One of the most pronounced fears many new parents have is being handed the wrong baby at some point while in the hospital. At the hospital where my kids were born, neither of my babies left my sight from the moment they came out of me to, more or less, the moment we went home. We all had ID bracelets that couldn't slip off and my babies had alarm tags on their ankles. It was pretty secure.
But in other parts of the world, things are not as secure. And in Jodhpur, India, one story is particularly tragic. Two sets of parents who gave birth the same day were told they had a son. One of them, in fact, had a daughter. And now, nobody knows which one.
The boy was brought to the mother (who they are now saying isn't the mother). She believes it's her baby as anyone would. And now the hospital is saying otherwise and a baby girl has been abandoned by both parents who say she isn't theirs.
It's a tragedy any way you slice it and, in many ways, it's hard to blame the parents here. Would you trust the hospital in this case? I know I wouldn't.
Those early days are so important, though, both to baby and parents. They are the days when a mother sets up her milk supply, where she bonds with her baby, and where baby learns about the world outside of her mother's body. It isn't the time for baby to stay alone in her bed, far from the arms of her loving parents.
These images in my mind, of this poor baby girl, lying all alone, break my heart as a mom. And while I understand these parents were told something different, isn't it possible for one of them to love this baby while they wait for the results? Imagine the heartbreak one set of parents will encounter when they realize their baby was alone all that time.
If only the DNA test were faster. Every day this baby is alone is another day she doesn't have the warmth and love all humans need to grow well and strong. And every day this mother is separated from her biological child is another day she can't nurse her baby or hold her in her arms. It's just heartbreaking.
If you were these parents, what would you do?
Image via beelerspace/Flickr