Ajman: When a heavily pregnant Shirin Nasir Khan attended her brother’s wedding in India in December, her relatives teased her about how high her chances were of getting lifetime-free tickets by delivering her child mid-air on her return trip to the UAE.
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Little did Khan and the family, who live in Sharjah, know that their baby would actually heed their relatives’ teasing and choose its moment of birth in a mode of transport. Not in an aeroplane or a train but in their family car.
Minutes before the family reached a private hospital in Ajman on Saturday after Khan, who was due to undergo a Caesarean surgery on January 2, developed labour pains, the baby decided it was time to enter the world.
Weighing 2.5kg, the newborn girl was ensconced in her mother’s garment as the family reached the hospital and the nurses rushed out of the emergency room and attended to Khan by cutting the umbilical cord in the hospital’s car park.
“They had to slit open my garment to extricate her. They cut the cord from inside the car and took her inside the hospital,” Khan told Gulf News in a telephone conversation from her hospital bed on Sunday.
She said she was thankful for the miraculous survival of her baby and thanked the hospital staff for their prompt attention and care that saved her and her baby.
“Masha Allah, she is very cute … I felt like she was desperate to come out,” the happy mother said.
Khan narrated how her family, including her three older children, went through the experience.
“On the morning of December 30, I experienced a little pain. The doctor had told me to visit him if I felt any pain, so after breakfast, we left for the hospital.”
The drive to the hospital from her home in Dasman area in Sharjah to Amina Hospital in Ajman is of about 20 minutes, said Khan. Five minutes into the drive, Khan’s pain shot up.
“I was lying down on the front passenger seat and felt the baby pushing,” she said.
“I was crying out in pain. We were just a few minutes away from the hospital when our car got stuck at the signal. My husband was shouting out to people to move aside but they didn’t know what was happening inside the car. So, my son [Salah, 14] got out of the car to ask people to make way for us as it was an emergency.”
Meanwhile, her eldest daughter Shaima, 15, kept calling the hospital and updating them about the situation. “She told them to send the staff outside as we would be there soon.”
And at that moment they heard the cries of a baby. Initially, Khan and her husband thought their third daughter, three-and-a-half-year-old Safa, was imitating the cries of a new born.
“But when we looked at her, we saw her sitting quietly. It was then that I realised the cries actually belonged to my newborn whose head was already out by then.”
Within the next five minutes, the baby was completely out.
“Until we reached the emergency, she was stuck inside my garment and crying.”
Khan said the doctors were in shock when they learnt about what happened.
The baby, named Shifa, is now under observation in an incubator in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. “The doctors have said she is fine and she will have to take antibiotics and be under observation for some more days.”
Coincidently, the birth of Khan’s third daughter had also hit the headlines as she was born premature at 580gm and had to undergo 10 surgeries, leaving the parents with a bill of nearly Dh500,000.
Gulf News had published a report about baby Safa in June 2014.