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Meet April Stormi: Picking an easy name after baby’s parents battle blizzard to hospital

Move over New Years baby, Manitoba has an April storm baby.

A Fisher River couple embarked on an arduous journey through a blizzard, stopping at three hospitals before arriving at HSC Women’s Hospital in Winnipeg, where they welcomed their baby girl, Alexzandrea April Stormi Sinclair, on Saturday morning.

The journey began Wednesday evening as Shaina Maytwayashing prepared a meal for her three young children.

“It was unexpected,” she said. “I didn’t know I was in labor, I thought maybe it was just her kicking,” whose new daughter wasn’t due for two weeks.

“But no, she really wanted out so we called the ambulance.”

“She is very beautiful, she has curly hair and she is very pink. She has very wide eyes and she is very healthy. I will probably write a story to tell her when she is older, because it was all the April storm she went through, that’s why we named her April Stormi.” – Shaina Maytwayashing

The couple first ended up in Arborg Hospital, but the establishment was not equipped with a maternity ward.

The couple were transferred to Gimli, a trip that would normally take around an hour, but whiteout conditions made the delay twice as long.

“The ambulance was in front at first, but they started to spin, and we noticed that, so I just jumped in front of the ambulance,” said Dellon Sinclair, the newborn’s father.

“I told the paramedics ‘I’m just going to open a track for you guys,’ so we can get Shaina there safely, as quickly as possible.”

Once in Selkirk, the couple were told they still had time to go to a hospital with a maternity ward, suggesting HSC Women’s Hospital in Winnipeg.

Unfortunately the Selkirk ambulances were blocked at this time and unable to assist with the transfer.

“I just said to the doctors, ‘Cool, I have a truck and we’ve already come this far, so I think we can take it all the way,'” Sinclair recalled.

Tracked snow plow

Once the couple was on the highway, they encountered a snow plow and followed it.

“It’s a lucky couple of hours there,” Sinclair said. “They cleared a path for us to get from Selkirk.

“It was really intense, really nerve-wracking…especially in active labor, rolling around with your unborn baby,” Maytwayashing said. “It’s scary.”

Dellon Sinclair and Maytwayashing fought the blizzard for hours to find a hospital with a maternity ward. (Submitted by Florence Hudson)

At 3:36 a.m. on Saturday, the baby was born, arriving just over two weeks before her due date.

“She’s very beautiful, she’s got curly hair and she’s very pink. She’s got very wide eyes and she’s very healthy,” Maytwayashing said.

“I’ll probably write a story to tell her when she’s older, because that was quite the April storm she went through, that’s why we called her April Storm.”

The couple say they received a lot of help from people on Facebook during the trek.

“All the doctors everywhere we went were excited for us, because they were all watching Facebook for the arrival,” Sinclair said.

They’ve launched a Facebook page for Baby Stormi to keep everyone updated on her arrival.