Instead of landing in Atlanta, an airplane was diverted to North Carolina after a mom-to-be’s water unexpectedly broke midflight.
Shaniqua Cherry wasn’t expecting her fourth child until the end of March, so she thought she, her boyfriend and two of her other kids would be fine flying down to Georgia, but her baby had other plans.
Shortly after takeoff, Cherry says her contractions began, but she didn’t think she’d be giving birth any time soon. However, her mind quickly changed over the next 40 minutes as the contractions intensified, and then her water broke. She nudged awake her boyfriend, Hassan Lulu, and told him she was in labor, but he didn’t believe her at first. He asked if she was sure, and she told him she definitely was, so they got the attention of a flight attendant.
“Yeah, I was kind of scared at first, because I didn’t know what was going to happen. I didn’t want to have it on the plane,” Cherry told reporters. “I was trying to make it to Atlanta. I was like, ‘I think I can do it.’ But it just got worse, so they had to stop.”
After asking over the intercom if there was a doctor on board (there wasn’t), the flight crew, together with the laboring woman, decided they needed to make an emergency stop as soon as they could. They wound up diverting to Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina, where an ambulance was waiting to load her up.
It turns out it wasn’t a moment too soon, because Cherry had her baby right there in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. The news was good, though — her new baby girl, Nylah, weighed in at 7 pounds and was reported to be doing very well, as is her mom. The family of five was exhausted but happy, and they are looking forward to telling their little girl the exciting tale of her birth in a few years.