ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

search

Tears of relief in Jerusalem, as Kyiv teacher who left just in time gives birth

Hani Kochav-Lev glued to heartbreaking updates of students’ families throughout labor; overjoyed she managed to return to Israel and baby not born in ‘impossible circumstances’

Nathan Jeffay is The Times of Israel's health and science correspondent

Hani Kochav-Lev (center) and her husband Eliezer, with their new baby and nurse Renanit Berman at Shaare Zedek Medical Center (courtesy of Shaare Zedek Medical Center)
Hani Kochav-Lev (center) and her husband Eliezer, with their new baby and nurse Renanit Berman at Shaare Zedek Medical Center (courtesy of Shaare Zedek Medical Center)

Amid tears of joy and relief, a Ukraine-based teacher has given birth back home in Jerusalem this week, after leaving the country just ahead of the Russian invasion.

The labor room at Shaare Zedek Medical Center was filled with emotion on Sunday as Hani Kochav-Lev gave birth to a healthy boy, while she was glued to updates of her students’ families, seeing news of their growing fear and misery. She even learned from an update that one of her students had witnessed a killing.

Kochav-Lev said it’s clear that if she and husband Eliezer had travelled to Israel later, or given birth early, she would have brought her son in to the world amid “impossible circumstances.”

They are now preparing to give their baby a name at a circumcision ceremony surrounded by friends and family in the safety of Jerusalem this coming Sunday.

Kochav-Lev, 26, said she felt “mixed emotions” in the labor room, as she lived the plight of the Kyiv community as it unfolded.

She said: “In the delivery room we were constantly updated on the news, emotions were mixed, a feeling of great joy mixed with sadness when the reports were received non-stop via the community’s WhatsApp group.

“Many people were hiding in a synagogue located underground, and a few of them managed to escape to Poland.”

Hani Kochav-Lev (left) and her husband Eliezer, with their new baby at Shaare Zedek Medical Center (courtesy of Shaare Zedek Medical Center)

The Kochav-Levs moved to Kyiv a year-and-a-half ago to work in the Jewish community, as educators. They hoped to give birth back in Israel unrelated to the conflict, but say their plan would have been derailed had they not seized a brief window before travel became impossible, and arrived with time to spare before the due date.

Surina Grisaro-Granovsky, head of maternal-fetal medicine at Shaare Zedek, told The Times of Israel on Friday, that “while every birth is joyful, this one was especially moving.”

She commented: “Hani’s relief was so clear. In the labor room, we all knew that if Hani had waited just a few days more before coming to Israel, she would have been giving birth in the very difficult and uncertain circumstances, cut off from family.”

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
image
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure: example@domain.com
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.