The title itself is a bit of a misnomer as if it so happened to you, you wouldn’t have a great deal of choice. When cruising tens of thousands of feet in the air the option to stop and get off isn’t one at your disposal, especially if like me your labours are all of two hours. You have no doubt heard the frankly remarkable story of the woman who have birth on a Turkish Airlines flight.
Now if you have had a baby you will know doing so is quite a feat. Doing so in a controlled, medical and supportive environment is on thing, doing it sprawled across three plane seats with turbulence is quite another. I wrote a post about things I Wish I Knew Before Going Into Labour. All of these things happened to me whilst near to, on route to or in a hospital, but just imagine being at altitude with the following;
1. Loosing your shit.
Safe to safe at point during your labour you may well loose your shit. It will, even briefly, get the better of you. It’s not glamorous and it’s not pretty and it’s bloody painful. Going bat shit on a midwife is on thing, doing it with a crowd of cabin crew and a plane full of onlookers, well it doesn’t bear thinking about. Granted during the throws of childbirth chances are you won’t give two hoots what people think of you, however it will be a memory you will keep with you, forever.
2. The burn.
As my quick witted friend so articulately put it this stage of childbirth can be described as follows ‘imagine someone taking a blow torch and using it on your vagina‘. Now imagine that in a very public setting. Holy hell did I make some unearthly noises when my daughters head was setting fire to my lady parts. I suspect people out of sight may have questioned whether somebody was actually being tortured on their flight.
3. Now this is a biggy – It aint over when its over.
Birthing your child is literally just one stage of many. There is a whole host of things that have to happen afterward, you need to birth your placenta for example. I doubt the airline had a shiny tin pot to put that in. It’s messy, so messy. You might need stitches. You have to try and feed your child, which for me took an army of midwives squeezing and fondling my boobs. You want a shower, a wee, some tea and toast. This just ain’t happening on a Boing 737. I mean what did this poor woman do after having her baby? Seat belt back up and wait to land with her additional passenger.
It’s not just these things either, it must have been so scary. After all her baby was very premature. Premature babies often have trouble breathing, feeding and can be quite poorly. If my premature baby was born in the air and not in a hospital surrounded by medical professionals it is not unreasonable to say he probably wouldn’t have made it. The worry and the emotional torment of waiting for the plane to land to get her baby to a hospital, somewhere safe where she could have been checked over and medically cared for must have felt too much to bear. At the very least I bet it was the longest flight she will ever take.
Having a baby on a plane sounds epic and almost romantic. It almost sounds easy and just rolls off of the tongue. Unless you have had a baby. Then you will know exactly what this woman and her precious newborn had to go through and you can’t help but be amazed and in awe of just what an achievement it was. For both her and the crew that helped to welcome her baby to the world. All reports say both mother and baby are in hospital and recovering. I am unable to find out anything further than that, but I wish both her and her baby a speedy recovery. Boy does she have a story to tell.
I do however have just one question, your answers would be truly appreciated. As the baby was born in the air, in international airspace? Or Guinean Airspace? Burkina Faso’s Airspace? I am not sure where exactly, but, my question is – what is the nationality of this child? Please, I’d love to hear from you?