Paid Family Leave Has Stalled in Congress for Years. Here's Why That's Changing

By Abby Vesoulis,

Carrie Carpenter started as a full-time waitress at a South Dakota Cracker Barrel in 2016. Seven months later, she had her fourth child.

Before her daughter Celena was born that August, Carpenter was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. The temporary insulin deficiency resulted in additional doctor’s appointments and even higher medical bills, but it also meant that Carpenter had to deliver her baby as soon as she reached full-term.

During an emergency caesarean-section delivery, doctors realized Celena had her first bowel movement while still in the womb. The six-pound 14-ounce baby had sucked fecal matter into her tiny lungs and developed a serious bacterial infection. She would remain in a neonatal intensive-care unit for one month and home with an oxygen tank for another.