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The Stork Beats The Jet


"We have a woman in labor. Is there a physician aboard?" said the announcement aboard a recent TWA flight minutes out of Kennedy, headings for Orlando, reports People Weekly. Estimates are that "blessed" events occur in the clouds over the U.S. several times a year.

A 35-year-old, 6-month pregnant woman was having contractions. She had called her obstetrician shortly before the flight and complained of "indigestion and a little pressure." He reassured her that it was probably false labor, as she had with her previous pregnancy, and that she should proceed with her trip.

Contractions started soon after take-off. She called the flight attendant who sized up the situation, cleared a five-seat row, placed the woman on her back, and made the announcement.

An internist responded. He was heading to Disneyworld with his wife and three children. He had delivered one baby before, thirteen years earlier. "My adrenaline was flowing at a hundred miles an hour," he recalls. "At first I thought it was false labor. But then she started bleeding. I took another look and saw the head starting to crown, and I said, "This lady is having this baby right now."

The cabin attendants scurried to get blankets. The captain radioed Dulles (Washington) 90 miles away, for an emergency landing and standby paramedics.

As the plane began its descent, the baby arrived. The umbilical cord was around his neck. The infant wasn't breathing and began turning dark blue. "I really didn't think the baby was going to survive," said the doctor later. "I started CPR, massaged the baby's chest with two fingers, and yelled, "breathe, baby, breathe."

At that point a husband/wife paramedic team offered their help. She had training in infant respiratory procedures. She asked for a straw to suction mucus from the baby's airway. None could be found. Then a flight attendant remembered she had a juice box with a straw attached in her carry-on. While the doctor continued administering CPR, the paramedic carefully steered the straw down the infant's throat. Finally, with a small whimper, the baby began breathing. A shoelace commandeered from a passenger was used to tie off the umbilical cord. The baby was swaddled in blue airline blankets. The flight attendant announced, "It's a boy." All of the passengers broke into cheers.

On the ground, paramedics boarded the plane and examined mother and baby. The mother had low blood pressure and an IV was started. Then the mother and baby were carried off the plane to a standing ovation from fellow passengers.

After less than an hour on the ground, the flight took off for Orlando. Before landing, the captain announced that mother and baby (4 lbs, 6 oz. (2000 gms) were doing well. Free drinks were served for everyone. The baby was given the middle name "Dulles."

Detailed recommendations for the prevention of malaria during pregnancy are available 24 hours a day by phone or fax from the CDC Malaria Hotline at (404) 332-4555.

Most, but not all vaccines, are considered safe during pregnancy. Once a pregnancy is confirmed, you will require special advice. A Canadian organization called Motherisk will answer any questions you might have about appropriate drugs and immunization. Call (416) 813-6780.

Consider this Canada-France partnership. On an average day in Canada... after childbirth, the placentas from 438 new mothers are sold by hospitals for 35 cents each to a Toronto-based animal by-products company. They, in turn, sell the tissue to a pharmaceutical company in Lyon, France for use in the manufacturing of cosmetics.
(Source: Which Do You Prefer: Chunky or Smooth? Author Heather Brazier)
Ed. note: Yuck!
What do babies most like to watch on TV? Other babies, of course. Two mothers in San Francisco have created what's believed to be the world's first video for infants, reports the Examiner newspaper, Babymugs features a background of upbeat music and 85 infants doing such varied things as drooling, lying inert, staring at the screen and falling out of the picture. Local stores are reportedly selling out of copies.
Globe and Mail - Canada
Children are rarely in the position to lend one a truly interesting sum of money. There are, however exceptions, and such children are an excellent addition to any party.
Fran Lebowitz, Metropolitan Life (1978)




Back to Travel with Kiddies



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