Actress Lake Bell had a smooth home birth the first time around. But when it came to delivering her second child, things took a traumatic turn for the worse.
The How I Met Your Mother alum recently sat down with Dax Shephard for an episode of his podcast Armchair Expert. During the interview, she opened up about the difficult labor experience she had in 2017 when she welcomed her son Ozgood, whom she shares with her husband Scott Campbell.
Lake began by explaining how her home delivery with her first child, daughter Nova, in 2014 had been difficult. She revealed that the infant was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, which can be fatal. “It was very scary. She was on my chest and she wasn’t breathing,” she told Dax. “The midwife gave her three lifesaving breaths on my chest and my husband was there. She came to life and we saw it.”
Nonetheless, Lake added, “I felt very empowered by that experience,” which is why she chose to do it a second time. But when the same problem occurred while in labor with her son, things didn’t go as smoothly.
“I said, I want a home birth again. We had him at home. I was huge, he was 11 lbs. The same thing happened,” she explained. “I was at home and he had the cord wrapped around and he was on my chest.”
However, things got scary when the midwife was unable to resuscitate the infant. Lake continued, “He was not coming to. Now you’re in really [screwing with] life and death.” She added, “Your child is there and the entire room is trying to resuscitate him and they can’t. The paramedics are on their way, he’s still there. This person you don’t know.”
When the paramedics arrived, Lake explains they quickly rushed the baby to the hospital. However, she had to stay behind to be induced in order to pass the placenta.
“I was looking at my phone as they were sewing me up and I get a little video from Scott: little Ozzy just barely taking breaths with the oxygen mask and I just passed out,” the actress explained. “Because I was like, ‘He’s alive,’ and then I just passed out.”
It was still an uphill battle even after Ozzy began breathing on route to the hospital. The baby spent 11 days in the NICU before being released to go home. However, the future of his health remained unsure.
“He was hypoxic, he was without oxygen for longer than the four minutes that is associated with being okay,” Lake said. “We were told that he could [have] cerebral palsy or never walk or talk.” As of now, luckily, baby Ozzy remains healthy and thriving.
Despite her traumatic experience, Lake says that she doesn’t regret homebirth and still believes it’s an incredible, empowering option for expectant mothers. “You could blame the midwife, you could blame yourself, but ultimately the result is the only thing that matters,” she said.