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When she began experiencing contractions early Friday morning, Erin Persia and her husband rushed from their home in Blackwood to Virtua Voorhees Hospital. Upon arrival outside the triage unit, Persia said she was told her husband would have to wait in the car during labor and delivery.
“They were like, 'OK, your husband has to wait in the car ... he can't come back with you because of everything that's going on," Persia told WPIV-TV in Philadelphia.
Rather than go it alone, Persia said she decided to leave the hospital and give birth at home. After about seven hours in labor, and with only the help of her husband, she delivered a baby girl around 10:30 a.m. from inside her family bathtub.
"I was already in labor for maybe seven hours, I was like, 'I can't do this for very long' and as soon as I said that, I felt her move down. He said, 'Should I call 911?' And I said, 'I don't think there's time'," she told the station.
The mother named her newborn daughter, who is her fourth child, Amelia Gracelyn Persia. In a Facebook post documenting her experience, Persia wrote:
“So we did a thing today, in our bath tub, just the two of us!
“Now presenting Amelia Gracelyn Persia. She’s literally perfect.
“I’ve never been more proud of myself or my husband. Thank you so so much to my sweet neighbor for coming over on a heart beat when I told her we needed her help and bless my parents heart who showed up just as she was born and helped me through every second after. Big shout out to my dad who went out and bought cake!”
“We are doing great. And have no clue how big she is. Stay tuned for deets.”
New Jersey ranked second in the nationwide tally of coronavirus cases and fatalities, recording at least 37,505 infections, with 917 deaths by Monday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University.