Tia Freeman’s delivery is certainly one of the craziest travel stories out there.
Freeman only realized she was expecting a child while in the third trimester of her pregnancy, i.e. six months in. Although this may seem unbelievable, it is not uncommon for women whose contraception creates irregularity in menstrual cycles. Freeman also mentions that because she used contraception and never gained any weight, there was no indicator of her pregnancy.
Oblivious to her soon-to-come baby, Freeman had booked a vacation in Germany. When she learned that she was pregnant, however, she completely ignored the fact that she may not be fit enough to travel and hopped on a plane for a 14-hour flight. In a tweet she explains:
So I had already purchased tickets for a vacay in Germany and ya girl was not about to waste international flight money. So I was like if the boy comes on time I should be all good in the hood.
An hour before landing in Istanbul for a 17-hour layover, Freeman started going into labor, but she attributed the severe cramping in her abdomen to the in-flight meal.
She explained that, while waiting in line to go through customs, she was in serious pain, sweating, wanting to vomit, and feeling like she was going to faint. At this point, she understood that she was in labor, but she did not inform anyone of her condition.
Freeman went through customs, traveled to her hotel, and checked into her room. At that point, she could barely stand up, but instead of telling hotel employees about the situation, she decided to deliver her own baby in the hotel bath with the help of Youtube.
On Twitter, she explained that she remained calm and focused throughout the whole process:
[…] at no point ever did I freak out […] I strip down and climb in the tub. The internet said there were a couple positions that people find the most comfortable. I picked the one that worked for me and I was like okay BOOM let’s birthed this baby.
By the time she got into the tub, she realizes that her contractions were only one minute apart. Her baby was about to arrive very, very soon.
Indeed, after a few pushes, baby Xavier arrived into this world, healthy and floating in the tub.
[…] Let me tell you babies are buoyant. That little joker said bloop and floated right on up to the top of the water.
After taking care of the placenta and the umbilical cord (still thanks to Youtube), she cleaned the bathroom, breastfed her baby, and went to sleep.
The next day, she wrapped Xavier in a shirt and made her way to the airport. But, because she came to Turkey from the US the day before on her own and attempted to leave the country the next day with a newborn that does not have any official documents, the airport workers got unsurprisingly suspicious.
[…] they thought I was a human trafficker trying to smuggle out a baby.
After a thorough questioning from customs, the police, and medical professionals, she was cleared of all suspicions and driven to the US consulate in Istanbul to apply for a birth certificate and a passport.
So the translator is like like miss maybe later. The reporter was like okay I’ll wait. So I’m in the consulates for like 2/3 hours (it has been a superrrrrrrr long day). So as I’m inside I have to answer a bunch of the same questions & apply for his birth certificate & passport pic.twitter.com/X3JptPMaJi
— Tia Freeman (@TheWittleDemon) 25 avril 2018
After a trip to the hospital to make sure everyone was healthy, the little family returned to the US safely where journalists waited for them at the airport.
Although we are happy that the pair is in good health and wish Xavier and his mama all the best, we urge everyone not to try to replicate this risky behavior. You need to make sure you are fit to travel before you board an airplane for a long international flight while pregnant. Also, don’t try to deliver your own baby without any assistance — it’s unlikely to end up as positively as Tia and Xavier’s story.