Most women probably imagine that the birth of their baby will occur in the trustworthy confines of a hospital. Or perhaps even in the familiar surroundings of their own home. Few ever think it will occur up in the clouds. But that’s exactly what happened to Cristina Penton, of Phoenix, Arizona on a Spirit Airlines flight this week.
That’s right. She had her baby on a plane.
Up in the sky. Somewhere between Fort Lauderdale and Dallas.
It sounds like a crazy country song, but it’s totally true. Christoph Lezcano weighed in at a healthy 7 pounds. And that’s one little fellow who now has quite the story to tell for the rest of his life.
Passenger Shelley Hedgecock Starks was in the row right behind the action, and with the new mom’s permission, captured the first moments of young Christoph’s life.
She wrote on her Facebook post where she shared the video:
“We just experienced the birth of a baby in the seat in front of us on our flight and had to do an emergency landing in New Orleans we visited with the doctor that delivered the baby while waiting to get on our flight!”
At a news conference recorded by the New Orleans Advocate, Penton sat with her infant son (her third child) and recalled how, just a few minutes into the flight, she “felt like something was not fine.” So she did what any woman in her 36th week of pregnancy on an airborne vessel would do — she called a flight attendant over and let her in on the news. That resulted in a call-out for some medical help. Luckily, there was a pediatrician and a nurse on the flight. However, the doctor hadn’t delivered a baby in 10 years.
Oh jeez. Imagine that.
Imagine looking into the eyes of a doctor who gently reminds you that he or she really doesn’t have much experience with delivering newborns … all while people are munching on their free peanuts and staring over their seats at you in a flying jet! This brave lady must’ve earned some serious mom stripes right then and there.
The pilots made plans to reroute the flight to New Orleans and a hospital there was notified of what was going on, but it really didn’t matter. Penton’s water broke long before the plane touched down.
People beseeched her to try and keep the baby in if she could. Wait until we get to the hospital, they told her. But, c’mon. Every mom knows that when it’s time … it’s time! So with the doctor and nurse right there, crew members chipped in, as well as some fellow passengers — and before anyone could believe it, a bouncing baby boy bumped up that plane’s passenger count by one.
So far, there’s no word on whether the cabin crew broke out the free champagne for everyone on the plane, but according to the Washington Post, Spirit Airlines has offered “free lifetime Spirit flights for Christoph and a guest on his birthday.”
Oh and by the way, not a single passenger on this particular flight complained about a crying baby. It just wasn’t that kind of day.