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‘I used YouTube to help deliver my baby’

Tia holding her babyImage copyrightTia Freeman
Image caption Tia after giving birth

A new mum claims she used YouTube videos to deliver her own baby after going into labour alone in a hotel room.

Tia Freeman, from Nashville, told Newsbeat she was “in autopilot” and the birth was “all kind of a blur”.

She initially told her story in a series of tweets, where she claims she mistook the start of her labour for food poisoning.

‘I used YouTube to help deliver my baby’
‘I used YouTube to help deliver my baby’

Both Tia and her baby boy are both now doing well.

It began with a pregnancy test, a trip to Germany, and a layover in Turkey.

22-year-old Tia says she didn’t realise she was expecting until towards the end of pregnancy.

“I found out mid-January,” she tells Newsbeat.

“I gained just under 20lbs (5kg) the entire pregnancy, so weight gain was little indication.”

In fact, Tia thought the weight gain was normal “seeing as though I hadn’t been to the gym in a while”.

But eventually, “it started to round out in the typical pregnancy fashion”, prompting her to take a test.

Skip Twitter post by @TheWittleDemon

I didn’t know I was pregnant for awhile (already in my 3rd 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. On top of that I didnt really gain any weight.

Me when I found: pic.twitter.com/An5QA3hX8A

— Tia Freeman (@TheWittleDemon) April 24, 2018

End of Twitter post by @TheWittleDemon

Despite learning the news, Tia claims she was “in denial” and decided not to tell anyone.

Instead, she went on a trip to Germany, believing she’d be “all good in the hood” if the baby came on time. But things got tricky when she began experiencing cramps during her 14-hour flight.

Tia thought it might be food poisoning – but by the time she’d landed in Turkey, her layover destination, she was sweating and felt like she was about to vomit.

It was then that she realised she was in labour (after a quick Google, of course).

Skip Twitter post 2 by @TheWittleDemon

I make it to my hotel & now I’m sure I’m in labor. There is no way in the world I’m not in labor because I can barely standup at this point. So I’m in a foreign country, where no one speaks english, I don’t know this country’s emergency number, & I have no clue what to do. pic.twitter.com/sk6k10zdu5

— Tia Freeman (@TheWittleDemon) April 24, 2018

End of Twitter post 2 by @TheWittleDemon

Arriving at her hotel with “no clue what to do”, Tia didn’t go down the obvious route of calling for medical help.

“In true millennial form, I decided to YouTube it,” she tweeted.

Tia says she filled up the tub with warm water, grabbed some towels, and found some comfortable birthing positions from the internet.

Skip Twitter post 3 by @TheWittleDemon

So anyway. 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. pic.twitter.com/I6BabFMcCD

— Tia Freeman (@TheWittleDemon) April 24, 2018

End of Twitter post 3 by @TheWittleDemon

By the time she started pushing, Tia claims her contractions were already a minute apart. While she tweeted that she’d “never felt any pain like this in my life”, she also said the birth of her son “happened pretty quickly”.

Despite the shock, Tia says she “wasn’t scared” – she even used the internet to deliver the placenta.

And then she improvised, using shoelaces to help cut the umbilical cord.

Skip Twitter post 4 by @TheWittleDemon

Almost immediately as I sit down it plops out. The hotel had these sanitation baggies in the bathroom so I just picked it up by the cord and dropped it in the bag. Now it’s still attached to him so now I’ve got to google how to cut an umbilical cord. pic.twitter.com/urJHrIu9mN

— Tia Freeman (@TheWittleDemon) April 24, 2018

End of Twitter post 4 by @TheWittleDemon

“Every hotel room has an electric kettle,” she tweeted. “So I just boiled some water to sterilise the laces so that I could use them as clamps.”

She called her son Xavier.

Image copyrightTia Freeman

When she returned to the airport for her flight the next day with her “fresh” baby, she says the airport workers were “freaking out”.

“They thought I was a human trafficker trying to smuggle out a baby.”

After persuading them she wasn’t, Tia says Turkish Airlines paid for a two week stay at a hotel in Istanbul – and she got checked out by a medical team there.

“The staff there were absolutely amazing. They helped me with my bags, and would deliver food to my room if he started crying while I was in the dining area eating.”

While Tia seems to have taken the whole thing in her stride, those following the story on Twitter haven’t been quite so calm.

Skip Twitter post by @arrowandapple

This is INSANE!! This makes me wanna be your friend so bad haha. I’ve had two kids and I cannot imagine the strength that must have taken to do that alone and go to the airport the next day!!! You’re amazing!

— Sarah Rhodes (@arrowandapple) April 25, 2018

End of Twitter post by @arrowandapple

Skip Twitter post by @peacheslechat

I don’t even know you, but my jaw is still on the floor. Hope you and your baby are safe & sound. Thank you for your laughter & strength!

— Diane Exavier (@peacheslechat) April 25, 2018

End of Twitter post by @peacheslechat

Skip Twitter post by @Wale

Na.. women are insanely superhuman .. this story is crazy .💙 🙏🏿 https://t.co/Ez2yUaHx3K

— Wale (@Wale) April 25, 2018

End of Twitter post by @Wale

Xavier’s now a month old and both he and Tia are doing well.

“I think my adrenaline and instincts carried me through it. It was all kind of a blur. I was in autopilot.”

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