Jenny Drake was flying home after a vacation in Paris when she went into labor on the transatlantic flight.
Just 25 weeks pregnant, Drake told The Daily Mail she was terrified that her baby girl would not survive on the plane if she was born so prematurely.
“I was just trying to keep her in, which is easier said than done,” Drake said. “I just kept thinking, ‘Please let me make it to the hospital’ because every minute counts without oxygen.”
Drake’s labor pains began just one hour into the flight. According to the report:
“It was pretty terrible,” she said.
“My contractions were three minutes apart pretty much from the get go.
“I was trying everything to convince myself that it wasn’t labour, that it was just Braxton Hicks [false labour pains], but eventually I had to flag down a flight attendant.
“They asked if there were any medics on board and I think eight lights went on. There were several doctors who helped me, so I was really lucky.
“Originally they were going to turn the flight around and head back to Paris, but then we were told we were going to Dublin.
“I felt for my poor husband, at one point they handed him a bag and said you may have to catch her.”
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As soon as the plane landed in Dublin, Jenny was rushed to the hospital, according to the report. Within minutes of arriving at the hospital, Jenny gave birth to her daughter Zoe, weighing 1 ½ pounds.
Baby Zoe is doing well in the Dublin hospital, according to the report.
“We are just so grateful to everyone who helped and are thankful she is doing well,” Jenny said on behalf of her and her husband.
Babies like Zoe who are born prematurely have a better chance of surviving than ever before. A study published earlier this year in the New England Journal of Medicine found that babies born as early as 22 weeks gestation are surviving when they receive medical treatment.
The study looked at the survival and outcomes of almost 5,000 babies born before 27 weeks gestation at 24 hospitals from 2006 -2011. It found that 23% of infants are surviving at an astonishing 22 weeks gestation (20 weeks after fertilization) with treatment.