First-time parents Leo and LeeAnn Bienaime have a beautiful baby boy but his journey into the world was a battle his parents weren’t expecting to endure. After what LeeAnn Bienaime called “intense” contractions on Aug. 23, the couple headed to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth under the assumption that she would be tended to immediately.
“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,” she told ABC News.
Once the couple arrived they were turned away because the soon-to-be mother was only two centimeters dilated. Doctors instructed her to return when she was five centimeters dilated. When the Bienaimes reached home, LeAnn soon felt the head of baby Joachim. “I was just going through my feelings of anxiety and not being able to believe that I’m going through this,” she said.
Quickly trying to remember birthing videos, Leo first dialed 911 and then made his way to the bathtub with his wife. “He slid out, I caught him and flipped. I wrapped him in a towel and handed him to her,” he said.
In response to the series of events, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth issued a statement to WTKR News 3, stating that “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.”
“Had I known to really advocate for myself, I still would have been at the hospital,” the new mother said.
Naval Medical Center has directly contacted the pair about the incident.
In 2017, NPR published a report that stated black women are three times more likely to die after childbirth.