FOR more than the three weeks, the “Beast from the East” ravaged the country, leaving millions unable to get to work and thousands of homes without power.
The Siberian-style spell of freezing weather last February was also responsible for a drop in retail sales and the value of the Pound falling, as temperatures plummeted to record lows.
Mums show off their snow angels, proving that they’re anything but beastly[/caption]
As wind speeds reached in excess of 70mph, Brits were warned to stay indoors and keep warm.
For some couples, that meant ramping the temperature right up – in the bedroom.
Sarah Redshaw, managing editor of new and expectant parent website BabyCentre, says: “Historically there are more babies conceived in the winter months and busier birth clubs in September and October as a result.
“So it’s not surprising that prolonged bad weather last year, along with the arrival of the Beast from the East in early spring, has seen this upsurge continue.” Three Beast from the East mums share their snow baby stories with Clare O’Reilly.
Graphic designer Jenny, 36 (& baby Reggie)
‘No heating, so early nights kept us warm’
If designer Jenny could design a perfect baby, it would probably be Reggie[/caption]
Jenny Sinclair and her husband Ben, 34, were trying to add to their two sons Myles, 11, and Oscar, eight, for five years before having baby Reggie exactly nine months after the Beast from the East.
Jen, from Rye, East Sussex, says: “Ben’s a cardiac physiologist at Conquest Hospital and was sent home early a few times during the bad weather.
“It didn’t occur to me when I got pregnant that we’d conceived during the Beast from the East.
“It only registered recently because it was Ben’s birthday week and, thinking back to last year, we were mid-renovation on the house and there were a few nights we had no heating in the house at all so had early nights to stay warm.
“Ben had spent the past few years getting a Masters degree and there never seemed like the right time to add to our family.
“The bad weather was a perfect excuse for some down time and Reggie’s the result.
“We always wanted three children and didn’t intend for the age gap to be what it is but, now Reggie’s here, his older brothers dote on him.
“He eats well and sleeps pretty well, too.
Four became five when Reggie unexpectedly turned up, eight years after Jenny’s second son[/caption]
“We were a family of four for eight years before Reggie arrived and, while it’s changed our dynamic completely, he’s slotted right in and lights up when the boys come home from school.
“I do wonder if he’ll like the snow when he grows up, he was conceived during one of the coldest snaps in UK history and I can’t wait to tell him all about it when he grows up.”
Art gallery worker Emily, 28 (& baby Leo)
‘We used the cold as an excuse to get pregnant’
Gallery worker Emily shows off her little work of art, Leo[/caption]
Emily Dean and her partner Anthony, 38, a football coach, both from Chelmsford, Essex, conceived baby Leo during the cold snap.
She says: “Anthony works as a football coach which means he is outdoors a lot.
“And I work in an art gallery and because we want all the work to be accessible to the public we leave the gallery door open all the time, come rain or shine.
“Both of us hate the cold so, that time of year, we always want to warm up after work. Sadly, we’d suffered a miscarriage on New Year’s Eve.
“While we both desperately wanted to have a child, it would have been a first for me but a third for Anthony, who has a 14-year-old daughter Jess, and a son Harry, who’s eight.
“Valentine’s Day came and went and when the cold weather really began to set in, like most people we hunkered down.
“Anthony hates cancelling training sessions but pitches were iced over and a few times he had no choice.
“The gallery I worked at closed early for a few days because no one was out shopping or looking round – everyone was heeding the weather warnings and staying indoors.
His mum and dad hate the cold, but Leo’s clearly feline cosy and warm as he snuggles with Emily[/caption]
“It was so cold and miserable outside that we definitely used the bad weather as an excuse to cuddle up, get warm and try for a baby.
“When we found out in April last year that we were expecting we were both ecstatic, but very nervous too given what had happened in January.
“But after what was a straightforward pregnancy, Leo was born on the December 4, weighing 6lb 15oz.
“What’s ironic is that Leo was born at a time of year both of us normally hate. We long for the summer but our winter blessing might be different and may love the snow.”
Council admin worker Natasha, 30 (& baby Evie)
‘Our little snow miracle Evie makes us complete’
No triplicates for admin specialist Natasha – just the one original Evie[/caption]
After two years of unsuccessfully trying for a baby, Natasha Bunyan from Norwich, was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries (PCOS). She thought the baby dream was over for her and husband Steve, 29, a Network Rail signal box operator. But, six weeks after the Beast from the East, she discovered she was pregnant.
She says: “When I found out I was pregnant, we worked out the dates and realised I had conceived while we were snowed in during a trip to Elveden Center Parcs in Thetford.
“We’d gone for a friend’s 30th birthday with a group of five other people and, as we were snowed in, we just stayed in our lodge and played drinking games.
“When we went to bed, we were freezing. Cold and filled with alcohol, we snuggled up.
“One thing led to another and apparently we made a baby.
“We found out after I’d gone to watch Steve play for the Norwich Devils, our local American football team. I was at the match complaining to another wife about my boobs hurting.
“They had become so painful that I was sleeping in a sports bra. She told me I could be pregnant but, after my PCOS diagnosis, I wasn’t convinced.
“When the pregnancy test came back positive, I couldn’t believe it.
Natasha and Steve were considering IVF, but Evie was conceived by the IVF (I’m Virtually Frozen) method[/caption]
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“We were just a few weeks short of being eligible for IVF on the NHS, so to find out I’d conceived naturally was amazing.
“Our little girl Evie was born on December 7, weighing 10lb 1.5oz and she’s made our family complete. I can’t wait until she’s older to tell her how she was conceived.
“I’m sure it’ll embarrass her but she’s our little snow miracle.”