Pennsylvania Mom Delivers Baby Still in Its Amniotic Sac While En Route to Hospital: 'I Knew That Would Keep Him Safe'

A mother gave birth to her son, still in its amniotic sac, at 29 weeks in the front seat of her car

Photo: Raelin Scurry/@raeee_nacoal23

When Raelin Scurry felt contractions at just 29 weeks pregnant, she initially thought it was false labor. But as the pain intensified, she and her fiancé, Ean Vanstory, hopped in their car and rushed to the hospital—but before they could make it, Scurry found herself part of a beautiful, rare event.

Scurry of Morningside, Pennsylvania, woke up Vanstory on the morning of August 5 once she realized her contractions were getting stronger, and after she dropped her 5-year-old daughter at a friend’s house, the couple rushed towards Magee-Women’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.

“On our way to the hospital, I was very afraid and in a lot of pain,” Scurry, 23, tells PEOPLE. “I was afraid because everything was so unknown. I didn’t know why he would be coming so early, I didn’t know if he would be okay if he came this early.”

But minutes before they were set to arrive, Scurry grasped with the reality that they weren’t going to get there in time. She dialed 911, but the dispatcher couldn’t understand her over the screams from the painful contractions, as she describes in a viral Instagram post.

Scurry handed the phone to Vanstory as he drove, and then pulled down her pants. To her surprise, the baby was already making its way out, and all it took was one more push for Scurry’s son to drop into her waiting hands.

Raelin Scurry/@raeee_nacoal23

Astonishingly, though, he had remained in his amniotic sac, a rare occurrence that happens in less than one in 80,000 births, according to Cedars Sinai. With an amniotic sac birth being so uncommon, one in a car must be even rarer.

The amniotic sac is a cushioned membrane that protects the fetus, umbilical cord, placenta and other fluids in a mother’s womb. A baby born with its amniotic sac intact is unique for both vaginal births and C-sections (when it happens, it’s usually with the latter), but is considered safe for the mother and baby.

“When he came out I was relieved to see he was still in his sac,” Scurry says. “I knew that would keep him safe until we made it to the hospital.”

As Scurry held her newborn son in her hands, she rubbed his face when she noticed he wasn’t moving. Fortunately, a mother’s touch did the trick, and her son moved his hands and feet.

Several minutes later, the couple arrived at the hospital and their son—named Ean Jamal, or EJ, after his father—was taken to the NICU unit. He weighed 3 pounds and 1 ounce at 29 weeks gestation, and, according to Scurry, he has since gained a pound since his birth.

Raelin Scurry/@raeee_nacoal23

Scurry thanks the NICU staff at the Magee-Women’s Hospital for their help. “They did such an amazing job taking care of our little EJ,” she says.

Scurry posted an amazing picture of EJ still in his amniotic sac on her Instagram account (which you can see here), and the picture has since received almost 6,000 likes and hundreds of comments from well-wishers.

“The picture is absolutely amazing,” Scurry says, adding that she debated with herself before deciding to share it. “I didn’t expect it to get the recognition it has.”

While EJ won’t be home for awhile, he is making significant strides in the hospital.

“EJ is still in the NICU but making great progress and should be home in the next few weeks,” Scurry says. “Things are going very well.”

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