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Woman Gives Birth at Home After Being Turned Away at Hospital

Photograph by Cherie Hathaway

Utah mom Cherie Hathaway was confident she was in active labor when she checked into her local hospital last month to give birth to her fourth child, but the nursing staff disagreed and sent her home after two hours. Twenty minutes after arriving home, Hathaway says her water broke and she was forced to give birth with the help of a 911 dispatcher.

According to Hathaway, she went to the hospital in Cedar City when her contractions were two minutes apart and once there, the contractions continued to gain in intensity and frequency. That's why she was confused when a nurse told her she needed to go home.

“It was definitely active labor,” Hathaway told Mom.me. “They shouldn't have sent me home, especially with my contractions hard and right on top of each other.”

“The nurse was very insistent that we didn’t need to be there,” Hathaway's sister, Charlene Moses, told KSL News, adding, “So, we wheel her back to the van. We get to the van and we come home, and she’s just in agonizing pain at this point.”

She's just in agonizing pain at this point

It was only 20 minutes after arriving at home that Hathaway’s water broke, and then labor progressed so rapidly that returning to the hospital was not an option. While Hathaway’s husband, Tristan, did all that he could to help his laboring wife, Moses called 911.

“The dispatcher was awesome” Hathaway told Mom.me. “He kept my sister calm, because when they first got on the phone, she was panicked and yelling and he calmed her down.”

According to KSL News, dispatcher Jeff Haycock answered the call and gave instructions to Moses, who then relayed them to Tristan, who was delivering the baby.

Baby Nicholas was born shortly thereafter and everyone was relieved when he started to cry. The family credits Haycock with helping to keep them calm and walking them through the delivery.

“He did an excellent job,” Moses told KSL News. “He just gave me step by step calmly, and he said, ‘You guys are doing a great job, and everything will be OK.’ That’s what I remember mostly from the phone call is that he was really there to comfort me as I was trying to coach them on what to do with the baby.”

EMTs arrived shortly after Nicholas was born, but Hathaway is understandably still upset that she had to deliver her baby at home.

“Being my first baby without having an epidural, it was a very painful experience and scary because none of us were prepared for a home birth," she explained.

And the scary moments didn't stop after Baby Nicholas was born.

“After having the baby, my blood pressure went dangerously low and the paramedics had to give me an IV and something to bring it back up so I could stop shaking," Hathaway told Mom.me.

Labor is an arduous process and can take a long time, but that doesn’t mean a woman doesn’t know her own body. Hathaway, having been through this process three times before, was confident that she was in active labor and that the baby would be coming soon. She feels cheated that her needs and wishes were overruled in her time of need.

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