Traveling Woman Uses YouTube Videos to Deliver Her Own Baby
There are so many birthing methods available to make labor and delivery as smooth as possible: water birth, acupuncture, hypnosis, and now: YouTube. Okay, that last one was mostly circumstantial. But a new mom is proof that, in a pinch, the internet really can help you do anything.
Tia Freeman, a 22-year-old US Air Force computer specialist living in Virginia, was traveling to Germany for vacation when she began experiencing contractions on the plane. However, she attributed her pains to eating airplane salmon. In fact, she didn’t really believe she was pregnant.
We’ll let her explain.
“I didn’t know I was pregnant for a while (already in my third trimester) and before you ask, the birth control I was on made it so I didn’t have a cycle every month. So not having a period wasn’t an indicator for me,” she says on Twitter. On top of that I didn’t really gain any weight. So then I’m in denial for another month after that.”
So, unknowingly at the tail end of her pregnancy, Freeman set out on her international vacation. But before she arrived at her final destination, her baby did. While making her way through customs during her layover in Istanbul, Turkey, she realized she was definitely in labor.
To confirm, she did what anyone would do: She Googled it.
Determined not to give birth at the airport, Freeman mentally coached herself to make it to her hotel. Facing a language barrier and not knowing the country’s emergency number, she took matters into her own hands:
Freeman filled the tub with water and grabbed two clean towels: One to bite down on and one to swaddle the baby.
Per internet advice, she timed her contractions, planning to start pushing when they were two minutes apart. But before she knew it, they were a minute apart. It was go-time.
Once her baby—a boy!—arrived, Freeman knew she had to deliver the placenta.
As soon as she made her way to the toilet, it came out. Next challenge? Cutting the cord. She read shoelaces could be used instead of clamps, so she sterilized her own using an electric kettle in the room.
Exhausted, Freeman cleaned up, breastfed, and went to sleep. Knowing she wouldn’t be flying out any time soon, she still chose to head back to the airport, hoping they would tell her what she needed to leave the country with a newborn.
With the help of the US Consulate, Freeman was able to get Xavier Ata Freeman a birth certificate and passport. Don’t worry; she did eventually head to the hospital for evaluation, and spent two weeks recovering in the country. Turkish Airlines graciously footed the bill for her entire stay, meals included.
Talk about the trip of a lifetime. You can read her entire thread here.
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