A 22-year-old woman went into labor while traveling and was forced to give birth in a hotel room during a 17-hour layover in Turkey. Tia Freeman said she did not realize she was pregnant until the third trimester because she was on birth control and did not gain any weight during the pregnancy. But, as she neared the end of a 14-hour flight on the first leg of her trip, she started having cramps, which got worse as she landed.
After she made her way through the chaotic customs line in Turkey, she realized she might be in labor. After she got to her hotel room, she searched on YouTube for videos on how to give birth. Freeman proceeded to fill up the bathtub with warm water and grabbed a towel to bite down on. She started timing her contractions and said her baby boy was delivered quickly.
“Luckily it happened pretty quickly,” Freeman wrote. “I only had to push about 5-6x 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.”
Freeman then went back to Google to learn what to do with the placenta and how to cut the umbilical cord. She said she used a teapot to sanitize her shoelaces which she used to clamp it before cutting it with a knife.
After she delivered her baby, who she named Xavier Ata, she cleaned up the bathroom, breastfed her newborn and went to sleep.
The next morning she went back to the airport to figure out what to do. She said that staff at Turkish Airlines originally thought she was a human trafficker, but eventually proved that was the baby's mother.
“So they called in customs, the police a doctor & a nurse (to check the baby & me to see if I actually gave birth), and the airline higher ups. I was bombarded with questions (naturally) but finally I proved that I wasn’t a trafficker. During this I called the @USEmbassyTurkey.”
Freeman said that Turkish Airlines provided her with a translator and a free shuttle to the U.S. Consulate, where she applied for a birth certificate and passport for her son. Freeman and Xavier were then taken to a hospital where they were given a clean bill of health.
“To wrap up I go to the hospital get checked out everything is fine,” she tweeted. “He’s perfectly healthy! LOL the doctors were shocked to hear my story.”
She was grateful to the airline staff, who even bought Xavier his first outfit.