Heartfelt gratitude – Hanna Mostova

Hanna Mostova

Head of the obstetrics department of the Dnipropetrovsk regional clinical hospital, named after I. I. Mechnikov

Everyone was on edge, strung out. Pregnant women fleeing the war began to arrive at our hospital. They gave birth in our bomb shelter, with air raid sirens wailing. There are no words to describe these minutes in the operating room. When you extract the baby, it screams, and the umbilical cord pulsates in your hands. And no matter how hardened or collected you are, your heart breaks to pieces.

On February 24, everything turned upside down; the doctors were on edge, shaken because they did not understand what to do or how to go on.

But we have a responsibility to uphold. I also have two children I need to protect. But if I had left, what would have happened here? So I sent my children to a safe place and stayed behind to do my job. We have our vanguard here.

Pregnant women were nervous and afraid. They planned to give birth in their cities and hospitals, but it was what it was.

Some fled from Donetsk to Kharkiv in 2014, and now explosions caught up with them there, too. They ran to us, looking for shelter. We had to do everything with extra care so that the woman could go further abroad as soon as possible. We had no margin for error. We facilitated many births, and we carried out our duties well in every case!

We had the basement floor rebuilt: beds, operating tables, and lamps were put there.

Hospital management and volunteers provided all medicines and necessities. We did everything quickly to arrange safe conditions for women to give birth. When the first sirens wailed, the first explosions began, they ran downstairs - and gave birth there. This scene is impossible to describe. You have to live through it to understand. You feel this tight string inside you, this pressure that will remain with you forever.

Now I can smile talking about this, but then...

Surgeries and cesarean sections from eight in the morning until sunset. Patients kept arriving. It was taxing. But when the sirens started wailing at night, we turned on the "Stephania" song. And this moment, when a woman in labour is on the operating table, sirens are wailing, a large flag of Ukraine is flying outside big panoramic windows, "Stephania" is on and... a newborn baby is crying. These moments are impossible to convey in words, these feelings. I'm talking about it now, and I'm crying. Life goes on, thanks to and despite everything.

I don't think that we did anything heroic.

This is our daily work, and we do what we can. We hold the line at the beginning of life, and we must do everything for our future, children, and motherland.