Story #27. Giving Birth under the Shelling of Chernihiv

June 21, 2022
The story of Yulia, who had to give birth in Chernihiv during the shelling of the Russian military.

“On the first day of the war, our youngest son woke us up. The teacher wrote to the children that there was no need to go to school today because the war had begun. At first, we stayed at home, and then we went to the basement of the school, where we lived for 5 days.

Then we returned home because I was late in my pregnancy, and my kidneys had started hurting from sleeping on the floor in the basement. During the bombing, we hid in the corridor.

One day we were hiding in the basement and my son went to the store across the street. Suddenly, automatic bursts began, I was incredibly scared. I didn’t know what to do: run after my eldest son under fire or hide as far as possible with the child I carried under my heart.

When the war started, I was 36 weeks pregnant. It was difficult for me to decide on evacuation at such a late stage of pregnancy. And I didn't want to leave my husband, who joined the territorial defence. I wanted him to hold our newborn baby in his arms at least once.

I was afraid that I would have to give birth in the basement or at home without medical help. Thank God, I was able to be delivered to the hospital. There I gave birth in the hallway on the bed. It was impossible to give birth in the delivery room because there were windows there.

Less than an hour after the birth, shelling began near the maternity hospital. The windows shook, there was a strong blow. We had to run. Someone from the staff took my child, and they helped me get to the bomb shelter.

I am very grateful to the doctors and nurses of the hospital. They are on duty endlessly, they have no substitution, they live there. They just do their job, because no one else will do it. I really look forward to when I can return to my hometown and bow down to them.

Caring for a newborn baby was not easy for me. It was hell, 9 days and 9 nights of fighting for my son's life. In such conditions, he could simply get sick and die. There was no water, heating or light. And there was nowhere to buy medicines if they were needed.

In order to eat something, I, unfortunately, had to send my teenage sons to stand in lines for humanitarian aid and risk their lives. Russian soldiers were very fond of bombing crowds, so it was very risky.

We left Chernihiv on March 19, at the peak of the shelling, 2-3 days before the road bridge was destroyed. We rode in a column of cars and prayed to all the saints. Thank God we got out.

I unconditionally believe in Ukraine's victory. Now life around me goes on, I hear birds singing, flowers bloom, and I see the smile of my little son. I dream that the war ends and we return to our hometown. I have no other wishes," she said.


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