Special delivery at 34,000 feet!
Nancy Adobea Anane was in her seat aboard United Airlines flight 997 — an 11-hour haul from Accra, Ghana to the United States — over the weekend when she noticed a woman pacing.
"She was going to and from the bathroom," Anane told TODAY Parents. "She looked very distressed and I thought she was just uncomfortable."
Anane said that about an hour later, the pilot made an announcement asking for medical personnel on board.
"We thought it was someone who was unwell," she said, adding that the seats behind her were made into a "ward" for attending to the sick passenger.
As it turns out, the woman Anane noticed earlier was not sick. She was in labor.
"I heard, 'Push, push!' and all the encouragement," the Ghana-based journalist told TODAY. "She had on layers so I didn’t realize she was pregnant."
Anane shared that a Ghanaian doctor, Dr. Ansah-Addo, as well as a Ghanaian nurse who practices in Ohio and the flight crew, came to the aid of the laboring mother.
"It was amazing," she said. "One of them said, 'I see the head.' Then (the) baby came out and was crying, and those of us close were clapping and so happy."
The child was born two hours prior to the flight landing at Washington Dulles International Airport.
"The rest of the flight didn't know what was going on," Anane said. "The pilot came on to say we just delivered a healthy baby boy."
In an emailed statement to TODAY, United Airlines confirmed the delivery.
"Our crew was amazing," the statement read. "They acted quickly, assisted the medical professionals onboard and ensured everyone stayed safe throughout the flight. And we were especially thrilled to see the plane land with one extra, especially beautiful, customer onboard."
The new mom, who was only identified by Anane as "GG" and a Ghanaian living in New York, was met in the U.S. by paramedics — and congratulatory balloons — upon touchdown at 5:41 Sunday morning.
Anane shared her experience in a public Facebook post, which is has garnered comments and shares from around the world.
"The baby Who was due late February decided to arrive 34,000 ft," she captioned a video of the new mom cradling her newborn son, and thanking the crew, doctor and nurse. "With assistance from the whole United crew ,a bouncy baby boy was delivered 2hours to landing."
Anane, who works for GHOne TV in Ghana, told TODAY the flight is not one she will forget anytime soon.
"I will never forget this," she said. "It was the experience of a lifetime."