חלי פריזנט לידת קורונה
The moment Heli Prizant's son was born
Photo: Ziv Koren
Heli Prizant in the delivery room

The lonely childbirth of a COVID mother

Having tested positive for coronavirus, Heli Prizant was not allowed to have her husband with her as she had a C-section and was immediately separated from her new baby son; her dramatic delivery was documented by award-winning photographer Ziv Koren

Ynet |
Published: 01.16.21, 13:38
"Had this been my first time giving birth, I would probably be in deep depression," said Heli Prizant after giving birth to a healthy baby boy last week at Sheba Medical Center.
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  • The 33-year old, who has two young children at home, had to deliver her child under extraordinary circumstances due to the coronavirus pandemic.
    6 צפייה בגלריה
    חלי פריזנט לידת קורונה
    חלי פריזנט לידת קורונה
    Heli Prizant in the delivery room
    (Photo: Ziv Koren)
    After receiving a positive test for COVID-19 in her third trimester, Heli was immediately hospitalized and placed in isolation in the coronavirus maternity ward.
    "I was sitting alone in a room, having been told I must not set a single foot outside. No one was allowed near me, to help me. I couldn't stop crying," she says.
    "I was tested a few days earlier because we had seen friends who later turned out to have been infected at the time. My first test returned a negative result but after my daughter was confirmed to have COVID-19, I went for a second one."
    And that test was positive.
    6 צפייה בגלריה
    חלי פריזנט לידת קורונה
    חלי פריזנט לידת קורונה
    Heli Prizant at Sheba Medical Center before giving birth to her son
    (Photo: Ziv Koren)
    Heli was already scheduled for a caesarean section, but the doctors decided to deliver the baby sooner. She had little time to prepare for what was to come next.
    "I called everyone I had been in contact with in recent days, to urge them to get tested," she said.
    "I had no idea how I would go through delivery on my own, if I would be able to care for my baby or who would be there for him."
    Heli's husband Daniel was only allowed to see her briefly before she was wheeled into surgery. He was told he would not be able to see the baby after the birth either.
    6 צפייה בגלריה
    Heli Prizant and husband Daniel kiss before the birth of their son
    Heli Prizant and husband Daniel kiss before the birth of their son
    Heli and Daniel Prizant share a kiss before she was taken away to give birth to their son
    (Photo: Screenshot)
    Award-winning photographer Ziv Koren was in the operating theatre with the medical team. Heli had given her permission for Koren to be present at her baby's birth.
    6 צפייה בגלריה
    חלי פריזנט לידת קורונה
    חלי פריזנט לידת קורונה
    The moment Heli Prizant's son was born
    (Photo: Ziv Koren)
    "She was amazing throughout the process, but the whole scene was surreal," Koren says.
    "I saw a woman alone, surrounded by people in protective gear and face masks who could not offer her any emotional support," he says.
    "I've photographed many deliveries in my time but never one quite like this. Even so, the baby came out waving his little hands as if to say 'I am here despite everything.'"
    6 צפייה בגלריה
    חלי פריזנט לידת קורונה
    חלי פריזנט לידת קורונה
    Heli Prizant's baby boy a moment after birth
    (Photo: Ziv Koren)
    Even after her successful delivery and arrival of her healthy baby son, Heli was still worried.
    "He was taken away from me immediately," she says. "He needed medical attention and supervision and I wasn't even allowed to touch him. I was so afraid he would be infected."
    Mother and child were separated and the infant was taken to a special nursery for care.
    "I feared whether I would be able to bond with my baby after being separated from him or if he would respond to me at all," Heli says.
    Two days later, she decided to check herself and her newborn son out of the hospital.
    6 צפייה בגלריה
    חלי פריזנט לידת קורונה
    חלי פריזנט לידת קורונה
    Heli Prizant sees her newborn baby for a brief moment before being separated due to her COVID-19 infection
    (Photo: Ziv Koren)
    "I still haven't kissed my baby," she says, "but being at home is much easier. The doctors assured me that even if he is infected, his illness would be very mild."
    If nothing else, his birth is well documented, Heli says with a smile.
    "That is why I agreed to allow Ziv to photograph the birth. He was very gentle and made sure not to invade my privacy.
    "The pictures are incredible and they will be part of our family history."
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