Lake Bell Says She Was Told Son Could Possibly 'Never Walk or Talk' After Traumatic Home Birth
By Jennifer Drysdale
VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
Lake Bell is candidly opening up about her traumatic home birth.
The 40-year-old actress appears on the latest episode of Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert podcast, where she discussed her experiences having home births with her first child, daughter Nova, and second, son Ozgood. It was Ozgood's birth in 2017 that proved to be more harrowing, as Bell confessed that due to complications during delivery, she was told her son may never walk or talk.
"We had two home births. The first was with Nova in Brooklyn. I felt very empowered … the home birth was this amazing primal bonding," Bell begins. "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."
The actress says she felt "very empowered" by the experience, and looked forward to doing another home birth.
"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 pounds. The same thing happened, I was at home and he had the cord wrapped around and he was on my chest," she explains. "He was not coming to. Now you’re in really f**king 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."
"The paramedics come in, the cord is still on, so he has oxygen through my blood. They cut the cord and [my husband] Scott [Campbell] ran out half-naked and I was naked after my seven hours of laboring," she recalls.
Campbell sent Bell a video from the hospital of their son finally breathing. "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," she says.
Bell's son was in the NICU for the first 11 days of his life. "He was hypoxic, he was without oxygen for longer than the four minutes that is associated with being OK. … We were told that he could [have] cerebral palsy or never walk or talk. That was our reality," she shares, before giving thanks to the staff that treated her son. "Children's Hospital Los Angeles saved his life."
The Bless This Mess star said she initially felt guilty over the situation because she had wanted a home birth so badly. Now, Ozzy's development is on track, and she's proud of how far he's come.
"It's really Ozzy's story and I’m proud of him. Proud of walking out of that hospital with a clean bill of health," she says.