It was nine months ago when Hurricane Sandy hit the Jersey Shore, leaving Christina and Sean McPartland with no electricity. Completely in the dark, the Little Egg Harbor Township couple could only think of one thing to do.
“We figured there wasn’t much else left to do in the dark,” Christina said while laughing.
Nine months later, Christina and Sean welcomed their child, Oliver, into their lives.
“He’s a direct result of no power and no entertainment,” Christina said.
Oliver was born at Atlanticare Regional Medical Center in Galloway Township along with several other babies in the past few weeks. Officials at the hospital say they’re on track to see a 25% increase in births in July compared to last month.
“The people know the exact time, when where and how of conception in and around Sandy,” said Dr. Sal Carfagno of Atlanticare Regional. "It's very unusual. Most people can't give that type of detail with respect to when they conceived their babies."
The hospital is averaging 10 to 15 deliveries a day, compared to the normal seven to eight. With so many babies, the hospital has also had to bring in extra nurses.
“All of our rooms up here are fulll,” said Kim Hanson. “We’re trying to accommodate to make sure we can care of everybody."
Hospitals in Ocean and Monmouth Counties, which were hit especially hard during Sandy, are also dealing with a recent spike in deliveries. In fact, the Monmouth Medical Center is even planning an expansion to coincide with the baby boom, adding a nursery and postpartum rooms.
“It’s kind of exciting,” McPartland said. “An exciting story to tell him later on in life.”