Giving birth at home or in a car when you planned to deliver at a ʜᴏsᴘɪᴛᴀʟ or ʙɪʀᴛʜ ᴄᴇɴᴛᴇʀ can be very sᴄᴀʀʏ. Despite what you see on TV ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄᴀʟ ᴅʀᴀᴍᴀs, this is very ʀᴀʀᴇ in real life. But there are close to 9,000 births a year that happen at home and are unplanned or unattended. Recently, A Uᴋʀᴀɪɴɪᴀɴ mother was ғᴏʀᴄᴇᴅto give birth by candlelight at home with ɴᴏ ᴅᴏᴄᴛᴏʀs as ʙᴏᴍʙs ʀᴀɢᴇᴅ outside her ʙᴇsɪᴇɢᴇᴅ ғʟᴀᴛ near Kʏɪᴠ.
Anna Tymchenko, 21, and husband Volodymyr were left ᴛʀᴀᴘᴘᴇᴅ without ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄᴀʟ help when a ᴄᴏʟᴜᴍɴof Kʀᴇᴍʟɪɴ ᴍɪʟɪᴛᴀʀʏ ᴠᴇʜɪᴄʟᴇs approached. Aɪʀsᴛʀɪᴋᴇs had cut off the couple’s electricity and they had ɴᴏ heating or running water in their block of flats in Bᴜᴄʜᴀ, 30km ɴᴏrthwest of Kʏɪᴠ. The new parents ғᴇᴀʀᴇᴅ the ᴡᴏʀsᴛ when their baby came out ʙʟᴜᴇ and ᴅɪᴅɴ’ᴛ ᴄʀʏ – but broke down in tears themselves when the newborn started wailing. Anna said: ” I ɴᴇᴠᴇʀ imagined that I would give birth in such conditions. It was surreal. It was my first child and I ᴅɪᴅɴ’ᴛ kɴᴏw anything.” Initially, the plan was to give birth in the ʙᴀsᴇᴍᴇɴᴛ of the building, but Anna decided to stay in her apartment when ᴛᴇᴍᴘᴇʀᴀᴛᴜʀᴇs ᴘʟᴜᴍᴍᴇᴛᴇᴅ and she sᴛʀᴜɢɢʟᴇᴅ to ʙʀᴇᴀᴛʜᴇ from the ᴅᴜsᴛ. A ɢʏɴᴇᴄᴏʟᴏɢɪsᴛ in Bᴜᴄʜᴀ agreed to come and help but was sᴛᴏᴘᴘᴇᴅ in his ᴛʀᴀᴄᴋs by a Rᴜssɪᴀɴ sᴏʟᴅɪᴇʀ who broke his phone. Anna put her hope in Irina Yazova and Viktoria Zabrodskaya , her only neighbours with any ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄᴀʟ experience.
The women had only light from candles and freezing cold water from bottles as Anna went into ʟᴀʙᴏᴜʀ on March 7 while her apartment sʜᴏᴏᴋ from the ɪᴍᴘᴀᴄᴛ of ʙᴏᴍʙs nearby. Viktoria said:” When the baby’s ʜᴇᴀᴅ came out, we got sᴄᴀʀᴇᴅ. She was ʙʟᴜᴇ and we ᴅɪᴅɴ’ᴛ kɴᴏw what to do. Then Irina gently turned the baby’s ʜᴇᴀᴅ and she came out. She ᴅɪᴅɴ’ᴛ ᴄʀʏ at first – we started ʜɪᴛᴛɪɴɢ her, and then she cried and we all cheered.” Volodymyr broke down in tears as Alisa was delivered on March 8 – International Women’s Day.
Two days later an ᴇᴠᴀᴄᴜᴀᴛɪᴏɴ ᴄᴏʀʀɪᴅᴏʀ was agreed for Bᴜᴄʜᴀ and the family ғʟᴇᴅ to Kʏɪᴠ. Anna said:” On the way we saw ʜᴏʀʀɪʙʟᴇ sᴄᴇɴᴇs. I ɴᴇᴠᴇʀ thought that I would see such things in real life – only in movies. There were ᴅᴇᴀᴅ ʙᴏᴅɪᴇs ʟʏɪɴɢ on the road.”