Many in New Jersey have experienced the worst week of their lives. Sandy's impact displaced scores of residents, destroying homes and cutting power off to millions. For Mahwah's Paula Baum, it might be one of the best weeks ever.
Baum didn't think the storm would pack the punch it did. There was calm before the storm. But whipping winds quickly changed that, knocking power out around 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Trees fell all over. Wires were down. Going to work was out of the question. By Tuesday, the boredom was setting in. And so was fear.
"It was very scary because my daughter was pregnant and due to have her baby on Friday, Nov. 2 at Valley Hospital," she said from Mac Murphy's bar in Ridgewood on Thursday. "We were very concerned – how are you going to bring a newborn baby home with no electricity?"
Trees started toppling around her daughter's Mahwah near Campgaw. Fortunately none struck the house, though one came close.
Baum's daughter, Robin, saw the electricty come back Tuesday night and hers returned on Wednesday.
So Paula Baum went to work on Wednesday. At about 1:30 p.m. she got the call. "Mom, I think my water broke," Robin said. They rushed to the hospital, normally a 15 minute drive. It took over an hour. But she made it.
Surrounded by the whole clan, Jordana Payton was born Thursday at around 2:30 p.m. weighing 7 1/10 pounds.
"Overall it's been an awesome week!" she said Thursday. "Today is my birthday and my granddaughter was born on my birthday, 60 years later! It's incredible."
Still, Baum expressed concern for those less fortunate.
"We're sad for the people that still don't have electricity and won't for a while," Baum said. "The Jersey Shore is wiped out. We love to go to the beach in the summer. Hopefully they're going to rebuild the shore. We're very lucky to have suffered only this slight amount of inconvenience for a day or two compared to the devastation in other places."