After Hospital Sends Her Home, Mom Gives Birth in Her Own Bathtub

The Bienaimes
ABC News

A mom in Chesapeake, Virginia, is feeling grateful that her baby arrived safely last month -- especially because his fast and furious birth didn't exactly go according to plan. On August 23, LeeAnn Bienaime showed up at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth with her husband, Leo, ready to deliver their baby. But when nurses told her she wasn't far enough along, they advised her to go home and come back later. Four hours later, though, it was game time -- and suddenly, making it to the hospital was no longer an option.

  • When LeeAnn and Leo first arrived at the hospital, LeeAnn thought she was ready to give birth imminently.

    "I was certain that we were just going to be admitted," she told ABC News. "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 in to the hospital. And we had been timing them."

    But not so, said nurses.

    “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,” LeeAnn told WTKR.

    The new mom, who says she has a high pain tolerance, hopped back in the car as her husband drove them both home, some 25 minutes away.

    But in just a few hours, she would regret that decision.

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  • “If I could do it again, I would’ve just sat in the waiting room and not left," LeeAnn later told News 3.

    "We would’ve pitched a tent," her husband quipped. "We would’ve started a fire. We would’ve just straight-up camped."


    Considering what transpired just four hours later, it's easy to see why the new mom is adamant that she shouldn't have listened to the medical professionals advising her. Because as it turned out, her labor progressed rapidly.

  • Back at home, LeeAnn was walking to the bathroom when she felt her son's head start to charge through.

    Of course, she wished she could slow things down, turn back the hands of time, or do ANYTHING that would stave off his arrival so she could get to the hospital. 

    It was soon clear, however, that just wasn't in the cards.

  • As her husband called 911, LeeAnn hopped in the bathtub -- where just minutes later, little Joachim was born.

    Looking back, she said she tried not to panic, and she let nature take its course as her son was born. 

    “I had to let instinct take over and just go with it and kind of release myself to the experience,” LeeAnn said.

    In the end, that turned out to be the best thing she could have done.

  • Though they were later transported to the hospital by first responders, both mom and baby are now back at home, where both are doing great.

    In fact, it's for that reason that LeeAnn says she's simmered about the whole hospital-sending-her-home thing. 

    “We were able to have a healthy birth, a healthy baby boy -- that’s why I’m not completely enraged,” LeeAnn told WTKR. “I feel like if it had gone another way, it would’ve been a different story.”


    She's also praising the first responders who came swiftly to her aid, as well as the 911 operator who calmed both her and her husband. 

    "She was the sweetest lady," Leo told WTKR. "I wish I could get her name and give her some cookies. She was the sweetest lady.”

    For now, LeeAnn hopes her birth story serves as a reminder to other moms to always trust their instincts and to be their own advocate when it comes to medical matters. If she had, maybe she would have avoided the whole bathtub birth. She's counting her blessings that everything turned out all right.