When it comes to her own body, there’s no denying that mom knows what’s best. That’s why this one mother from Chesapeake, Virginia, was left baffled when she was turned away from a hospital even though she knew that she was going in labor with her first child. And now the hospital staff is apologizing to the couple, realizing that what they did was in error.
According to reports, first-time parents Leo and LeeAnn Bienaime at first didn’t know what was going on when doctors at their hospital told them to go home last month even though she was feeling intense contractions. Later on that evening, LeAnn ended up giving birth to their beautiful baby in their bathroom.
The couple arrived at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth during the late evening of August 23 just to be turned around. The staff told them that they wouldn’t admit LeeAnn simply because she was not 5 centimeters dilated, even though she was 80 percent effaced but only 2 centimeters dilated. LeAnn and Leo spent about two hours in the waiting room while the mother-to-be dealt with her painful contractions. Two doctors eventually told her to go home and return to the hospital when she was 5 centimeters dilated.
“I was certain that we were just going to be admitted…In all of our classes and appointments, they told us that when you’re having contractions five minutes apart for a minute long, for one hour, you should come into the hospital,” LeeAnn told ABC News on Tuesday. “And we had been timing them.”
Even though LeAnn had her doubts, she listened to the doctors’ advice. But by then it was too late. When the couple arrived back home, LeAnn’s water broke and she said that she felt an incredibly amount of pressure and yes, even the baby’s head. With very little time to spare, LeAnn quickly laid down in her bathtub while her husband called 911.
“She said she felt the head and it’s like, ‘Oh wow. I’m not tired anymore,’” Leo said. After prompting her to give him “one good push,” the baby “slid out” into his daddy’s arms.
Thankfully the couple managed to deliver their baby without any major complications but the entire experience has left them angry and frustrated. The hospital has since apologized to the Bienaimes but has refused to detail what happened, citing patient privacy laws.
Either way, LeAnn says that she is now sharing her story as a lesson to future mothers who should know what their rights are. “Had I known to really advocate for myself, I still would have been at the hospital,” she said.