Your Worst Winter Story: Babes at McDonald's

Our Worst Winter Story series continues this week with a tale of giving birth in a hospital during the great blizzard of 2010. Instead of cannibalism, they resort to eating at McDonald's.

Got a story you'd like to submit? You can send us your tale of winter wackness to [email protected]. Stories that run will be in consideration for a prize at the end of the series.

See also:
Your Worst Winter Story: The Snow Fairy
Your Worst Winter Story: The Hippie Plow

The story:

I had just given birth to my first son at Abbot Northwestern when the snow started falling on December 9, 2010. My son was five weeks premature, so he needed to stay in the NICU for a while until he was healthy enough to go home. 

The lightly falling flurries turned into a large blizzard through the days of December 10 through 12. The news reports after the storm stated that this was the fifth-largest blizzard on record for the Twin Cities since 1891. The roof of the Metrodome collapsed overnight. MetroTransit shut down, and plows couldn't keep up with plowing. After the 22 inches of snow hit the Twin Cities, we fell into subzero temperatures for a few days.

My husband, having nothing to do but give us support at the hospital, decided to go home and get some fresh clothes and amenities. Our son came early and quick, so we didn't have anything prepared. My husband's little car got stuck in the snow on a side street a few blocks from our house. He walked home, gathered some items in a backpack, and proceeded to walk back to the hospital, straight down the center of Lake Street. There were no buses, and we knew no one with a vehicle that wouldn't get stuck in the snow. The hospital is exactly three miles from our home, but in 22 inches of unplowed snow it took him a few hours. The whole time he was sending me photos of his walk via text messages. Minneapolis was a frozen ghost town. It looked gorgeous, cold, and wet.

By then I learned that all of the restaurants and businesses that could give me a meal were also closed. The cafeteria at Abbot had also closed down. Presumably, there were either no staff or no food. The only thing left to eat was vending-machine snacks and the McDonald's that lives in the basement of the hospital. So there it was, only McDonald's was there to feed me for the next few days. I felt pretty gross after my second meal, and I was not so happy this was the first nutrition I was passing along to my baby. Still, I was grateful. 

Digging out our home and getting our little five-pound baby home a few days later is a whole other story.