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Holiday blizzard spawns baby boom in Oklahoma

Remember last year's Christmas Eve blizzard? Two Oklahoma City hospitals report more births nine months after the storm. One new mother says she's crediting the storm for her blizzard baby.
BY SONYA COLBERG Published: September 23, 2010

Last Christmas Eve's blizzard froze out most of Oklahoma, shutting down thousands of computers, TVs, heaters and all things electronic.

But Oklahomans may have found their own ways to turn up the heat. Nine months after the big freeze, at least two Oklahoma City hospitals report seeing a baby boom.

Casen Haskins is one of those babies born because of the bad weather.

"Casen was definitely a surprise for us. He was a pleasant surprise," Jennifer Haskins, 30, said Wednesday from her hospital bed at Integris Baptist Medical Center, as she and her husband, Josh Haskins, 30, kept watch over their 2-day-old son — their fourth child.

The snow and impassable roads at Christmastime forced Jennifer to work from home in Yukon while Josh stayed home over Christmas break from his job as a coach and teacher. She's thanking the blizzard for their baby.

Although they had electricity, they couldn't leave the house, she said.

Baptist reports delivering up to 20 more babies than typical for this month.

Terri Preston, clinical director of the Integris Baptist labor and delivery unit, said a harried staffer quickly e-mailed a response to a notice about a Wednesday afternoon meeting.

"The 'storms' have arrived," she wrote, referring to the storm babies. She wouldn't be able to make the meeting because the labor and delivery unit was so busy.

"We've called in all the troops. We've called in backup. Everyone's here," Preston said.

Typically a busy time

August through Christmas is typically busy for the baby-delivering business at Baptist, possibly because of the cooler weather nine months earlier.

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