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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.]

14 sweet 'just thinking of you' gifts for every mama

A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs.

Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.

$70

Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.

$65

Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.

$45

Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!

$23

Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.

$30

Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.

$39

'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."

$35

Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.

$24

Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.

$22

Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!

$25

Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.

$32

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.

$105

Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.

$17

Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.

$68

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Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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Two weeks. I cannot believe that it has been two weeks since my second son was brought into this world. Two weeks since my husband and I welcomed baby Simon, the final piece of our little family.

But, here is the whopper: It has been two weeks since I have been the mom of a toddler and a newborn. I am now responsible for taking care of two tiny humans.

It absolutely blows my mind how much my life has changed in the last two weeks. It's definitely not all rainbows and unicorns around here, but things are going pretty well. This is me being cautiously optimistic.

What I have done is learned a lot about myself, my kids and my new life in the last two weeks.

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