A U.S. woman gave birth alone in a hotel room in Turkey, with only YouTube tutorials to guide her through labour — after she doubted she was really pregnant.
Tia Freeman, the 22-yer-old who shared her extraordinary birth story on Twitter, was travelling on holiday from the U.S. to Germany on March 7 via a connecting flight in Istanbul, when she started having contractions.
Instead of going to a hospital or finding a doctor during her 17-hour layover to help her deliver her son, Xavier Ata, Freeman says that "in true millennial form", she used the internet to help.
Freeman, who works for the U.S. Air Force, says that when she first found out she was pregnant — by which point she was in her third trimester — she was completely in denial about what was happening.
Primarily because she had been on birth control at the time, and secondly because she didn't want to waste a summer holiday she had booked in advance. So instead of visiting a doctor, she boarded the flight.
During the 14-hour journey, she started to feel unwell: "I don't know if it was the salmon, or it was just my time — but out of nowhere I start cramping up. I've still got like an hour left before we land. I just knew I had food poisoning."
But when she landed and was queuing to go through immigration, it got worse and worse. At which point she realised she was in labour.
Instead of calling for help, she filled up the bath in her hotel suite and set up her laptop, so she could watch YouTube videos of childbirth.
She says: "It's weird how focused a person becomes when their adrenaline starts going. Because at no point ever did I freak out. Like, I just did what I had to do."
Using her timer on her iPhone, she worked out that her contractions were only a minute apart at this point.
"Luckily it happened pretty quickly. I only had to push about five or six times before a baby popped out. Lol; now let me tell — you babies are buoyant! That little joker said 'bloop!' and floated right on up to the top of the water," she says.
She then had to deal with the placenta, which was still inside her. Rubbing her abdomen, she waited for it to pass.
After she had cut the umbilical cord, she "cleaned up the bathroom, breastfed her baby and went to sleep." The next morning she went to the airport to catch her next flight.
She says: "The doctors were shocked to hear my story. I made national news, and people would stop us to take pictures all the time — and a random elderly woman grabbed my boob as I was breastfeeding."
Turkish Airlines staff also bought her an outfit for Xavier, because she hadn't had time to buy anything herself.
When she got home, she had to tell her family that not only had she been pregnant, but she had already had the baby.
Well that is one birth story we haven't heard before.