Women who are currently pregnant are facing new hurdles in health care as COVID-19 concerns change the way medical teams and medical centers operate.
Many extra precautions being taken, fewer (or no) extra people are being allowed in delivery room and there’s the chance that mother and newborn might have to be separated for some time after birth.
Angela Primachenko, 27, who was in her third trimester in March, faced both pregnancy and the virus, and very nearly lost her life and the life of her unborn child.
The respiratory therapist from Vancouver, Washington, knew what to look for, what precautions to take and how to keep herself safe. She has no idea how she caught the virus, but catch it, she did.
“She knew the risk,” Oksana Luiten, her twin sister, told CNN. “She took every precaution.”
By late March, Primachenko had been tested, and by March 26, she was in the ICU. It all began with a cough.
“Like, you know that kind of cough, and then for a while, for a while and then it kind of got a little bit worse, and then I started having a hard time breathing at night,” Primachenko told KPTV.
“When you’re that sick, you’re just fighting for your life,” she said. “My focus wasn’t on fear; it was just on getting through it.”
She stayed in a coma for 10 days, and when she woke up, she noticed her belly was gone. She had been induced with the permission of her husband, and her baby had already been in the world for five days.
“Obviously nobody expected that I was going to get that sick, so no, absolutely not, I did not expect to deliver my child,” she told NBC’s “Today.”
“After all the medication and everything I just woke up and all of a sudden I didn’t have my belly any more. It was just extremely mind-blowing.”
“That was emotionally unbelievable,” she elaborated to CNN. “It was just crazy to have to try to understand what happened the last 10 days, having to puzzle back together your life.”
By April 6, she was off the ventilator.
“Everyone did a standing ovation and just clapped me out of the ICU, which is so amazing and such a huge thing to be able to leave the ICU and go to the floor — it’s just the grace of God,” she told “Today.”
Since Primachenko had the virus, she said she won’t be able to meet her daughter until she gets negative results on two consecutive COVID-19 tests.
Thankfully, Primachenko’s husband David tested negative, so he has been able to spend time with their new daughter in the NICU. They named her “Ava.”
“It means ‘breath of life,”’ Primachenko explained. “So she’s our new little breath of life.”
While expressing how much she looked forward to catching up with her family’s newest addition, she had some words of encouragement to share with people who might face similar trials.
“That there’s hope,” she said. “That even in the hardest days and the hardest times that there’s hope and you can rely on God and people and community. The amount of community and people that were praying for me is just unbelievable. I was blown away, and I’m so incredibly thankful.”
“I believe because of the community and the people and everyone that believed in me,” she told CNN. “God just did a miracle to have me and my baby be healthy through this.”
“I feel like I’m a miracle walking,” she added to “Today.”
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