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Chernobyl And The Aftermath: Told By My Mom


All right now… I just started binging on the HBO mini-series Chernobyl. And I was hooked after the first 15 minutes or so. I’m a huge Jarred Harris fan and I adore Emily Watson and Stellan Skarsgard as well. But the show itself is really gritty and scary and I love it. It’s easily the best TV show I’ve seen this year (sorry Game Of Thrones).

But let me tell you why it’s content hit a little close to home. First of all I was born in October 1986 in Skopje, in a country then known as Yugoslavia. Just 7 months after the catastrophic accident in the Chernobyl nuclear plant.

I should also add that I was born very prematurely. In fact I was born at just 6 months and 21 days, weighing at just 3 pounds and 5 ounces. Tiny right? Well, I wasn’t the only one in my generation, but I’ll get to that. My mother was 2 months pregnant with me when the accident in present day Ukraine happened and during her routine exam she was basically told just to abort me. There’s no way that the baby would be delivered unharmed after the exposure to the radiation.

She refused but thousands and thousands of women in my city (and my country) in the months of April, May and June 1986 aborted their children. You know… Because they were afraid that they would give birth to defective babies.

Fast forward to October 23rd. The day I was born.  My mom was in delivery room, and after the birth I was put in an incubator for 40 straight days. I was born way to early, with underdeveloped organs and was on the verge of death at least 3 times. But you know what she noticed in those 40 days during her hospital stay with me? She was one of the handfuls of women that actually gave birth. Practically less than 10 women gave birth in a span of 40 days, in a city with half a million citizens. You know why?

All those women who did abort their children were due to give birth around that time, but none of them did. All those children were aborted and the hospitals were practically empty in the months that followed, and the babies that were actually delivered were premature like me. That’s the scary stuff nobody talks about. And the city where I was born wasn’t even in proximity to the Chernobyl disaster. All those lives were gone, and a whole generation (my generation) wasn’t even born.

That was another scary story about Chernobyl… Told by my mom.


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