Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

On Sunday, Ukraine will mark its second Mom’s Day since Russia’s full-scale invasion started. For a lot of households, the day shall be much less of a celebration than a reminder of what struggle has wrought: loss of life, destruction, and separated households. For the Ukrainian ladies who grew to become moms in the course of the struggle, it’s all they’ve ever recognized.

Olena Mokhonko, an obstetrician at a maternity hospital in Chernihiv, in northern Ukraine, has helped ship as many as 70 infants a month because the struggle started final 12 months. As a physician, she felt duty-bound to remain within the metropolis regardless of the hazards she and her household confronted. “I needed to go to work as a result of I’m a physician who took an oath to assist others,” she says. “In my work, what I like probably the most is seeing a father cry and witnessing the enjoyment of fogeys as they welcome their youngster into the world.”

Nina along with her daughter within the basement the place the household have sheltered from bombing.

Serhii Korovayny—UNFPA Ukraine

Maryna along with her daughter Diana at dwelling in Chernihiv.

Serhii Korovayny—UNFPA Ukraine

Kateryna and her household on her daughter’s 1st birthday.

Serhii Korovayny—UNFPA Ukraine

Iryna along with her daughter Amelia at a park close to their dwelling in Chernihiv.

Serhii Korovayny—UNFPA Ukraine

Simply over per week into the Russian invasion, Mokhonko helped 4 Ukrainian ladies ship their infants, and in March this 12 months helped have fun the childrens’ first birthdays. Mokhonko says that the moms and their kids, whose portraits had been captured by photographer Serhii Korovayny, signify the power and resilience of Ukrainian ladies.

“They’re true heroines,” she says.

Learn Extra: The Ukrainian Mom on TIME’s Cowl Recounts Fleeing Her House With an Toddler

As many as 195,000 infants had been born in Ukraine final 12 months, in line with the United Nations Inhabitants Fund, the U.N.’s sexual and reproductive well being company. One in three had been delivered in UNFPA-supported hospitals, which have been topic to heavy bombardment in violation of worldwide regulation.

Olena Mokhonko, a physician and obstetrician, has delivered infants all through the struggle in her dwelling metropolis of Chernihiv, Ukraine.

Serhii Korovayny—UNFPA Ukraine

One in every of Mohenko’s 4 sufferers, Nina, gave delivery to her daughter Yulia in a hospital hall. This was a relative luxurious on the time, she recollects. When the missiles started raining down on the hospital, the ladies needed to be lowered into the basement bomb shelter. “It was pure horror,” Nina says. “Infants had been crying, ladies had been giving delivery.”

One other affected person, Kateryna, gave delivery to her daughter Sofia within the bunker that very same evening. “We spent the primary hours of her life underground,” she recollects. Although she and her daughter had been discharged the subsequent morning, what awaited them exterior the hospital was no totally different. Kateryna says she hid in her sister’s basement along with her new child for 3 days, with no warmth, mild, or water. “I needed to discover meals for the newborn someplace, as a result of I had no milk.”

Learn Extra: The Moms Returning to Ukraine to Rescue Their Youngsters

“My biggest concern was the potential for a bomb dropping on us,” says Maryna, who gave delivery to her daughter, Diana, within the hospital hall on the identical evening as Nina and Kateryna. “Fortunately, the expertise went easily.”

For Iryna, who gave delivery to her daughter Amelia through Cesarean part in a cabinet turned makeshift working theater, the struggle had already left an indelible mark on her life. Simply two days earlier than Amelia’s delivery, her husband, Serhiy, was killed making an attempt to defend their metropolis. “Amelia was my salvation,” Iryna says. “If it weren’t for her, I don’t know the way I’d have survived the whole lot; solely she gave me the power to dwell on.”

Nina and her kids enter the household’s basement the place they’ve sheltered from bombing in Chernihiv.

Serhii Korovayny—UNFPA Ukraine

Stocked cabinets within the basement the place Nina and her household have sheltered from bombing.

Serhii Korovayny—UNFPA Ukraine

Kateryna along with her two kids on her daughter’s 1st birthday in Ivanivka, Ukraine.

Serhii Korovayny—UNFPA Ukraine

Decorations for Sophia’s 1st birthday.

Serhii Korovayny—UNFPA Ukraine

Maryna along with her daughter Diana on her 1st birthday, in Chernihiv.

Serhii Korovayny—UNFPA Ukraine

Maryna shares photos taken in the course of the struggle since Diana’s delivery.

Serhii Korovayny—UNFPA Ukraine

A destroyed resort in Chernihiv metropolis middle.

Serhii Korovayny—UNFPA Ukraine

Iryna pushes Amelia in her pram of their neighborhood in Chernihiv.

Serhii Korovayny—UNFPA Ukraine

A playground within the snow close to Iryna’s dwelling in Chernihiv.

Serhii Korovayny—UNFPA Ukraine

Birthday decorations for Yulia’s 1st birthday.

Serhii Korovayny—UNFPA Ukraine

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Write to Yasmeen Serhan at [email protected].

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