The birth of Raelin Scurry’s second child did not go anywhere near according to plan.
The Pennsylvania mom’s baby boy was due on Oct. 18. On Aug. 5, however, she went into labor and delivered her son, Ean Jamal Vanstory Jr., in the car on the way to the hospital. Ean was born en caul ― which means he was born inside a still-intact amniotic sac.
On Friday, she shared an incredible photo from the birth and shared her story on Instagram.
Scurry explained that she started having contractions around 10 that morning, and assuming they were Braxton Hicks contractions, decided to wait it out. But as they persisted and increased in intensity, she decided to go to the hospital.
Scurry and her fiancé, Ean Vanstory Sr., dropped their 5-year-old daughter, Amya, at her godmother’s house and started making the 15-minute drive to the hospital. But as the contractions continued to intensify and get closer together, she knew she needed to push.
“I called 911 because I was so scared. They couldn’t understand me between the screams with contractions. So I handed the phone to my fiancé,” she wrote. “I pulled my pants off and reached down, sure enough his head was right there. I pushed one time and my miracle baby was here. When I looked down I realized he was still completely wrapped in the amniotic sac.”
Because they were almost to the hospital, Scurry told her fiancé to keep driving rather than wait longer for an ambulance to come to them.
“At first the baby was still and all I could do was pray he would be okay. And then I rubbed his face with my thumb and he pulled his little hands and feet up to his face as if he understood my prayers and wanted to reassure us he was okay,” she wrote. “About 7 minutes passed that I held this miracle baby in my hands until we made it to the hospital.”
Scurry’s photo and story received more than 4,600 likes on Instagram. The Facebook page, Birth Without Fear, also shared her post, and it reached an additional 14,000 likes.
Scurry told HuffPost she was in shock in the moments after she gave birth to Ean in the car. “I was completely calm after he came out. I was just praying he would be OK,” she said, adding that her fiancé was also very calm.
“When we got to the hospital, I stayed in the car and waited for the doctors to come get the baby. He went inside to tell them, and at first, they thought he was joking because he was so calm,” Scurry said. When her fiancé returned to the car, she asked him to snap a photo as doctors hurried toward them.
Ean’s en caul birth is a relatively rare phenomenon. An estimated 1 in 80,000 births are en caul, though some doctors have suggested it may be even fewer than that. Scurry was not familiar with en caul birth.
“I didn’t even know it was a thing!” she said. “The doctors grabbed him from me and broke the sac right outside in front of the hospital. Neither of us had ever seen anything like it before.”
Baby Ean weighed 3 pounds and 1 ounce when he was born. He has been in the NICU since his birth and doctors expect him to remain there until closer to his October due date. Scurry said her son is doing very well.
“He was on the CPAP machine for a few weeks to help him breathe because his lungs weren’t mature enough for him to do it all on his own, but he is now off the CPAP and on regular oxygen. He has a feeding tube which he only receives my breast milk through,” she said, adding that Ean has been gaining weight and is now up to 4 pounds, 3 ounces.
“The doctors are amazed with his progress and how well he’s doing considering how early he was,” said Scurry.
The NICU journey has been rough at times for the parents, who wish their son could be home with them. “But we just try to look at it from a positive perspective as he’s not supposed to be home yet anyway,” the mom said. “So he just has to continue to grow big and strong there, and we’ll have him home before we know it.”
Scurry added that the hospital has a camera above Ean’s incubator, so they can watch him on a video feed when they aren’t able to be there.
“Overall we are just happy that things went the way they did,” she said. “Had he not been born en caul the story may have had a different outcome.”