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Hurricane Ian left behind a blessing for Jacksonville couple

In the early morning hours of September 29 as Ian approached the First Coast baby Leo swept in and Amanda Fernandez weathered the storm.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — November 30, 2022 is officially the last day of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season. Two storms had devastating impacts on portions of the First Coast, Ian and Nicole. 

But Ian left behind a blessing for one Jacksonville family. A blessing they were told was going to be difficult to gain.

“So we actually met in high school, I think sophomore year,” Andre Fernandez said.

“He was a little scared of me,” Amanda Fernandez said, with a smile.

“I was a bit shy, intimidated,” Andre admitted. “But it all worked out for the best."

After high school, the University of Florida Graduates got married and quickly began fertility treatments. Amanda Fernandez knew early on that having a child might be difficult.

“I have PCOS,” Amanda said. “I've actually known since I was like 16 years old. My doctor told me it's going to be difficult for you to get pregnant when you're ready for that.”

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a hormonal disorder that causes enlarged ovaries with small cysts. The PCOS Foundation estimates it affects 7 million women and adolescent girls.

Fernandez beat the odds. In the early morning hours of September 29 at Baptist Heath as Jacksonville began to feel the impacts of Ian, Amada felt little Leo.

“We had the weather channel on in the room we were watching it non-stop,” Amanda said. “We could see the outside it was rainy, windy.”

Jacksonville managed to avoid significant damage and mighty Leo swept in with a flood of sentiment leaving behind overwhelming glee.

“Oh my gosh I was so emotional the moment that he came out and I put him on my stomach,” Amanda said. “I just started crying.”

These days baby Leo's the one doing all of the crying while mom and dad weather the storm of those early days with baby, constantly taking photos, snuggling and feeling complete.

Dr. Adrienne Gentry with the Florida Institute for Reproductive Medicine debunked a claim regarding storms, full moons or a change in pressure causing a woman to go into labor early. She says that’s an old wives tale and there's no real evidence to support the claim.

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