National

A woman gave birth in her Tesla. It handled most of the driving.

"I was initially trying to hold it, but halfway through I was thinking: Should I push?"

The Associated Press


Yiran Sherry woke up a September morning to do laundry at her Pennsylvania home and to prepare her 3-year-old son for school. But those plans of going about her daily chores were thwarted when her daughter decided to make her debut to the world in the front-passenger seat of a black model 3 Tesla.

“I was anticipating a nice day at the hospital,” her husband, Keating Sherry, 34, said in an interview. “This one, it was a shock.”

Their daughter is believed to be the world’s first Tesla baby, the Guardian reported.

The electric-vehicle manufacturer did not respond to a request for comment Sunday.

Advertisement:

Despite her water breaking that Thursday morning, Yiran, 33, insisted that her husband drop off their young son, Rafa, at preschool before tending to her – a decision she now appreciates.

She had gone from having contractions an hour apart to pangs that sped up in less than 30 minutes.

The couple, with son in tow, headed to Paoli Hospital, where they planned to welcome their baby girl.

But rush-hour traffic slowed the seven-mile trip, making what should’ve been a 20-minute ride last much longer.

Yiran crouched in the front passenger seat of the car, coping with the pain and wondering what to do. The pain of contraction was familiar, but her son’s Caesarean birth had happened in a hospital.

“I was initially trying to hold it, but halfway through I was thinking: Should I push?” she said. “From TV or movies, I thought maybe I should push. . . . I should’ve realized she would come.”

Keating enabled Autopilot, a mode in which the car matches the speed of other vehicles on the road and brakes when needed. The feature is meant to reduce the work of the driver, according to Tesla, which is exactly what Keating needed.

He placed his left hand on the steering wheel and offered his right for Yiran to squeeze in pain as Rafa sat in the back seat, asking whether his mom was OK.

Advertisement:

Yiran’s focus was on managing her pain and occasionally glancing at the car’s map to see how far they were in their journey.

The couple focused on their breathing, pulling from Yiran’s background as a yoga instructor and from breath-centric classes Keating has taken over the years.

By the time the family reached the hospital, the baby was already out.

Luckily, a pediatrician was walking out of the building to help them and to call other medical staffers to assist. Doctors cut the umbilical cord in the front seat before covering Yiran and wheeling her and the baby into the building to make sure they were doing well, Yiran said.

Keating found the time to give the car a “C-minus” cleaning before he would drive his family home the next day.

Rafa is enjoying being a protective brother who loves giving kisses and measuring the accessibility of family activities by his new sister’s lack of teeth, Yiran said.

“The power of moms is an extraordinary thing,” Keating said. “I feel incredibly blessed to have Yiran as a wife and partner. An experience like that happening, words don’t do it justice.”

They named their baby daughter Maeve, and for a moment, Keating considered giving here the middle name Tess as a nod to her automotive birthplace. Yiran vetoed that possibility.

Advertisement:

Instead, they chose Lily, which is a character in Yiran’s mother’s name.

Yiran said the couple is considering buying the car at the end of its lease because of the unforgettable experience of having their daughter.

Conversation

This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com