EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


February 11, 2013

Blizzard babies arrive in a bundle of snow

Two area babies can always say they entered the world in dramatic fashion — on either end of the Blizzard of 2013.

For little Abigail Margaret Howard, it would have been neat to simply share a birth date with her grandfather.

But now she’ll also be able to share her arrival with that of the storm better known as Nemo.

It was weeks ago that William Howard and Cassandra Welcome had made the plans to welcome their daughter to the world. But the Amesbury couple didn’t exactly plan on contending with the fifth biggest recorded snowstorm in Boston.

Luckily, the storm was just beginning as they arrived at Tufts Medical Center Friday morning, as scheduled. But just as Gov. Deval Patrick was ordering everyone off the state’s roads, Abigail was making her debut.

She arrived at 3:32 p.m. Friday — 28 minutes before the travel ban went into effect — weighing 7 pounds, 6 ounces; measuring 20 inches long and sporting a full head of hair.

While mom and dad welcomed her into their arms, she would have to wait almost two days before being introduced to her big sister, 2-year-old Sabrina, grandparents and other family members since no one was allowed to drive from their homes in Greater Newburyport to meet her.

Over at Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport, Phoebe Elise Samatis opted to wait until the blizzard was good and over before making her arrival — a week after her due date.

What’s more, when mom Elise Samatis showed up at Anna Jaques Friday around noon for a regular checkup, she wasn’t expecting to be told they weren’t letting her go home. With Phoebe’s birth imminent, they admitted the first-time mother-to-be, while her husband, James, raced over from work to meet her.

“They were nervous about the storm and didn’t want her leaving,” James Samatis said. “We wouldn’t have wanted (Elise) to be caught out there in a blizzard going into labor.”

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