Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Story of Baby Switching

I'm working on the girls' first 3 months baby book this week and I have made a crazy discovery...

This is Joy.  She was born first.  She has two clamps on her umbilical cord.  The time stamp on this photo is 3:13am and the second baby wasn't born until 3:15am.

The doctor wrote down that he had put one clamp on Baby A and two on Baby B.  However, my doula took a video while Baby B was being born (time stamp 3:17am - so even if her camera time is off it's still the second baby) and you can see that while he may have put two scissor clamps on Baby B there weren't two of these little plastic clamps before she was handed off to the nurses.

The nurses put the little ID bands on the girls and listed this as Baby A.  Later when another nurse and Brian looked at what the doctor wrote down they were convinced that they had been switched.  So they took the bands off and switched them.  Incorrectly.

From then on everything is accurate, but I'm not exactly sure when the bands got switched.  I think based on later evidence that it was still Hope who needed the formula right at the beginning, but that was also when I was really out of it so I'm not sure.

We brought them home with the clamps still on and I painted their toenails then so I know they haven't been switched since.  One of the main reasons I can tell them apart in the birth photos, even when they're swaddled, is because Hope only has a birthmark on one eyelid while Joy has both.

At four months old they have personalities and differences and I'm not about to switch their names or the way we dress them (Hope in pink, Joy in other colors).  I suppose it doesn't really make that much of a difference, but to me, the first baby to be born was supposed to be Hope and the second Joy.  I like the way it flows better.  And I thought I was seeing some differences in their personalities based on who moved more in the womb, but now I wonder if I wasn't just projecting.  An interesting hypothesis.

Quite the story!


  1. What a crazy story! I can imagine that it was hard to tell them apart in the early hours after birth.

    Also - good idea about painting the girls' toes when you got home.

  2. Aren't you glad you don't have entailed property so this would be very important legally? Just think of Jacob and Esau.


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