A US Air Force member delivered her baby with only the help of a YouTube video, after her unexpected labor began while staying in Istanbul.
Tia Freeman, a 22-year-old computer specialist, realized that she was going in to labor while going through Turkish customs. The young woman had only just found out that she was pregnant the month before--and had already booked an expensive trip to Germany. Thinking she had plenty of time, she decided to take the trip anyway.
During her layover in Istanbul, contractions began.
Freeman realized that she was indeed having a baby and quickly got to her hotel. Using only the help of videos on YouTube, she delivered her baby on her own alone in her room.
Asked why she did not try to find a hospital, she explained, "Not many people spoke English that I encountered at first. And I didn’t know what the country’s emergency number was and I didn’t know how my insurance would work overseas so I just decided to DIY it".
Freeman shared her story via Twitter which garnered international attention.
In a tweet dated April 24th, 2018 Freeman explains, "My contractions were already at a minute a part lol I was late as hell. I BARELY made it to my room. so I throw the towel in my mouth and start pushing. And I have NEVVVVEEERRRR felt any pain like this in my life. I felt like I was being split open. WHERE WAS MY EPIDURAL?!"
This highly unusual tale does not end there-- Freeman still had to figure out how to cut her infant's umbilical cord. She turned again to YouTube for advice.
Freeman tweeted, "So I didn’t have any clamps like it suggested but what I did have were shoelaces lol. Hear me out. In Turkey everyone drinks tea/coffee so every hotel room had an electric kettle. So I just boiled some water to sterilize the laces so that I could use them as clamps".
The young mother cleaned up as much of the mess as she could, calmly breastfed her newborn, and went to sleep. The next morning she awoke to a new challenge- getting back to the United States with a baby.
"When I get there the airport workers are freaking out bc you can tell this baby is fresh. I legit didn’t have any baby clothes & made him something out of my favorite blue oversized button down (RIP). Anyway they thought I was a human trafficker trying to smuggle out a baby".
The United States consulate was eventually informed at which point Freeman and her infant were taken under protection. A birth certificate was officially filed and her baby boy, named Xavier Ata Freeman, was issued a passport for his return home.
Freeman's family, unaware she was pregnant until her delivery, showered the duo with gifts upon their arrival in Nashville, Tennessee.
"As soon as I flew back they all came to visit, bearing gifts and spoiling Xavier," Freeman told The Independent. "They found out about four days after I gave birth to him while I was still in Istanbul. So of course they called every single day, wanting to talk to him and see pictures and videos and checking in to make sure we were okay".
"I’m thankful that everything went well and I was able to deliver a healthy baby," she added. "I know everyone isn’t always so fortunate but I appreciate the experience and hopefully he’ll think it’s an amazing story when he’s older!"