Lake Bell had a rewarding and healthy home birth with her with her daughter in 2014. But when she did a second home birth with her son, it didn’t go as planned.
Bell welcomed her second child, Ozzy, with husband Scott Campbell in May 2017 and faced the possibility her son would “never walk or talk.”
“We had two home births. The first was with [daughter] Nova in Brooklyn. I felt very empowered … the home birth was this amazing primal bonding,” Bell said. “When my daughter came out, she had the [umbilical] cord wrapped around her neck, and it was very scary. She was on my chest and she wasn’t breathing. The midwife gave her three lifesaving breaths on my chest and my husband was there. She came to life and we saw it.”
Bell says, “I felt very empowered by that experience,” so she went for it a second time.
“I got pregnant again, and this time we’re in L.A. and I said, I want a home birth again. We had him at home. I was huge, he was 11 lbs. The same thing happened, I was at home and he had the cord wrapped around and he was on my chest,” Bell said. “He was not coming to. Now you’re in really f—ing life and death. 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.”
She continued, “The paramedics come in, the cord is still on so he has oxygen through my blood. They cut the cord and Scott ran out half-naked [with their son] and I was naked after my seven hours of laboring. 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. Because I was like, ‘He’s alive,’ and then I just passed out.”
Following the birth, her son was in the hospital’s NICU for 11 days.
“He was hypoxic, he was without oxygen for longer than the four minutes that is associated with being okay,” Bell said. “We were told that he could [have] cerebral palsy or never walk or talk. That was our reality. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles saved his life.”
The podcast conversation was the first time Bell shared the experience publicly, she said, adding that she’s proud of her son and “proud of walking out of that hospital with a clean bill of health.”