Couples welcome newborns during Isaac
With Kayla Rowden close to eight months pregnant, she and her husband, Josh, decided to leave their home in Kenner ahead of Hurricane Isaac to stay in Baton Rouge.
They weren’t sure if hospitals in New Orleans would be open later, in case an emergency came up, and Kayla’s own doctor had evacuated New Orleans to be with her own expectant daughter elsewhere in the state, the couple said.
“It was a personal precaution for us,” said Josh Rowden of the couple’s trip here.
Baton Rouge had some real pluses. A friend’s church made available for them a house the church keeps for visiting missionaries — and the house wasn’t far from Airline Highway and Woman’s Hospital.
The Rowdens evacuated from Kenner on Aug. 27 along with Kayla’s parents and sister and settled into their home away from home. So far, so good.
And then on the morning of Aug. 29 as Hurricane Isaac began its slow sweep across South Louisiana, Kayla, who had been looking at an Oct. 5 due date, found herself beginning to go into labor, and the family was off to the hospital.
Hannah Joy was born five weeks early at 3:32 p.m. Aug. 29 at 4 pounds and 10 ounces.
The little girl is doing well and so is mom.
Asked if their daughter resembles either of her parents, Kayla Rowden said Hannah Joy may favor dad a bit.
“I definitely see his chin” in her little girl’s looks, Kayla said.
Kayla, 21, and Josh, 23, have taken the unexpected turn of events in stride, even keeping their cool when Josh first drove, unsuspecting, to the old, closed location of Woman’s Hospital at Airline Highway and Goodwood Boulevard, on the morning of the day Hannah Joy was born.
He had called the hospital first to make sure it was open with the hurricane approaching, he said, and off they went.
But there were no cars in the parking lot of the first place they went, Josh said.
Unsure, he called the hospital again.
Yes, the hospital was open, he was told. He was about to walk up to closed doors at the former location when he thought to ask for the hospital’s address.
“I plugged it into my GPS” and saw it was about three miles away, Josh Rowden said.
The couple found Woman’s Hospital in the new home it moved into in August at Airline Highway and Stumberg Lane easily after that, he said.
Before coming to Baton Rouge, Kayla Rowden had seen her midwife at a midwifery clinic near Touro Infirmary. The midwife said Rowden was doing fine and should return in two weeks.
The Rowdens later heard from several of the staff members at Woman’s Hospital that hurricanes, which bring with them a sudden decrease in barometric pressure, have been linked with the onset of labor.
Dr. Terrie Thomas, chief of staff at Woman’s Hospital, based on her own experience as a fourth-year obstetrician-gynecologist medical resident at University Hospital in New Orleans when Katrina struck in 2005, said there seems to be some truth to that.
“We had a lot of patients coming in with premature rupture of membranes or premature labor,” Thomas said.
But, she said, there’s conflicting information in medical literature on whether or not hurricanes have such an effect.
On Friday, Josh and Kayla Rowden were hoping to be discharged soon from the hospital with their new daughter.
Josh, who teaches high school science at Crescent City Christian School in Metairie, said, though, that they may stay a little longer in Baton Rouge if the power is still out at their home in Kenner.
In all, nine babies were delivered at Woman’s Hospital on Aug. 29, the day Hurricane Isacc came through, as reported earlier in the Advocate.
At Ochsner Medical Center here, Ricardo and Brandee Rice, of Denham Springs, became the proud parents of a little girl born at 5:50 a.m. on Aug. 29, at 6 pounds and 5 ounces. The couple named their third daughter September and decided to give her a second middle name of Storm, in honor of the event, according to the hospital’s public relations department. September’s complete name is September Storm Marie Rice.