October 31, 2013
Emerson Molly Bloom, Born in Superstorm's Wake
by SCOTT EIDLER
Emerson Molly Bloom has defied the trauma of superstorm Sandy that heralded her birth.
"Because she was born amid such chaos, she could have easily become such a frenetic or nervous baby, and she just became the opposite," said Lisa Bloom, who gave birth to her second daughter on Nov. 4, six days after the storm, while frantically searching for a warm hotel room. The family's Old Bethpage home had lost power.
Emmy, as the baby is known, has developed a calm, Zen-like personality, Bloom said. "She's sort of the opposite of Sandy."
The drama of her parents finding somewhere to give birth and somewhere warm to live made Emmy tolerant, Bloom said. On a recent weekday when sister Dylan, 5, snatched away her water bottle, Emmy cried for just a second, until it was returned. The tears ceased and a calm washed over her face as if nothing had happened.
Bloom and husband Noah, both 36 and teachers in New York City, moved back into their home with the two girls on Nov. 15.
In addition to losing power, travel restrictions meant Lisa Bloom had to forgo a C-section scheduled for Nov. 6 in Manhattan, where the family had lived before moving to Long Island two months earlier.
Bloom, in her last week of the pregnancy, started looking for an OB-GYN locally.
Noah Bloom said his fear was waking up at 4 a.m. and hearing his wife say "my water broke," then facing the uncertainty of gasoline lines and a trip to Manhattan.
Lisa Bloom said she simply wanted a physician who she had met at least once. "I just felt very uncomfortable with the fact I hadn't seen a doctor in a week and a half," she said.
She found a doctor in Woodbury three days after Sandy and scheduled the C-section and a five-night stay at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset while Dylan and Noah stayed with family friends in Plainview.
Bloom was one of many patients the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System admitted for a variety of reasons after Sandy.
"People were literally walking off the street," said Terry Lynam, vice president of public relations for North Shore-LIJ.
The hospital system reported an increase in births delivered the week Sandy hit, Lynam said, and hospitals allowed patients to stay longer in some cases.
"It would not have been safe to return to a powerless home at a time when temperatures were dropping into the 40s and 30s. We tried to accommodate people during that hectic period," Lynam said.
But as Bloom's hospital stay came to an end, the family's home was still without power. They pinned their hopes on hotels she had visited the night before her scheduled C-section. "Please remember this pregnant lady," she said she told hotel staff.
"Unless you see a nine-month pregnant woman waddling into the room, explaining her story, I don't think you believe it," Noah Bloom said. "I didn't want to play that card, but there was no downside."
On her last night at the hospital, the Holiday Inn in Plainview called with an available room.
"It was certainly interesting to wash bottles in a bathroom," Lisa Bloom said.
With the storm's anniversary, Bloom is taking stock of the past year saying she, too, has calmed down.
"I felt so much guilt that there were so many people suffering, and here I was freaking out about where I was going to bring my baby," Bloom said. "We put it into perspective: We could have lost our home. It made us realize you don't know what tomorrow's going to bring."