True Life: I Had a Hurricane Baby

Photo by Corinna Hoffman Photography.

So, you all remember Hurricane Matthew, right? Jacksonville thankfully didn’t get a direct hit, but we still got a lot of devastation anyway. And even as someone born and raised in Jacksonville, Matthew was a scary storm. We had all the essentials — food, a generator, water, candles — but it was hard to sleep, constantly worrying about other things, like a tree falling on our house and killing me or my kids. (What can I say? I’m dramatic.) Can you see where this is going? If you can’t sleep, you… well, pass the time other ways. And next July, we welcomed ourselves a little hurricane baby.

If you’re not familiar with the term, a “hurricane baby” is a kiddo who was conceived during a hurricane. Pretty self-explanatory, right? Plenty of medical professionals have spoken up about this phenomenon, with Jenni Lash, director of Women’s and Children’s Services at Osceola Regional, telling the Orlando Sentinel that they saw a 5-10 percent increase in deliveries nine months after Hurricane Irma. For a lot of people, it wasn’t that they were bored or scared, and so decided to get it on to pass the time. They had sex because that’s what people do in general, but no one tells you when you’re hurricane prepping to consider family planning while you’re at it. Not many people remember to stock up on condoms or ovulation sticks — whatever their preferred birth control method is — and end up being risky while they’re frisky.

Me? I honestly didn’t consider it at all. I didn’t have the slightest clue I was pregnant. It was nowhere on my radar, in any way. We had gone to a Jaguars game, and I had felt nauseous most of the day, and I had written off the culprit as my husband’s overly aggressive driving (he lived in New York for a time, enough said). But then on the way back, as I thought it over, I realized that Mother Nature hadn’t come a-calling as expected, so we made an emergency pit stop at Publix to get a pregnancy test. I took it as soon as we got home, and yup. Pregnant. Thanks to Hurricane Matthew, I was pregnant with my fifth baby.

See that little bald beauty? She’s my hurricane baby. Photo by Corinna Hoffman Photography.

It’s kind of funny now, looking back in retrospect at it all. We’re not in any danger of having a Hurricane Dorian baby, thankfully — my factory is closed for good, thanks ovarian cancer genes! — but it will certainly be a funny story to tell Felicity and the other kids as they get older. And really, there aren’t many better ways to ride out a hurricane anyway, are there?

So, as you start to prepare for Hurricane Dorian, either by staying put or evacuating, make sure you’re properly prepared. Hurricane babies certainly aren’t a bad thing, after all. Just make sure you factor everything in before you… well, you know. If you’re not hoping for a little surprise around June or so, then maybe take it easy for now. Wait until Target re-opens first, at least, and then have at it. Otherwise, who’s up for a special Park Hop stop next summer just for hurricane babies?? You know I’ll be there!

Cassy Fiano-Chesser is a Jacksonville native and mom to six kids. Her husband is a Marine Corps veteran and Purple Heart recipient. She works from home as a blogger and a freelance writer, and they currently live in the Argyle area of Jacksonville. Benjamin is their oldest, born in 2011, and he loves being a big brother. Wyatt was born in 2012, and he has Down syndrome. Ivy came next, in 2013, followed by Clara, born in 2015, who is a diva-with-a-capital-D. Rounding out the brood is Felicity, born in 2017, and Lilly, born in 2007. They love discovering things to do on the First Coast and going on family adventures, as well as cheering on the Jumbo Shrimp and the Icemen.



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