Blizzard baby: Emergency crews help family to hospital for birth

Baby Maryannah Beaman caused quite a stir when she decided she wanted to come into the world during a blizzard last week. She is the newborn daughter of Jennifer and LeRoy Beaman of rural Clarence. They are members of St. Mary Parish in Tipton.

By Anne Marie Amacher

MECHANICSVILLE — Little Maryannah Beaman made a grand appearance during the blizzard of 2011 that involved the assistance of a snowplow, fire truck and ambulance and going to a different hospital than planned for her birth.

Jennifer Beaman of rural Clarence said her due date of Jan. 31 came and went. “This was the first time I went over my date,” she said. Because of the predicted blizzard, Jennifer and her husband LeRoy gathered their other three daughters and headed to her parents’ house in rural Mechanicsville.

“We go there when the weather gets bad. Our house in rural Clarence is 3 ½ miles from the nearest main road and has some big hills.”

The Beamans, members of St. Mary Parish in Tipton, have stayed at her parents’ home more than once for big snowstorms.


Jennifer’s contractions started around 7 p.m. and by 8:30 p.m. LeRoy had called 911 for help. They knew they couldn’t get out because her brother had left the house around 7 p.m. Tuesday and only made it three miles in 1 ½ hours.

It took until 9 p.m. for the Mechanicsville ambulance crew to have a plan figured out with the county, ambulance and fire departments. 

Her parents’ home was about 1 ½ miles from the main road, so her dad took her and her husband down the lane to meet the snowplow — which didn’t arrive until 11 p.m.

The snowplow led the way as Jennifer and LeRoy were carried in a fire truck until she was transferred to an ambulance at the highway. From there the snowplow continued to lead the way, followed by the ambulance and fire truck, to the Jones Regional Medical Center in Anamosa, which was about 10 miles away. “It was the only place we could go. They couldn’t cross county lines and roads were being closed,” Jennifer said. The couple had planned to give birth at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids — where their other children had been born.

The parade of a snowplow, ambulance and fire truck arrived at the Anamosa hospital about 12:45 a.m. on Wednesday morning. “God was watching out for us every step of the way,” Jennifer said. She gave the hospital staff her birth plan since the hospital typically does not deal with obstetrics anymore, she noted. The baby was born about 1:10 a.m. on Feb. 2.

“I thought it was cute, but her first night was in a clear plastic storage container,” Jennifer laughed. “Everyone was great through the whole thing.”

Later that day after the highways were plowed, mom and baby were transferred to St. Luke’s Hospital and both were released Feb. 4.

“She was healthy, but drank a lot of amniotic fluid,” Jennifer said. Baby Maryannah had a brief spell where she turned blue, but was fine after that.

Maryannah is joined by her sisters Bryannah, 5; Elaynnah, 4; and Angelynnah, 3.

“I’d like to thank the snowplow driver, two firemen and four EMTs that got us there,” Jennifer said. “There were a lot of people who helped us.”

Sheila Tjaden, public relations director at Jones Regional Medical Center, said, “Our emergency department is well equipped to handle whatever comes our way — even the birth of baby.” The hospital has not had a maternity ward for several years, but “we are able to handle deliveries.”

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