“We were expecting the baby to be born before October 7, but it happened early.” This is how Anahit Ghazaryan from Getavan village of Martakert region, NK begins the story of her labor on the way to displacement from Artsakh.

“Our village was right on the front line. My husband was in service: he is a traffic policeman. He was at work in the morning. When everything started, we went to our neighbor’s house. We went there and stayed until 4:00 p.m., when our village head announced that the enemy was approaching, we should leave the village and go to a safe place. I took whatever I could grasp of my child’s (2-year-old Marinka’s) clothes and we left. The shots were heard,” says the woman and remembers that she went to the village hospital with her daughter and her husband’s mother.

“I was in the hospital as a pregnant woman, and there were several sick children. Then I was taken out of the village in an ambulance along with two wounded people. The village was displaced; only men and those in service remained there. They stayed only until the night. When they were told that that was it, that they were going to hand over the village, they also left.”

In Stepanakert, the pregnant woman first hid in the basement of a residential building with her daughter and her husband’s mother. The residents of the building gave them food and blankets, and in the morning, they went to the airport, the main base of Russian peacekeepers.

“There was a messy situation, cold, nobody knew what to do. There was no information from anybody. There, my husband came, reached us. We stayed in different places for several days, but then we left in the personal car of the head doctor of our village. At night my labor pains started. At that time, an ambulance passed by us, but I didn’t want them to stop for me: I thought it was transporting the wounded. Our doctor asked the Russian peacekeepers on the way, agreed with them, they opened the road and started escorting us. We reached Mets Shen, then Hakari bridge. The Azerbaijanis stopped the car. When they saw that I was pregnant, they let me go. At that moment, the ambulance that passed a few hours ago was coming back> They picked me up, took me to the hospital and the baby was born immediately.”

Fortunately, the baby was born healthy, but it was weighing 2.5 kg and was 48 cm tall. Anahit says that before and after her, different women gave birth, all of their children were small. According to her, the reason was not only the lack of food and everything necessary during the last weeks of the blockade, but also the growing tension and fear of uncertainty among everyone, especially pregnant women.

The family is currently living on rent in Hrazdan, Armenia, but plans to find another apartment in the near future.

Ani Gevorgyan

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