A baby girl made a dramatic entrance into the world in midair on a Cebu Pacific flight from Dubai to Manila in the Philippines recently and her mother was unbelievably brave and composed throughout the harrowing ordeal.
Passenger Missy Berberabe Umandal recounted the events in a Facebook post. She said that the mother, whose due date wasn’t until October, started having contractions about five hours into the flight. It was the first time she can recall ever seeing flight attendants “who are meant to always maintain their poise and composure” panic slightly. They began calling for medical assistance and two nurses were found among the passengers—and not a minute too soon because the baby was already crowning. They moved the mother to a more spacious area at the front of the plane to give everyone more room to work. Umandal described what happened next:
We only heard one semi-loud screech, and a few seconds later, there were tinier, cute screeches, and it was when we knew the baby was born. Luckily, she only had to push ONCE. Moments later, the woman got up to go back to her seat, baby in arms (mighty strong, I might say).
Others on the plane pitched in to help. One brought some infant clothes and necessities and gave them to the mother. Flight attendants used mineral water to wash the baby.
The decision was made to make an emergency landing in India “to ensure the baby’s health, as it was born 2 months earlier than expected,” Umandal wrote. The 9-hour flight turned into an 18-hour trip, but she said there were no complaints from the passengers and “everyone in that plane was blessed.”
She added a personal note to the mother in her Facebook post:
To the woman, in the hopes she gets to read this: we understand you are resting and giving time to take care of your baby, but we are all hoping for your quick recovery and a lifetime of happiness to your beautiful child!
The United Nations Convention on International Civil Aviation, under the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, the baby born on a ship or aircraft will take the “citizenship” of the airline.
Cebu Pacific is registered in the Philippines.
Cebu Pacific said this week that the baby will receive one million “GetGo” points to use on the airline. Cebu Pacific president and chief executive Lance Gokongwei said the girl can redeem the points, which have no expiration date, for free flights and she can even share them with her family.