Today is your one-month anniversary, my baby.
February 23: «Spring is coming, March is coming soon! Just a little longer and we’ll meet you, our spring flower!»
February 24: «Did you hear? Explosions…» — I wake up… I don’t want to believe it!!! The war had begun.
February 25: There’s the sound of an air raid siren and the roar of air defense systems. I’m standing in the corridor of the lower floor of the maternity hospital, which has turned into a laboratory / procedure room/ waiting room for people, doctors and pregnant women… it's turned into our SHELTER.
«Natasha, the operating theatre is on the sixth floor, but you can’t go there. You will go into labor here.»
People in jackets come and go. Doctors cover me with a surgical blanket, the anesthetist tries to distract me from what is happening, he jokes and counts the explosions: «Natasha, are you okay? Just look at me.»
Missiles are flying past the windows. I hear the roar of air defense systems and planes. Personnel cover up windows and expectant mothers with mattresses, they bring more and more mattresses. A few hours down in the basement, waiting for the bombing…
We get the all clear signal. Now, people put the same mattresses on the floor in the hallway. We’ll sleep on them for the first three nights of your life. Right here. In the hallway where I heard your first cry. There’s a curfew for three days. Your dad and I are together with you. We won’t let anyone hurt you. On the third day of your life, we came home. There’s the crib. You didn’t have a chance to sleep in it …
We get packed, taking the bare essentials. An air raid warning. Explosions. Two days in a shelter in the basement of a house. You’re very cold and your dad and I take turns to keep you warm. You are 5-days old. I stand by the window. I just want to feel those minutes of being at home. I am thinking. I see a missile flying into the Kyiv TV tower. No time to think. We need to get you out of here.⠀
Daddy must stay home. I must go with you. You still don’t know what it is — SEPARATION… No words can describe how a piece of my heart breaks off. But it must be done; this is the only right decision.
It takes us two days to get to Lviv. You spent two days of your first week on the road… I teach you to love travelling from your first days. I’m kidding. I don’t know where I got the strength from to joke. In Lviv we receive extraordinary kindness from people. This is Ukraine. It’s beyond any explanation. You can only feel it. You can hear air raid warnings here, too. Your first photo shoot. Your first night in bed.
You are 9-days old. On the 10th day of your life, you are thousands of kilometers away from home… We are in Croatia. We live with wonderful people. They sheltered us. You met your older brother. He loves you with an extraordinary love and says that you smell like a cupcake coated in powdery sugar. You are growing. You are brilliant. You are a fairy tale. You give me strength now. You give meaning to life. You make me smile and live these days and help me not to go crazy… March 24 It’s been a month away from home. A month of torture for our country. But they will not get away with it.
March 25, 2022 Your first birthday. You’re only a month old today, but already you’ve had more «adventures» than most people can accumulate in a lifetime. But let such adventures never, ever happen again in your life. I love you so! You are the universe. You are our planet. Little Ukrainian girl ❤ I believe that soon we will come back to your native, peaceful, and beautiful city where you were born. And your DAD will hold you in his arms. And I will introduce you to your grandparents. And we will celebrate the victory of our country.