The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 

Did old man winter inspire Mother Nature?

Some new mom’s in Valdez think maybe so


Valdez Star photo

Several new moms in Valdez are wondering if the current bumper crop of babies is a result of last winter’s heavy snows. Lindsie King, (front left) with daughter Piper, Tracy Gilson with daughter Mary and Brandi Smelcer, with daughters River (standing) and Airoh, are just a handful of families that are expecting soon or have new born babies.

December, January, February…weren’t those some very snowy months in Valdez last winter? Fast forward nine months later, more than a few moms and expectant mothers are wondering if last winter’s vast blanket of snow might be responsible for all the receiving blankets popping up in town.

That’s right. Anecdotal evidence is suggesting that last year’s large crop of snow may have inspired a large crop of infants, also known as blizzard babies.

“I got a count of 15,” Tracy Gilson said while rocking her new daughter, Mary Elizabeth, “but I know there’s more.”

That is 15 Valdez women who recently had babies or were in the late stages of pregnancy and would give birth in the coming days and weeks.

“That’s almost two or three a week,” Gilson quipped with other moms that dropped by the Valdez Star news room, which more closely resembled a maternity room than a business office.

“Everybody’s talked about it,” Jessica Vincent said later, while cooing over her new daughter Lily. “It was a long winter.”

Most of the moms we talked to were experienced parents.

“Most of us, it’s our third or fourth child,” Gilson noted. “That’s the surprising part.”

Even more surprising, most of the moms that dropped by for an interview said their pregnancies were planned. But most are also winking at the notion their plans was spurred on by the winter weather.

Valdez Star photo

New moms and their “blizzard babies” pondering this fall’s the high birth rate in Valdez.

“That’s going to be a whole kindergarten class,” Gilson noted of the recent birth rates. But the fall months are not the only time period where a large number of babies are due. “There’s another batch coming up in February, March.”

Other regions of the country have seen the same phenomena after extreme weather events caused couples to spend more time indoors together.

Last August, New Hampshire news outlets were reporting a glut of babies born nine months after powerful east coast storms knocked out power in the region for two weeks or more.

“I was thinking of hosting a brunch or breakfast,” Gilson said. “To get everyone together.”


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