‘I am in my hotel room, all by my lonesome, learning how to deliver my own baby. It’s GAME TIME.’

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“Might as well tell you now, give me a little time because it’s sort of a long story.

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 didn’t really gain any weight.

So then I’m in denial for another month after that like there’s no way I am preggo. At this point I’m working in Virginia and away from everyone so I just decided not to tell anyone.

So, I had already purchased tickets for a vacay in Germany and your 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. So I came home for two seconds before hopping on my flight to Germany.

Everything is going well; this is a 14 hour flight and there was a complimentary meal but everything had meat in it and you know I’m a vegetarian so I was like I can’t eat this but 14 hours was too long to wait so I decided to eat the salmon hoping I wouldn’t get sick.

I don’t know if it was he salmon, the flight, or it was just my time but out of nowhere I start cramping up. I’ve still an hour left before we land. I just knew I had food poisoning. Y’all I was HURT.

So anyway I make it until we land but when I wake up the cramps have gotten worse and I’m like okay I just want to make it to my hotel. It’s my layover and I’m only here (Istanbul, Turkey) for 17 hours. But getting through customs took FOREVER.

I’m literally gripping the railing trying to make it through the lines. At this point I feel like I’m about to pass out. I’m sweating. I feel like I have to vomit. I’m going through it. Then I’m like, ‘wait a minute, are you in labor?!’

So I decided to Google it. The internet was like well my good sis the only thing different between labor and Braxton Hicks is your water breaking. This was completely not helpful so now I gotta wait until then to known if this is legit or not.

Either way it goes I’m not giving birth in this airport so I start gassing myself up because I am NOT having a baby in this airport. I start talking to myself like ‘What you’re not gonna do is give birth on the airport floor. So you need to get it together and make it to your hotel.’

I make it to my hotel and 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, and I have no clue what to do.

So in true millennial form I decided to Youtube it. If no one else had my back the internet would! So here I am in my hotel room all by my lonesome learning how to deliver my own baby.

So it’s GAME TIME. I don’t have time to be nervous. It’s time to get shit done. I spring into action. Filling up the tub with warm water, grabbing a towel to bite down on, grabbing another towel to wrap him/her up with whenever it pops out.

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.

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 birth this baby.

So the internet said I shouldn’t start pushing until my contractions were 2 minutes apart. Because you don’t want to exhaust yourself too early and then not have any energy when the kids are ready to come, you know? And I’m like okay you’ve got a timer on your phone. You can do this!

My contractions were already at a minute a part lol I was late as hell. I BARELY made it to my room. So I throw the towel in my mouth and start pushing. And I have NEVVVVEEERRRR felt any pain like this in my life. I felt like I was being split open. WHERE WAS MY EPIDURAL?!

Luckily it happened pretty quickly. I only had to push about 5-6x before a baby popped out. Let me tell you babies are buoyant. That little joker said bloop and floated right on up to the top of the water.

At this point I have no clue what the sex of the baby is so after catching my breath I lift it up like ‘What is it?’

(Also Side Note: Water Births are not as pretty as what you see on YouTube there was no tranquil music playing gently in the background, or amazing natural lighting. It gets MESSY.)

Anyways IT’S A BOY! And the very first thing I do is pull up his natal chart born March 7, 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey.

The story isn’t over yet! He’s out but the placenta is still inside of me. Now according to the internet you’re not supposed to pull it out because it has to seal itself back up or something.

Warning Viewer Discretion is Advised ⚠

So I’m sitting with Young Xay laying on my chest waiting for the placenta to pass. The internet told me to rub my lower abdomen to persuade my placenta to come on out. So here I am baby in one arm rubbing my pelvis with the other hand.

So finally it feels like I’m having another contraction and I assume this is the placenta ready to drop it like it’s hot. So I shuffle to the bathroom and sit down on the toilet because I don’t know where else to go.

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.

So I didn’t have any clamps like it suggested but what I did have were shoelaces lol. Hear me out 😂. In Turkey everyone drinks tea/coffee so every hotel room had an electric kettle. So I just boiled some water to sterilize the laces so that I could use them as clamps.

Okay so it’s been a second so I may be a little iffy on the exact details but it went something like this. You’re supposed to measure off like 2 inches from the stomach and tie one lace and then tie the other inch another inch from there. Now you cut the cord in between.

Now I haven’t been nervous this whole time but cutting this cord is freaking me out; like what if I hurt this man?! So I’m poking the cord with the knife to see if it affects him.

Fortunately it doesn’t (which the internet said it wouldn’t) so I cut right into that thang! And it’s tougher than it looks.Umbilical cord cut and I did a mighty fine job if I do say so myself! At this point exhaustion is beginning to set in. But I need to clean up the bathroom because it looked like the set of a horror movie.

So I clean up the bathroom, breastfeed my baby, and go to sleep. No I do not go to the hospital I take my ass to bed. So the next day I wake up for and get ready to go to the airport because I already paid for the cab the night before & even though I knew I couldn’t fly out.

I didn’t know what I would need to leave the country with a newborn baby and I thought no better place to ask than the airport.

When I get there the airport workers are freaking out because you can tell this baby is fresh. I legit didn’t have any baby clothes and made him something out of my favorite blue oversized button down. Anyway they thought I was a human trafficker trying to smuggle out a baby.

So they called in customs, the police, a doctor and a nurse (to check the baby and 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 US Embassy Turkey.

Anyway there’s a knock on the room that I’m in and someone comes in and says ‘they want to take your picture.’ I’m thinking this was a part of the investigation. It was not lol. I walk out and there are press EVERYWHERE!!

(Side Note: Shoutout to TurkishAirlines this was hands down the best flight, attendants, services, and overall workers I’ve ever experienced. Everyone was so nice! They bought him his first outfit lol. Because he was damn near naked when he arrived 😂)

Close up of newborn who was delivered in hotel room
Tia Freeman

Anyway Turkish Airlines shuttles me over to the US Consulate for free with a translator (really shoutout to them!) and when I get there a journalist pops out of nowhere trying to ask me question like ma’am! How did you even find me?!

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 and  apply for his birth certificate & passport.

Birth certificate of baby who was born in a different country in hotel room
Tia Freeman

After everything they say they’re going to take me to the hospital. It’s been almost 24 hours since I’ve given birth. But before I can go my consulate contact comes back and tells me I have to go out the back and get escorted by this special agent because the press were too heavy out front.

To wrap up I go to the hospital get checked out everything is fine. He’s perfectly healthy! Lol 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.

Woman with her newborn baby and consulate escort
Tia Freeman

Because she was showing me the correct way to do it. Because I gave them so much publicity Turkish Airlines paid for my hotel stay for two weeks, comped all my meals, upgraded my return flights to business class and we enjoyed the lavish business lounge. The end.

Oh and no one knew I had a baby until days after I gave birth to him (not even my mom) so I sprang this story on everyone!

Here he is Xavier Ata Freeman born March 7, 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey! My little surprise bundle of international joy! (His middle name is Turkish).

Mother who gave birth in different country in hotel room gives him bath in sink
Tia Freeman

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Tia Freeman.  Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best love stories here.

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