Meet the blizzard baby

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - "There was a little path, not even as wide as our car by the time we got there, and I'm like, well, let's just see what happens, so we just put the pedal to the metal and busted in!" says Jason Champagne.

Parents holding a newborn
Alyssa and Jason Champagne and their newborn (WBAY photo)

And that pretty much sums up the journey Jason and his wife Alyssa made to get to the hospital in time for their blizzard baby's birth.

We all have stories about braving the big storm, but the Champagnes probably have us all beat.

"He was eight pounds, and exactly 20 inches," says Alyssa Champagne, holding baby Askren in her hospital room Monday morning.

Her two-day old baby is perfect in every way.

Getting to the hospital? Well that's not quite the perfect story.

"I said, it's probably time to go, and he's like alright let's go," Alyssa says, recalling her conversation with her husband just after midnight Saturday morning.

She knew it was time.

"I just remember looking outside, and I'm like, are you kidding me? We're going to leave right now?" says Jason.

The two set off in whiteout conditions, with Jason white-knuckle driving the 50 miles from Pound to HSHS St. Mary's Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay.

"We fishtailed one time, maybe got out of the tracks a little, because the plows had not gone through yet on the highway," says Alyssa.

"There was no visibility. We're talking like five feet in front of you was all you could see," says Jason.

"I was getting a little nervous. Probably more nervous that he's ever seen me, because I'm like slow down! Slow down! He's already going 25, and I kept telling him slow down!" says Alyssa, laughing.

What should have taken 45 minutes took twice that.

"It seemed like it took forever. It was a long, long trek, and the hospital even called us at one point, because they were concerned that we hadn't arrived yet. They actually had someone shoveling for us, just to get into the parking lot," Jason says.

They made it with time to spare.

"Besides the drive, it was really relaxing while we were here, and once we got here," says Alyssa.

At 8:52 Saturday night, they welcomed Askren Howard Champagne to make their family of five.

"It's kind of cool that our little son Askren is now another blizzard baby, repeating history almost 30 years later, at the same hospital, driving from the same Town of Pound," says Alyssa.

"Deja vu for sure," says Alyssa's mom, Shelley Patz.

Shelley and her husband, Alyssa's parents, braved a similar journey to the hospital in December of 1990 when her brother, Jameson was born.

"I can feel their worries and their pain, because I remember those days," says Shelley. "It took us an hour and a half from De Pere to St. Mary's if you can believe it."

And now her daughter surely can believe it.

"Everyone started praying. That was the biggest thing, and we definitely felt those prayers to get us here safely," says Alyssa, thankful for their happy ending.

Both parents say they're glad they went to the hospital when they did, happy they're not telling a story of Jason delivering their baby.