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These stories of mothers reunited with babies born during COVID-19 will make you 😭

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."

😭

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.]

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Tenth & Pine: Gender-neutral and butter-soft basics for littles + bigs

In 2016, after a stage four endometriosis diagnosis and a 10 year battle with infertility, Tenth & Pine founder Kerynn got her miracle baby, Ezra Jade. As a SAHM with a Masters in Business, she wanted to create a brand that focused on premium quality, function, comfort, and simplicity.

She sought out premium, all natural fabrics and factories that shared her core values, practicing environmentally friendly manufacturing methods with fair and safe working conditions for employees. As a result, her made in the USA, gender-neutral designs check all the boxes. The sustainable, organic basics are perfect for everyday wear, family photos and any adventure in between.

Lucy Lue Organics: Sustainably and ethically-produced modern baby clothes

This family-owned and operated business was started by a mama who wanted out of corporate America after the birth of her son. Thoughtfully designed to mix-and-match, Lucy Lue's sustainably and ethically produced collection of modern organic baby clothes only uses fabrics that are "environmentally friendly from seed to seam." Their gorgeous, earthy tones and comfy, minimalist styles make the perfect addition to first wardrobes from birth through the first years.

Sontakey: Simple bracelets that speak your mind

Sontakey has been such a hit in the Motherly Shop that we knew it was time to expand the line. And since these beautiful mantra bands look so stunning stacked, more options = more fun.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.



Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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As a mom, I say the phrase 'let me just…' to my kids more times a day than I can count.

Yes, I can help you log into your class, let me just send this email.
Yes, I can play with you, let me just make one more call.
Yes, I can get you a snack, let me just empty the dishwasher.

I say it a lot at work, too.

Yes, I can write that article, let me just clear my inbox.
Yes, I can clear my inbox, let me just finish this meeting.
Yes, I can attend that meeting, let me just get this project out the door.

The problem is that every 'let me just' is followed by another 'let me just'... and by the time they're all done, the day is over, and I didn't do most of the things I intended—and I feel pretty bad about myself because of it.

I wasn't present with my kids today.
I didn't meet that deadline.
I couldn't muster the energy to cook dinner.
The house is a mess. I am a mess. The world is a mess.

It's okay, I tell myself. Let me just try again tomorrow.

But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes and the list of things I didn't get to or didn't do well bears down on my shoulders and my heart, and all I can think is, "I am failing."

And I think that maybe I'm not alone.

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