CLAYTON, N.M. — Thirteen weeks into her pregnancy, 29-year-old Cloie Davila was so “pukey” and nauseated that she began lovingly calling her baby “spicy.”
Davila’s condition was so bad that hospital staff gave her two liters of intravenous fluids. They also prescribed vitamins and medication to be taken daily. This will be Davila’s third child and she hopes the nausea means it’s another girl.
Davila had moved back to her hometown of Clayton, New Mexico, so her kids could grow up near family — her dad, aunts, uncles, and cousins all live in this remote community of about 2,800 people in the northeastern corner of the state. But Clayton’s hospital stopped delivering babies more than a decade ago.
Aside from being sick, Davila was worried about making the more than 3½-hour round trip to the closest labor and delivery doctors in the state.
“With gas and kids and just work — having to miss all the time,” Davila said. “It was going to be difficult financially, kind of.”
Davila then noticed a billboard promoting the use of Telehealth in her local hospital.
In rural areas, the process of having a child can be especially difficult. Small-town hospitals are facing declining local populations, and low reimbursement ….