The textbook baby

In late March 1984, shortly before Pam’s April 1 due date, a late-season winter storm hit Central Pennsylvania. Pam and David were at a staff meeting in town, and by the time they got back to the farm, their half mile driveway was impassable with snow. The couple had no option but to walk up the frosty lane to the house.

The snow fell all night long and throughout the next day, causing them to lose power before dawn. Pam looked out the window of their renovated farm house watching the snow come down, hoping this baby wouldn’t decide to come before they had a clear path to town. David went out to check the lane.

The farm lane, on a non-snowy day


He found many trees down, blocking their exit to the main road.

David got out his chainsaw and spent all day clearing their long lane for the car’s exit. A neighbor heard the sound of the chainsaw and came to help. Meanwhile, Pam stayed inside their cold house surviving on peanut butter sandwiches in the dark, while timing irregular contractions.

It was midnight by the time he got back to the house. But he’d made a way.

The next day, they carefully left the farm, drove to town, and got themselves cleaned up at the office. A doctor friend offered to let them stay at his place until power was restored. On Sunday (the baby’s due date), the power came back, and after Pam got some groceries (beyond the PB sandwiches!), they returned home.

And the next day, in the middle of the afternoon, Pam went into labor.

I’ll spare you all the details, Axel. Pam would later say that the delivery was exactly the way the textbooks describe it. As a first-time mom, she couldn’t have expected anything more.

On April 2, 1984, at 10:26 pm, Pam and David met their daughter, Jennifer Suzanne.


And that, Axel, is how your Oma and Zaide became parents.

2 thoughts on “The textbook baby

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