Woman who went into labor while airborne shares her story

Posted at 9:35 PM, Jan 01, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - A Wisconsin woman who went into labor on a flight from San Francisco to Minneapolis Wednesday said she’s grateful for the quick action of flight crews in helping her through the ordeal.

The Delta flight made an emergency landing in Salt Lake City. Now the family is on an extended layover.

Allison and Zach are first time parents. When they boarded the flight toward home, birth was far from their minds. About 30 minutes into the flight, however, Allison’s water broke.

“Oh no actually went through my mind,” Allison said about that moment. “Just very concerned about the baby’s health and also being that high.”

Flight attendants and a pediatrician on board helped Allison through contractions that got more severe. Pilots made an emergency landing, and medics rushed her to University of Utah hospital. But once there, doctors found a problem.

“The first thing I heard was ‘I see a foot,’" Allison said. “Which is really scary too.”

At only 30 weeks, their son was breech, or feet down. With few options, doctors performed an emergency cesarean section. Karl William Peery was born around 10:45 New Years Eve.

“[He is] having to stay in the incubator because he can’t regulate his own temperature yet,” Allison said. “He can’t take a nipple yet. But he’s doing really well.”

The Peery’s layover in Salt Lake City is for an undetermined amount of time. Karl is in the newborn ICU and has to be cleared to travel home to Wisconsin. But the Peery’s said they’re not concerning themselves with that at this point, they’re just trying to spend as much time as they can with their new son.”

“It was really an incredible experience,” Zach Peery said. “I got a little choked up so it was fantastic.”

Allison said she did check with her doctor before flying, and was told she could fly up to 34 weeks pregnant. Just to be safe, she says next pregnancy she’ll say at home.