If there's one thing we know about pregnancy and childbirth, it's that it's completely unpredictable! You can make all the plans in the world, and follow all the advice, but you know what they say about the best laid plans, right? It can be especially tricky when it's your first pregnancy and delivery, since you really have no idea what to expect! Not even doctors can tell you exactly what time is THE TIME, but there are some pretty good indicators that the baby is coming soon. For most women, sustained, intense contractions are their big sign, and that's when they know to go to the hospital or birthing center and get ready to welcome the baby.
But what do you do if you do all of that, and the hospital sends you home because according to them, you're haven't progressed far enough to be admitted? That's what happened to a couple in Virginia, who ended up having a VERY unintentional home birth after being sent home by the hospital. Luckily, everyone was fine, but this is crazy!
LeeAnn Bienaime, 27, was pregnant with her first baby, and had been experiencing pretty intense, consistent contractions for about an hour when she and husband Leo Bienaime headed to the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. When they arrived, hospital staff told the couple that they wouldn't be admitted because LeeAnn was only 2 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced.
LeeAnn spent two hours in the hospital, still experiencing strong, painful contractions, but hadn't progressed at all. So the staff sent her home and told her to come back when she was at 5 centimeters. But LeeAnn is a first-timer, and had no idea how she could even tell when she was at a 5! We're not first-timers and honestly, we couldn't tell you either.
The couple had been home for a few hours when things got really harried, and LeeAnn knew they wouldn't make it back to the hospital in time. After a bout of intense pressure, LeeAnn reached down and was able to feel her baby's head. She moved to the bathtub while Leo called 911, and after one good push, little Joachim made his grand entrance. Dad caught the baby as he came out, wrapped him a towel, and handed him to LeeAnn.
Both mother and baby are doing well, but LeeAnn is still surprised by how the hospital handled the situation. The hospital did apologize profusely to the couple, but LeeAnn is using her story to urge women to advocate for themselves. Says LeeAnn, "Had I known to really advocate for myself, I still would have been at the hospital. ", you don't know and you go home."
Congrats to the new family!