Their baby was due the day the blizzard hit. Snowed in - neighbours stepped up to help

·2 min read
Bowmanville couple Lauren and Mathew Ducey were floored by the support from their local community, who shoveled their driveway and street in droves to get them to the hospital after Lauren's water broke on Monday. (Submitted by Matthew Ducey - image credit)
Bowmanville couple Lauren and Mathew Ducey were floored by the support from their local community, who shoveled their driveway and street in droves to get them to the hospital after Lauren's water broke on Monday. (Submitted by Matthew Ducey - image credit)

When a blizzard blanketed the GTA on Monday morning, Matthew Ducey knew he had to keep a path clear to his car at his home in Bowmanville — he and his wife Lauren are expecting a baby, and it was the due date.

At 5 a.m., Lauren had woken him up to tell him that her water had broken. It seemed all but assured their baby was on her way. They called the hospital in Oshawa, where staff told them to come in for 11 a.m.

Two and a half hours later, at around 7:30 a.m., when the storm was dumping snow fast, Ducey figured he'd help a neighbour dig out his vehicle. They got to chatting, and Ducey revealed that Lauren's water had broken just hours earlier.

"His wife actually posted on a Bowmanville Facebook group about the situation, and like five to 10 minutes after, like a Hallmark movie, you see everyone come out of their house with their shovels," said Ducey, who moved to the town about 75 km east of Toronto last February.

"Some of them don't really even know us, others we've met periodically ... It's been difficult due to COVID," he said.

Off-duty firefighters offers a ride

Ducey also thinks word might have spread to someone from the town, who he believes arranged to have their street plowed earlier than it otherwise would have.

Submitted by Matthew Ducey
Submitted by Matthew Ducey

As the community banded together to help, Ducey said they were even approached by an off-duty firefighter who offered to drive them to the hospital in his truck.

"It's just the sense of community, of people that came out to support us on like a whim, it was just incredible."

When they finally arrived at the hospital — which was short staffed and also dealing with an influx of COVID-19 patients — the Duceys were advised to head back home until Tuesday. Then, if labour had still not begun in earnest, staff at the hospital would induce it.

"I know the ending isn't exactly what everyone was expecting, but it's still like just an atomic sense of community that came together. It's unimaginable. It is absolutely amazing to see."

The Duceys were set to head back to the hospital today.

"She's kind of just wants it over with," Ducey said about his wife Lauren.

"She's past due, it's been a long journey. We just want to meet our daughter. With everything going on, I feel like she's playing tricks on us. Every time something gets close, she's like 'Oh, I'm not ready yet.' So I just can't wait for her to come."

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