Remember those early episodes of Mad Men when Peggy Olson keeps gaining weight throughout episodes and then learns one day after puking when she ate a bunch of pineapples that she was pregnant? As a man, I could never understand how someone wouldn't have the slightest idea that they were pregnant. But apparently, it happens a lot. In a new viral TikTok video, a woman gives birth mid-flight on a plane.
That's right, this TikTok video is about a woman who gives birth smack dab in the middle of a flight.
Julia Hansen was taking a flight from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Honolulu, Hawaii, when she noticed that a fellow passenger, Lavinia Tiana Mounga, was in the middle of labor pains while they were up in the air already.
Clearly, it's not the ideal scenario for someone to have a baby on a plane. Reportedly, Lavinia was allowed to fly during her third trimester because she didn't know she was pregnant.
Even if she did, technically she would still be able to fly on Delta as the airline doesn't put any restrictions on pregnant passengers. And in case you're wondering, yes, lap infants do ride free — even if they officially "boarded" the plane in an unconventional manner.
Julia Hansen recorded the video of all the insanity going down as she and her fellow passengers traveled over the Pacific Ocean. "A baby was just born on this plane," she whispers to her smartphone camera.
Then there are cuts to other passengers on the plane congratulating the new mother, followed by a crew member plane announcement imploring other fliers to remain seated so the new mom can receive medical assistance.
There were three more hours left on the flight until they were able to safely land. Once they reached their destination, EMT workers immediately boarded the plane to escort the new mom and her baby boy, who she named Raymond Kaimana Wade Kobe Lavaki Mounga, off of the airplane. The clip shows the mom leaving in a wheelchair, but Julia doesn't include the face of the new mom or the baby in the TikTok video.
She followed up by stating, "The mother and baby were perfectly healthy when they got off the plane for anyone wondering." Commenters on the video quipped that the mother was able to save on hospital costs for "deciding" to give birth while on a plane.
The mom and child's identity were largely unknown until her sisters set up a GoFundMe in order to help offset the costs of being a new parent out of the blue.
The GoFundMe was launched to help offset the costs Lavinia will incur staying in Honolulu after she is released from the hospital. She'll have to wait until Raymond is healthy enough and old enough to fly back home with her to Utah. The GoFundMe reads, "Our miracle baby nephew was born with three hours left on our flight and was such a strong trooper. Our sister did not know she was pregnant so she was just as shocked as the rest of us when our nephew was born."
The GoFundMe text continues, "Lavinia and baby will be staying in Hawaii longer while baby gets healthy enough to fly back home to Utah. Any donation is much appreciated to help our sister during her stay here. We love our little baby... and can’t wait til we are able to bring him back home to Utah." As of this writing, $5,700 of the campaign's $20,000 goal has been reached.
Raymond's father has yet to meet his son but posted on Facebook about the birth that's being dubbed a miracle: "Life. It’s a crazy thing. It’s strange knowing that millions of people on the internet know about a birth that took place on a Delta flight from Salt Lake City, Utah to Honolulu, HI. A birth I could not be there for but still blessed to see videos of...The birth came as a shock to us both as we had NO idea that she was pregnant," he wrote.
In a statement to News Nation Now, Delta Airlines praised the crew for handling the emergency situation as per their protocol: "The safety of our crew and customers is our top priority. Our crews are well trained to manage a number of onboard medical scenarios. Every aircraft is equipped with medical equipment and crews have access to expert counsel during flight when an issue occurs."
And while folks are definitely happy to hear that Lavinia and her baby are safe, there's still one big question on everyone's minds.
So what happens when a baby is born on a plane?
What's the baby's nationality if they're born on a plane? Well, typically it depends on the airspace in which the baby was born. So since the plane was traveling from Utah to Hawaii, that would mean that the child is an American citizen. However, this rule isn't exactly set in stone.
Because it doesn't happen often, these kinds of scenarios are usually taken on a case-by-case basis. But many countries do employ an "inherited citizenship" rule in these instances. So whatever citizenship the baby's mother claims, that child will be entitled to that citizenship.
As for birth certificates, there seems to be some wiggle room for choice. For example, the baby can be registered in the same county in which their parent lives or the county in which they first deplaned after being born."
And while the "airspace" ruling is applicable to U.S. airspace, even extending to parents who are citizens of other countries — meaning they can technically secure U.S. citizenship for their babies in this scenario — it's not the same everywhere.
For example, the United Kingdom doesn't offer this same concession and just because you happened to be delivered over their land doesn't mean you're getting U.K. citizenship, so tough nuggets.
Sometimes, babies born mid-flight can cause a lot of drama and controversy. In one instance, a Taiwanese woman faced a lot of hate when she was accused of flying to the U.S. with her baby in the hopes of making her child a citizen in the country.
Some even went so far as to accuse the mom of lying about how far along she was in her pregnancy for a chance to get on board. However, these allegations were never confirmed.
She was flying from Taipei to Los Angeles and ended up giving birth to the child with the help of a doctor who was aboard the plane, according to BBC.
In that instance, the plane was diverted to Alaska in order for the mother and her child to receive medical assistance, a sticking point that Chinese officials had a problem with. They accused the woman of wasting tens of thousands of dollars due to the divergence just to ensure that her child would be eligible for a U.S. passport.
In May 2015, popular Taiwanese blogger Haidizizi received similarly outraged responses when she posted that she traveled to the United States in order to have a baby so her child wouldn't have "to switch to a red Chinese passport in the future."
There's no official data on how many babies are born on planes each year, however, one flight attendant said that their particular airline only saw about 10 cases in some 25 years. Then there are sources who say that there have been about only 60 cases in the history of the commercial airline industry.