‘Extreme Pain, but Also Extreme Joy’

Unlike Brown, Almodovar did not have the unmedicated birth she had hoped for. She labored for 17 hours at Perez’s birthing center, but the baby wasn’t progressing. Eventually, she decided to go to the hospital.

Panicked, she and her husband raced to the entrance and accidentally left their hospital bag in the car.

But once she was there, she said, “I felt really safe.”

After getting an epidural, “I felt calm and I felt at peace,” Almodovar said. “I was not worried about Covid at all, I just didn’t even think about it.”

She pushed for eight hours, but the baby, while not in distress, was not descending. The nurses told Almodovar that she could either keep pushing or choose to have a cesarean section. Eventually, Almodovar opted for the surgery and delivered a healthy girl.

Now, three months later, her scar is a little sore, but she’s otherwise feeling well. She said she doesn’t have any regrets about having gone to the hospital, and has found some solace in having retained control over her birth plan.

Another mother, Jes Anderson, had also tried to do an unmedicated birth, but was similarly transferred to the hospital after her labor didn’t progress. Her midwife, Drucker, had hospital admission privileges and continued to assist Anderson, who received an epidural and pushed for six more hours before delivering her first child, a boy.

“I never wanted to go to the hospital, but I’m grateful it was there,” said Anderson, who labored for a total of 31 hours.

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