As the couple pulled up to the hospital, the woman announced, "Oh, my God. She's out."
Yiran and Keating Sherry were taking their three-year-old son Rafa to pre-school when they got stuck in traffic. 33-year-old Yiran had experienced contractions the previous night, but she felt she wouldn't have the baby anytime soon. "I knew," Yiran recalled to The Philadelphia Inquirer, which first reported the story. "I said to Keating, 'Today's the day, but I don't think it's happening anytime soon.'"
Around 8:30 in the morning, Yiran was doing her laundry and was getting her son ready for school, when her contractions started to progress so Keating said he felt it was time to take his wife to the hospital.
"I put [Rafa] in the backseat and went to check on Yiran," Keating recalled to the Inquirer. "Her water had broken a few seconds prior. She said, 'Take Rafa to school, then come back and get me.' But I thought: Time is of the essence."
🚗 What is believed to be the world’s first “Tesla baby” has been born in Philadelphia with the child arriving while the car was being driven in autopilot https://t.co/ygzqtBTBaz— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) December 20, 2021
It got to a point where Yiran was even unable to walk due to contractions, but Keating helped her into the car. She then crouched on the floor in the front seat of the car while her husband drove.
"She was squeezing my hand to the point where I thought she was going to shatter it," Keating recalled. "I was [saying to] Yiran, 'OK, focus on your breathing.' That was advice to myself, as well. My adrenaline was pumping."
Since they were in a Tesla, Keating decided to put the car on autopilot so he could focus more on his wife. Recalling the dramatic moment, Keating tells PEOPLE that he had several thoughts running through his mind at the time. "It was empty and zen... for a microsecond!" he says. "Followed by 'Don't screw this up! Did Yiran just shatter my right hand? Blinkers or autopilot? Let's do both. Thank you genius Tesla engineers for your brilliant design of autopilot! Are we still 16 minutes out? It feels like we've been stuck on 16 minutes for hours!"
By then, Yiran's contractions were just a minute apart. She remembered thinking: "Should I push or should I hold? Should I push or should I hold? F— it, let's do this!" Though the ride to the hospital only took 20 minutes, their daughter couldn't wait any longer. As the couple pulled up to the hospital, Yiran announced, "Oh, my God, Keating. She's out."
Tesla Autopilot Aids in Delivery of Baby in Model Xhttps://t.co/8aK4gnwt9H— Vincent Yu (@vincent13031925) December 18, 2021
Nurses immediately rushed to the car as soon as it pulled up and they cut the umbilical cord. "Once the pediatrician said, 'She's healthy. Congratulations,' that was quite the sigh of relief," Keating said.
Eventually, the couple named their daughter Maeve after a character in the novel, The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett, which they both read during quarantine, according to the outlet. Her middle name is Lily, in honor of Yiran's mother, but they did joke about changing it to Tess, given how she was born in a Tesla.
Both mom and daughter are doing fine, the proud dad said. "Baby Maeve and Yiran are doing fantastic!" he says. "Maeve just graduated from her 4th trimester and is loving morning kisses from her big brother, snuggle sessions with Mom, and long walks strapped to Dad's chest."
Cover Image Source (References): Getty Images | Biserka Stojanovic