"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.
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
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.
YUCKIE BUT TRUE!
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
Ed. note: Yuck!
JOURNEYBABIES - SAN FRANCISCO
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)