With Help of YouTube Videos and Wiki-How Article, Pregnant Tenn. Woman Gives Birth Alone Overseas

A Tennessee woman recently delivered her own baby under unbelievable circumstances while on a layover in Istanbul, Turkey, and her incredible story has gone viral.

In a series of tweets this week, Tia Freeman explained she hadn’t learned she was pregnant until she was already in the third trimester, and she wasn’t about to waste the international trip.

Her initial flight took her to Turkey, and it was on the plane when she began to feel sick, according to Nashville television station WTVF.

“I was like, I’ll just sleep it off, sleep cures everything,” Freeman told the station Thursday. “So I go to sleep and wake up as we’re landing and I notice my cramps have gotten astronomically worse.”

Freeman barely made it to her Istanbul hotel before realizing her stomach cramps were actually contractions. She checked Google to see if she was in labor but it “was completely not helpful so now I gotta wait until then to knownif this is legit or not,” she wrote in one of the tweets.

But by the time she got to her hotel, she realized she was in labor. At just 22-years-old, Freeman was alone in a foreign country, and had no idea how to reach a hospital.

So instead, she turned to the internet — specifically YouTube.

“I literally was on YouTube typing like how to deliver a baby,” Freeman said. “Scroll, scroll, scroll and yup, that video looks like they know what they’re talking about.”

Freeman filled the hotel room bathtub with water, and grabbed two towels: one to bite down on, and another to wrap the soon-to-be-born baby in, she explained.

“It’s weird how focused a person becomes when they’re adrenaline starts going. Because at no point ever did I freak out. Like I just did what I had to do,” Freeman tweeted.

She said she pushed about five times when her baby boy decided to enter the world. Then, a WikiHow article walked her through how to cut her son’s umbilical cord. Instead of using clamps and a surgical knife, she used shoelaces and a pocketknife that she sterilized in an electronic tea kettle.

Freeman didn’t go to the hospital, electing to go to sleep instead. She and her son slept through the night, then took a cab back to the airport the next morning.

“Immediately, security knew something was up,” she said. “They called in a doctor and nurse and I called the U.S. consulate.”

It took several hours to sort out the details, but Freeman’s child was issued an emergency passport and allowed to fly home when he was two weeks old.

Freeman tweeted the ordeal and her story has now been shared internationally. Even author J.K. Rowling tweeted about it, writing, “Speaking personally, I’m not so much in shock as in awe. Congratulations on the birth of your son, who’d better never disrespect a mother this cool, strong and fearless!”

Both Freeman and baby Xavier are healthy.