After giving birth to a baby girl, a woman in India decided to try and get a boy instead. She told authorities the hospital had swapped her baby with that of the mother with whom she shared a room.
According to The Times of India, Premila Sahani and Saheda Ansari both gave birth last week within minutes of each other. As DNA tests have now confirmed, Sahani had a girl, while Ansari had a boy. But Sahani tried to orchestrate a switch.
That alone is sad enough, but what's even sadder is what happened to the babies while the whole mess got sorted out and Sahani was caught in her lie.
In the seven days it took to get conclusive proof of whose child was whose, those poor little newborn babies were admitted to the hospital instead of being taken home. They were separated from their parents, and neither mother was allowed to breastfeed.
Can you imagine missing the first week of your child's life? Can you imagine planning to breastfeed and having someone else give them formula instead?
It makes me teary just thinking about it, and it makes me angry that one woman could so selfishly cause another such pain.
There's no punishment that could come close to making up for the loss Ansari and her family suffered.
It also hits close to home for me because my baby was actually switched at birth, for a brief while.
I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl about 20 months ago. She was fine, but needed to spend a few hours in the special care nursery after the delivery.
I kept calling down, asking when she'd be brought up, but when she was ... she was a he.
"Here he is!" the nurse said as she wheeled in an incubator ... with someone else's baby.
The whole mess was sorted out quickly (and a bit heatedly), and I got my daughter.
But the fact that such an accidental swap even came close to happening is terrifying ... though not as much so as the thought of this woman doing it intentionally.
Image via Matt Culpepper/Flickr