said of the firefighters.
She added that many of the streets, including Route 2, were covered with snow and it was very windy outside.
"We're from Ohio, so this weather isn't a big shock to us," Mason said. "But there's no way we would have made it in our car."
The Morning Sun
Like Mason's husband, Jillian Hostetter, 29, of Churchton, had a similar feeling that her baby boy, Jonah, was going to be born when it was snowing — but never imagined it would be in a blizzard.
"I always had this feeling of 'Oh my god, he's totally going to be born during a snowstorm in January,'" she said. "Our 2-year old daughter was born in December during a snowstorm, too."
Hostetter's son was born at 7:19 a.m. on Saturday at Anne Arundel Medical Center. Hostetter and her husband, Michael, 30, were able to make it to the hospital about 7 p.m., just before the roads became dangerous. She added that many of the nurses have had to sleep at the hospital, so it's been nice to have the same people taking care of the baby.
And no, the couple's baby boy was not named after Storm Jonas.
"All of our friends have been texting us about it," Hostetter laughed. "But we actually had the name already picked out. We saw it during the end movie credits of 'Iron Man III.' "
Both mothers and babies will be leaving the hospital later this week. And although the blizzard caused some difficulties, Mason and Hostetter both said it will make for a great story.
Said Mason: "For all of the big turmoil she created, she's such a calm baby."