A father in Chesapeake, Va. had to deliver his own son in the bathtub of his family’s home after the hospital told him and his pregnant wife to come back when her labor was further along.
LeeAnn Bienaime and her husband Leo Bienaime told WTKR that they arrived at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth around 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 23 because she was experiencing contractions. But the hospital told them to go home about four hours later.
“I was told that I should come back when my contractions were when you can’t really walk and you can’t really talk through them,” she told the news station.
The couple drove nearly half an hour back to their home and a few hours later, her contractions worsened. Before she knew it, she could feel her son’s head making its way out of her body. She then got into the bathtub as her husband called 911 — but the paramedics didn’t arrive in time and Bienaime delivered her son right there in her bathroom.
She told WTKR that she attempted to wait to deliver her baby boy until paramedics arrived, but her son had other plans.
“I had to let instinct take over and just go with it and kind of release myself to the experience,” she recalled. With the help of her husband, Bienaime had a successful birth, and they named their healthy son Joachim.
“We were able to have a healthy birth, a healthy baby boy — that’s why I’m not completely enraged,” she said.“I feel like if it had gone another way, it would’ve been a different story.”
Recalling those crucial moments after leaving the hospital, the couple said if they had to do it all over again, they would not leave the facility.
“If I could do it again, I would’ve just sat in the waiting room and not left. We would’ve pitched a tent. We would’ve started a fire. We would’ve just straight-up camped,” the proud new father joked.
Shauna O’Sullivan, a spokesperson for the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, declined to comment about the Bienaime case to the outlet, citing privacy laws. She did, however, reveal that the facility contacted the couple about their experience.
“Naval Medical Center Portsmouth is committed to ensuring the safety of every patient and providing high-quality care,” O’Sullivan said. “Whenever a patient has a concern about their care and treatment, we welcome the opportunity to discuss this with them and resolve any potential issues.”