LAKE ARROWHEAD, Calif. — A California couple fighting treacherous wintry weather to reach a hospital had the perfect name for their second child when she was delivered on Feb. 24.
Crystal Wade was having contractions as blizzard-like conditions raged near their Lake Arrowhead home, The Orange County Register reported.
On Feb. 23, her husband, Brady Wade, had just returned home from his job as an essential emergency worker with the state, navigating roads with 3 to 4 feet of snow, according to the Los Angeles Times. He began loading their truck in preparation to travel to the hospital, located 50 miles away in Fontana. But because he could not park his vehicle close to his home because the roads had not been cleared, Brady Wade’s trips were time-consuming.
Baby girl ‘Winter’ is born in Lake Arrowhead amid raging blizzard https://t.co/6ChOCsXv8c— O.C. Register (@ocregister) March 4, 2023
A friend ran through the snow to help Brady Wade load the truck and volunteered to care for the couple’s 4-year-old son, Braden, the newspaper reported. Time was running out.
“By the time I did the final load, she was having contractions every five minutes,” Brady Wade told the Register. “By the time we hit Blue Jay, my wife was in labor, and we were still about 50 minutes from the hospital.”
Brady began driving in blizzard conditions, with crosswinds and constant snow, KNBC-TV reported.
“We were very concerned about getting off the mountain,” Brady Wade told “Today.” “We didn’t really have an alternative, because of my job, I have to be in the storm. We figured we would just hope and pray that we would be able to make it down when we needed to.”
“Halfway down the mountain you don’t have reception for a good 15-20 minutes,” Crystal Wade told “Today.” “And so I just told Brady, ‘We might have the baby in the car.’”
The couple finally pulled up to the hospital with minutes to spare, the Times reported.
“The doctor told (Crystal) that if her water had broken, we would have had to give birth on the Rim of the World highway,” Brady Wade told the Register.
Winter was born around 5 a.m. PST on Feb. 24.
“She came out with the cord wrapped around her neck,” Crystal told “Today.” “So I was so thankful that we were at the hospital, because if we were in the car and the cord was wrapped around her neck I would have freaked out not knowing what to do.”
With the baby safely delivered, the Wades stayed in a hotel and waited for clearance to go home, the Register reported. after receiving permission from the California Highway Patrol, the family drove home but had to park six blocks away due to the snow blocking the access roads. Crystal Wade protected her infant by carrying the child inside her jacket.
“Halfway through the walk, I was starting to have a panic attack, but thank God the baby was calm,” Crystal Wade told the newspaper. “Thank God she didn’t cry the entire time, because I would have started crying … she did a really good job.”
As for the baby’s name, it was simply a coincidence, Brady Wade told the Register. They had decided on her name long before the storm hit the area.
Their son is home again, and the family is coping after their nerve-wracking adventure.
“Getting through the front door was an amazing feeling,” Crystal Wade told the newspaper.