Emmaus community unites to assure “snow baby’s” safe arrival
February blew in with snow, snow and more snow. For the Oldenhage family, of Emmaus, the day also included an early arrival. Ryan and Jennie Oldenhage’s third child was not due for nearly two more weeks; however, by early evening Feb. 1, Jennie, a labor and delivery nurse at St. Luke’s Hospital-Anderson campus, knew the baby was on his way.
Due to the intensity of the storm, the decision was made to call for an ambulance 5:30 p.m. As Ryan explained, the thought of “having me [deliver the baby] on Route 78 was a little too much.” Jennie laughed and added, “I’m adventurous, but not that adventurous.” While the dispatcher stayed on the phone helping Jennie remain calm, Ryan, neighbors and local firefighters shoveled out a space for the ambulance to park.
Although the family had hoped the baby would be born at the hospital facility where Jennie works, the weather dictated she be taken to St. Luke’s-Allentown campus.
With Jennie safely in the care of EMTs, Ryan packed their sons Blake and Reid into his car for the short ride to his in-laws’ house. After dropping off the boys, Ryan headed to the hospital where he reconnected with Jennie.
At 7:33 p.m., Wes Ryan Oldenhage, weighing 6 lbs. 5 oz. and measuring 19 inches long, made his debut.
In retrospect, Ryan said, “It was such a nerve-racking experience, but everything went right.” He expressed appreciation to the Emmaus Fire Department and Ambulance Corps “for a job well done.”
In addition, the Oldenhages are grateful for the support of neighbors who pitched in to help with the shoveling and to look after their dogs and home during the family’s absence.
As Ryan posted on his Facebook page, “[We] cannot express our thanks enough” for the community support that brought Wes Ryan Oldenhage safely into the world during a record-breaking snowstorm.