Ukrainian woman 39 weeks pregnant hides in bomb shelter with looming fear of hospital accessibility

Besides survival, all she can think about is how she is going to give birth in the middle of a war zone. She's due this week.

ByLuz Pena via KABC logo
Tuesday, March 1, 2022
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As the war in Ukraine continues, we are hearing the story of a woman who is 39 weeks pregnant and hiding in bomb shelter.

UKRAINE -- As the war in Ukraine continues, we are hearing the story of a woman who is 39 weeks pregnant and hiding in bomb shelter.

Elina Brynza is no longer decorating the nursery to welcome their new born. Instead, she and her husband are gathering items and constantly racing to their bomb shelter.

"Here is our shelter. We have to go there with my little baby, our friend and my husband. We sit here and we have chairs. Some warm clothes. We don't have heating, but we are thinking about it now," described Elina Brynza, as she walked down the storage area turned bomb shelter.

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Elina and her husband run to the bomb shelter four to five times a day.

"We hear something happening in the air or something else and it can be a rocket or a plane. We take our small daughter and run to our garage to this hole, and we can sit in here for half an hour or 3 hours," Brynza.

Once gun fire ceases, they come out and run back home.

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ABC7 News reporter Luz Peña spoke with her during that small window, when she felt safe to be inside her home.

Besides survival, all she can think about is how she is going to give birth in the middle of a war zone.

Elina's due date is this week.

"I'm afraid," said Elina Brynza and added, "How we can get to the hospital? I don't know how that will be. Today we went to the hospital and they are also afraid, and they don't know what will be tomorrow or in two hours in our city."

Elina Brynza is praying there's a break in the gunfire giving her enough time to get to a hospital. Meanwhile, many pregnant women across Ukraine are giving birth in underground bomb shelters at hospitals across the region.

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Nadia Gordynsky is the president of Save a Life International, a nonprofit that helps women in pregnancy crisis.

"We are concentrating to all our clients, women who we are already helping. Single moms, who already gave birth to their babies. We try to transport them out of the shooting areas, out the danger zone and relocate them so those are women who are mostly our clients but right now. For example, from Zaporizhia 30 people just arrived like an hour before this," said Gordynsky.

Gordynsk said they helping many women flee.

"A lot of people are calling our centers so this is not (the) only people we are helping but we are helping everybody," said Gordynsky and added, "God gives unnatural strength to people. Right now we continue to pray day and night and we really believe that God has a power and today we see that there is a breaking point. That's it, Ukraine is not going to get destroyed."

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As to Elina, she's holding on to her faith and canceling the noise of war for her one year old while focusing on welcoming new life into this world.

"We want to give him the name Mark," said Elina Brynza.