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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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Products that solve your biggest breastfeeding challenges

Including a battle plan for clogged ducts!

When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.

$23

Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.

$20

Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.

$12.50

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.

$47

boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.

$25

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.

$59

Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.

$36

Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.

$99

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This viral post about the 4th trimester is exactly what new mamas need right now

"We are alone. Together. You are surrounded all the other mothers who are navigating this tender time in isolation. You are held by all of us who have walked the path before you and who know how much you must be hurting. You are wrapped in the warm embrace of mama earth, as she too settles into this time of slowness and healing."

Artist and teacher Catie Atkinson at Spirit y Sol recently shared a beautiful drawing of a new mom crying on a couch—leaking breasts, newborn baby, pile of laundry and what we can only assume is cold coffee, included. Everything about the image is so real and raw to me—from the soft stomach to the nursing bra and the juxtaposition of the happy wallpaper to the palpable vulnerability of the mother—I can almost feel the couch underneath me. I can feel the exhaustion deep in this woman's bones.

My heart feels the ache of loneliness right alongside hers. Because I remember. I remember the confusion and uncertainty and love and messy beauty of the fourth trimester so well. After all, it's etched in our minds and bodies forever.

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