SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Wisconsin woman is starting the new year a little differently than she expected after she went into labor on an airplane more than two months before her baby's due date.
Allison Peery, 36, of Madison said Friday that she and her husband, Zach, were on their way home from visiting his family near San Francisco on Wednesday when she felt her water break.
Peery had been feeling lower back pain the night before, but she figured it was because she had been walking more during the visit. "I thought, 'It's not going to be a great plane ride, I should get some pillows and stuff,' " she said.
But 30 minutes into the flight, she felt her water break. "I was scared, very concerned for the baby because it was early," she said.
The flight crew cleared the row and asked over a loudspeaker if a doctor was on board. The first-time mother's contractions began quickly and a pediatrician helped care for her as the plane changed course for Salt Lake City.
Flight attendants, some of whom had children of their own, helped her breathe through contractions coming a minute apart.
When the plane landed, she was whisked off in a special chair, loaded onto an ambulance and taken to the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City. The plane, meanwhile, refueled and completed its journey to Minneapolis.
Shortly after she was wheeled into the hospital, medical staff saw the baby's foot and realized he was in a breech position. He was delivered via cesarean section at 10:36 a.m. Mountain Standard Time, about three hours after her flight took off in California.
Karl William Peery weighed 4 pounds 7 ounces. He's doing well, though he's expected to be hospitalized for at least a month, likely until what was his March 5 due date.
"He's amazing, just so sweet and wonderful. I'm so thankful that he's OK," she said. "Things could have been different."
The couple is hoping to take him to Wisconsin, but they say they may end up spending more time in Salt Lake City.
Allison Peery said doctors aren't sure why he was born early because she had an uneventful pregnancy and her doctor cleared her to fly.
"We feel really lucky that we were able to be with the people who took care of everything so rapidly," she said.