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This is one of the hardest times in recent history to be a pregnant person. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything, but it can't change the fact that life goes on. People continue to get pregnant and continue to give birth even when hospitals are over capacity and families are quarantining themselves from the world.

It's been hard for pregnant people to hear stories about mamas having to give birth alone or be separated from their newborns because of the coronavirus, but these next three stories show that even in the hardest of times, mothers are strong.


This mama with COVID-19 gave birth to twins while in coma: 'Family is complete'

[Editor's note: The above photo was shared by Piedmont Healthcare. The babies are being watched by the photographer. To learn more about the American Academy of Pediatrics safe sleep recommendations please visit the AAP.]

Atlanta mother of four Monique Cook doesn't remember the birth of her twins, August and Angel, on March 24 because she was in a coma, fighting COVID-19 when they were born. But now Cook, the twins, her older two children and her husband, Andre, have all been reunited, she explained on TODAY.

"The worst part of that waking up, I look down and I have no big stomach, no babies," Cook explained in an interview with TODAY hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager. "I remember asking, 'Where are my babies?' That's when the young nurse said, 'Oh, your babies, they're fine.'"

Those little babies are now at home and Cook says she's so grateful to the medical staff who did everything they could to save her life and the lives of her twins.

"For somebody to fight for me that hard? It's meant for me to be here," she said. "I just want to tell them thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you so much, because they were my family that whole 11 days. ... Without them, I wouldn't be here."

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Cook continued: "Family is complete; everybody's home...Once they got home, it was like we were starting over. Forget the past month—now it's like our new start."

Congratulations on your new start, Monique. You are an inspiration and so are the health care providers who made this new start possible.

Mother who gave birth while in COVID-19 coma reunited with baby ❤️

Angela Primachenko

As a respiratory therapist, Angela Primachenko likely would have been on the front lines of the fight against coronavirus, but the pregnant health care professional's obstetrician advised her to stop working as the pandemic spread.

She left work in February while in her third trimester, but somehow, in late March she came down with a fever and was admitted to the same hospital where she'd recently worked, Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center in Vancouver, Washington. Eight days later she was on a ventilator and in a medically-induced coma. She was 33 weeks pregnant.

Primachenko's husband David and her twin sister, Oksana Luiten, were incredibly worried, and now they are incredibly relieved. Primachenko pulled through, and the mom of two says she is "living a miracle" as a coronavirus survivor. But she didn't just survive COVID-19—she gave birth while fighting it—and this week she was reunited with her baby.

"Our little sunshine is doing amazing!" Primachenko wrote on Instagram Thursday after a series of negative COVID-19 tests meant she was allowed to finally meet her daughter, Ava, in the NICU. According to Primachenko, little Ava is expected to be discharged this weekend.

Its been more than two weeks since Primachenko's second child was born on April 1, but Primachenko had no idea that even happened because she was still in the coma, fighting COVID-19. When she woke up on April 6 her belly was gone, and she learned she's given birth nearly a week earlier.

"It was truly a miracle," Luiten tells Motherly of her twin sister's survival and Ava's birth.

"She remembers looking down and not seeing her baby bump, she was scared, but the nurses and staff were the sweetest and they made her an 'it's a girl' sign and they assured her that her little girl was doing well." Luiten says.

The twin sisters were able to reunite a few days ago, and can't wait until the day they get to hang out together with Ava.

Primachenko was released from the hospital last weekend after 17 days in the hospital (10 of those spent intubated) and says she is so grateful for Ava's birth, even if she can't remember it.

She calls Ava her "little fighter" and credits hospital staff with keeping mother and daughter alive.

Primachenko isn't the only mama recently reunited with her baby after beating this illness. There is a lot to be thankful for right now, as this next story proves.

Viral video shows mom who survived COVID-19 meeting her baby for the first time ❤️

As Today reports, New York mama Yanira Soriano finally got to meet her son in April, almost two weeks after giving birth to him.

The cameras were rolling as Soriano, who recently recovered from COVID-19 was wheeled out Southside Hospital in Bay Shore New York with her 12-day-old son, Walter, in her arms.

He was born via emergency C-section and his mama was on a ventilator for 11 days.

Now, Soriano and baby Walter are finally at home with her husband and thier three older children. When she left the hospital to go back to them the medical staff lined the halls and clapped before her husband put Walter in her arms.

"It was this powerful, human moment," Dr. Benjamin Schwartz, chair of the Obstetrics and Gynecology department at Southside told Today.

"We needed this so badly. We need something to celebrate," he said.

This is certainly a moment worth celebrating. Thank you to all the doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and other medical staff who saved his mama and her baby. They are heroes and so is Soriano. She is one strong mama.

[A version of this post was published April 13, 2020. It has been updated.]

When I was expecting my first child, I wanted to know everything that could possibly be in store for his first year.

I quizzed my own mom and the friends who ventured into motherhood before I did. I absorbed parenting books and articles like a sponge. I signed up for classes on childbirth, breastfeeding and even baby-led weaning. My philosophy? The more I knew, the better.

Yet, despite my best efforts, I didn't know it all. Not by a long shot. Instead, my firstborn, my husband and I had to figure it out together—day by day, challenge by challenge, triumph by triumph.

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The funny thing is that although I wanted to know it all, the surprises—those moments that were unique to us—were what made that first year so beautiful.

Of course, my research provided a helpful outline as I graduated from never having changed a diaper to conquering the newborn haze, my return to work, the milestones and the challenges. But while I did need much of that tactical knowledge, I also learned the value of following my baby's lead and trusting my gut.

I realized the importance of advice from fellow mamas, too. I vividly remember a conversation with a friend who had her first child shortly before I welcomed mine. My friend, who had already returned to work after maternity leave, encouraged me to be patient when introducing a bottle and to help my son get comfortable with taking that bottle from someone else.

Yes, from a logistical standpoint, that's great advice for any working mama. But I also took an incredibly important point from this conversation: This was less about the act of bottle-feeding itself, and more about what it represented for my peace of mind when I was away from my son.

This fellow mama encouraged me to honor my emotions and give myself permission to do what was best for my family—and that really set the tone for my whole approach to parenting. Because honestly, that was just the first of many big transitions during that first year, and each of them came with their own set of mixed emotions.

I felt proud and also strangely nostalgic as my baby seamlessly graduated to a sippy bottle.

I felt my baby's teething pain along with him and also felt confident that we could get through it with the right tools.

I felt relieved as my baby learned to self-soothe by finding his own pacifier and also sad to realize how quickly he was becoming his own person.



As I look back on everything now, some four years and two more kids later, I can't remember the exact day my son crawled, the project I tackled on my first day back at work, or even what his first word was. (It's written somewhere in a baby book!)

But I do remember how I felt with each milestone: the joy, the overwhelming love, the anxiety, the exhaustion and the sense of wonder. That truly was the greatest gift of the first year… and nothing could have prepared me for all those feelings.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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As mamas we want our babies to be safe, and that's what makes what happened to Glee actress Naya Rivera and her 4-year-old son Josey so heartbreaking.

On July 13, the Ventura County Sheriff's Department announced the 33-year-old mother's body was found at Lake Piru, five days after her son was found floating alone on a rented boat. According to Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub, Rivera's last action was to save her son.

"We know from speaking with her son that he and Naya swam in the lake together at some point in her journey. It was at that time that her son described being helped into the boat by Naya, who boosted him onto the deck from behind. He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water," Ayub explained, adding that Rivera's son was wearing his life vest, but the adult life vest was left on the unanchored boat.

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Ayub says exactly what caused the drowning is still speculation but investigators believe the boat started drifting and that Rivera "mustered enough energy to get her son back onto the boat but not enough to save herself."

Our hearts are breaking for Josey and his dad right now. So much is unknown about what happened on Lake Piru but one thing is crystal clear: Naya Rivera has always loved her son with all her heart.

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