Ultrasound Told the Tale
“I’m an ultrasound tech in the military. Had a lady come in for what was supposed to be here first-trimester Ultrasound. She was there with her husband and as I was scanning and talking with them it came out that the husband had only just come back from his deployment. When I started the exam I asked the mom when the first date of her last menstrual period was. The date she gave me should have made the baby 9-10 weeks. This lined up with the dad’s return from his deployment. As soon as I put the transducer down I knew the baby wasn’t 9-10 weeks. Yikes. I continue scanning and the first measurement put the baby at 22ish weeks. When you measure head or abdomen circumference it puts the gestational age on the screen.
The dad glimpsed it and asked what it was and I said just some info on the baby. I did my best to block the view and when they asked questions about the baby I told them to speak with the OB doc. I wasn’t about to have them blow up and fight in the exam room. When they walked out, they were happy.”
He Took Responsibility
“I am a nurse. Once had a couple come in, just them. The father was black and the mother was white. The father was so involved, so ecstatic about him becoming a father for the second time with this women. Nothing really seemed off, until she started pushing. The baby girl came out completely white, blonde hair and blue eyes. Usually, black babies come out a little pale, but this was just straight up white. We had to usher the father out for fear of him becoming violent, but he just sat outside the room, on the ground with his face in his hands. That was one of the saddest moments I think I’ve ever seen with a father, besides stillbirth.
Odd thing after though, the mom didn’t want the baby and wanted nothing to do with the ‘father,’ probably out of guilt.
So she left the responsibility of this baby and their other 2-year-old boy to this man who didn’t even question taking on this child.”
This Turned Out To Be A Happy Ending
“My cousin was an obstetrics nurse in a central European country. There were two women were in the maternity ward. Sadly, one lady had delivered a stillborn baby and was terribly upset. She told my cousin that she and her husband had been trying for a baby for many years without success. She had difficulty conceiving, and they had a couple of miscarriages. She and her husband were overjoyed to carry a baby to term. The husband was not present in the ward that day, but the lady said he would be devastated to find out there was no baby.
The other lady delivered a healthy baby but was also upset.
They were poor and already had 4 children at home. Their finances were stretched. She did not want to look after yet another baby. Her husband was very upset she was pregnant again (not that he was blameless, but that’s a different story). He was at work and was not at the hospital that day.
My cousin talked to the other nurses. No paperwork had been completed. So the staff put both women in the same room with the one healthy baby and suggested they may want to talk.
Forty minutes later, the lady without a child was holding the healthy baby.
Both women looked happy and relieved. Few words were spoken, but the paperwork was written up by the staff to reverse the records of the two births. The lady who suffered a stillbirth went home with the baby she wanted and the other lady returned, relieved, to her home and the four other kids.
They were of the same ethnic background and had similar features so the swap probably went undetected.”
Bad News X 2
“I’m a nurse in a level 4 neonatal ICU. We service the sickest of the sick from our state and the surrounding states, so we see it all.
We had a baby that was sick as snot. Lo and behold we discovered its blood/spinal fluid was septic with herpes. In most babies, we avoid this by treating herpes while the Mom is pregnant.
In this case, the mom didn’t even know she was a carrier. So where did it come from?
This is the awkward and sickening moment when everyone in the room realized where herpes came from. Turns out, the father had an affair and contracted the virus from his lover.
So yeah, while this woman’s baby is on the verge of death, she finds out her husband has been cheating on her and his cheating butt is the reason their baby is sick.”
She Didn’t Know Till She Was An Adult
“I’m a nurse. I had an older male patient who was in for anemia with critically low hemoglobin levels, receiving a few units of blood. I’d been taking care of him the last couple of days, and his daughter was visiting at the time with the patient’s wife and him. We had to do our 2 nurse identification process for the blood, where we go over the name, ID numbers, and blood type for confirmation before hanging it on the patient.
When we were going through it, the daughter stops us and asks us what blood type we just said. I didn’t really understand why at the time, but I told her again, and she got really concerned we may be using the wrong blood.
She said that couldn’t be right because she was an anatomy professor, and there was no way the crossmatch could be right because she was AB, and she knew her mom had type A, so her dad couldn’t possibly be A also.
I didn’t think much of it and went back to the doctor to ask him for another crossmatch, and he was like, ‘Oh, yeah, she might not be his daughter then.’ We ordered another crossmatch, and sure enough, it came back as an A blood type. She just sat in the corner really quiet the rest of the day with a really sad look on her face.
Her mom and dad didn’t really get what was going on, but I know she had some idea.”
How Many Fathers Are In The Dark?
“I was an intern (what you have to do after finishing your medical degree) and checked on a mother, father and baby’s blood type (among other things), handing the results to the nurse and tell her to get them done again.
I pointed out the lab should pay some more attention this time. The nurse and patient are confused, so I explain to them how blood groups work and how the result has to be wrong. The patient asks me if I am under the medical oath (meaning I can’t tell her husband or others, using specific names).
I answered that I am not allowed talking about her medical record with anyone. She just nods and says the blood test is most likely correct, but I am not allowed to tell the father – her husband (since science says he isn’t the biological father).
Kinda scared me a bit how easy she said that. Made me wonder how many people fathers are out there not knowing about their children.”
She Lied To Everyone
“I worked as a lab tech before I became a nurse. We had a set of twins in the NICU that were super early and the mom was still in the OR getting sewed up from the cesarean. I was drawing Baby B’s blood when mom was wheeled over to Baby A’s isolette.
She was crying and said, ‘Oh thank god you’re not black! I have been so worried for the last 7 months.’
So newborn babies, especially when they’re born early, are very pink, almost red. So even if a baby was part-black, their skin isn’t necessarily dark yet.
But looking at these babies, it was obvious they were going to be black. The shape of the face, the texture of the hair, and Baby B that I was working on had an intense Mongolian spot.
A few weeks later, my NICU nurse friend told me that the babies were now on a ‘no-info status’ security alert, meaning we can’t give anyone information about them, can’t refer to them by name, etc.
She said there was a huge fight because the mom’s husband (white guy) obviously noticed that the babies were half black and that mom had cheated on him and got pregnant. The real dad (black guy) came in and didn’t realize the mom was even married.
Those poor babies.”
Every Potential Father Was There
“My father is an OB/GYN, so he has some good stories. His latest story is about a women who came to his office with her husband and her boyfriend. They don’t know who the father is, and they can’t find out until the baby is born, so both men want to be there during doctor appointments and the birth.
The two men were surprisingly cordial with each other but I’m betting a paternity test will be run before the umbilical cord is even cut.”
She Knew Things Were Not Good
“I am a nurse working in labor and delivery.
Most of the time if the mom thinks the baby may not be her boyfriends/husbands they will just have their friend/sister/mom with them there for the delivery and have the dad come to the hospital/room after seeing the baby.
No guarantees because babies can change a lot over a couple weeks.
I have a had a patient’s husband get upset about the baby being too light (they were both black) until his mom smacked him and told him that’s what he looked like when he was born.
Recently I had something I thought was interesting happen. A girl comes in in labor with her boyfriend, sister, and a friend. The boyfriend doesn’t seem too engaged during the process but that’s not uncommon.
The baby is born and is fine, sister sends dad to get some stuff. Note here all people involved are Hispanic and only speak Spanish. My specific medical Spanish is pretty decent and I can get you through an epidural or delivery, most things that come up pretty well but I am not fluent.
So as soon as the dad leaves the sister is like I have a question for you and then process to say something I can’t understand at all. I try to clarify but I’m just not getting it, I offer to go get the translator.
She’s like no I don’t want it to be official. She whips out her phone and through Google translate asks, ‘How can we get a paternity test in the hospital?’ I then have to explain that we really don’t do that but you can get one at CVS.
They tell me that the baby doesn’t look like the other child of this mom and this guy and that it might be someone else’s but they wanna check before telling him. So I just apologize and tell them how they can get a DNA test at CVS and they are like $50.”
Perhaps Another Test?
“I’m a NICU nurse that was floating to the nursery, a baby was born with a genetic abnormality (had one missing limb) but was otherwise doing fine. The pediatrician was in the parents’ room discussing with them the follow-up type stuff for the baby – appointments with a geneticist, an orthopedic surgeon, etc.
At some point in the conversation, the mother asked what the baby’s blood type was, to which the pediatrician responded ‘A+.’
The father of the baby insisted that was impossible, as he AND his wife (this was their third baby) were both O-.
The pediatrician got totally flustered and came back to the nursery to verify the lab results – baby really was A+. We even went so far as to re-draw the baby’s blood and re-test it – nope, A+. There is absolutely no chance that the baby belonged to that man.
The husband left the hospital soon after and didn’t show up again until it was time to pick up the mom and baby to bring them home. The mom spent the rest of the hospital stay lying alone, in the dark, mostly hiding under the covers.”
She Knew It Would Be Bad
“My brother was doing his OBGYN rotation. His story is that in the first birth he assisted, the woman had her husband leave the room. Seems odd these days but he had the husband step out for the comfort of the patient.
The baby is delivered and the color was not even close. Lily white parents and very black baby. She wants my brother to stay to talk to her husband who is about to come back and he bails on the whole situation.
She was playing the odds all the way to the end.”
“I used to work in the newborn nursery at a hospital. We got the babies right from delivery, cleaned them up, footprinted them, checked vitals, etc. Dads usually came in with the newborns. This dad comes in with this baby.
Dad is white, mom is white, the baby is very obviously not white. The dad was very quiet standing next to this baby, watching us clean it up. He says quietly, ‘I don’t think this is my baby.’ You could tell he was absolutely devastated.
We advised him not to sign the birth certificate until he was sure. Not sure what happened after we sent the baby back out to mom, but I felt awful for the guy.”
“My mother used to work in a medical lab many decades ago. One day, another woman who worked in the building was visiting the lab, and during the conversation, mentioned that she was blood type X, her husband was type Y, and their child was type Z (I don’t remember the specific types).
One of the younger lab techs blurted out ‘that’s impossible,’ and the doctor in the lab just stared daggers at him.
Luckily, the visitor either didn’t notice or didn’t care, and moved along shortly after. My mom still remembers it as one of the most awkward moments she’d ever been privy to.”
At Least It Turned Out OK
“My aunt is a nurse in the maternity ward. She had a couple come in where they were both very black. The lady has a baby and it is white. Like, totally pale, no trace of any pigment. They put the baby on her mom and the mom starts yelling about how this isn’t her baby and they stole her baby (in all fairness, you can be very confused during/after delivery, it wasn’t stupidity), just sobbing and freaking out and the father is just sitting there and looks very confused because even he’s realizing that even if she did cheat, there is no way the baby would be THAT white.
The doctor and nurses are trying to assure her that this is her baby and the skin usually darkens later.
Come to find out, when he called his mom, she pointed out that they have a second cousin who is albino and maybe baby got that gene.
Turns out that’s what happened- the baby was albino.”
“I worked labor and delivery. Had a very young mother come in, accompanied by her parents. She was just 12-13 and parents looked stuffy and the dad kept telling her should’ve had an abortion, she was too young, etc.
Her mother was silent the whole time but leaked tears. While she labored, I received a call from a very young boy who said he was her boyfriend. His trembly voice explained that her father shouldn’t come to the hospital.
I was confused but told him I couldn’t give out information but he could talk to her afterward.
I went in, told her he had called and she showed me a picture of him. He was white, straight red hair, pimply and tiny–the runt of the litter.
About an hour later, her phys ed teacher stopped by to check on her, which I thought was odd. We didn’t get many teachers checking on students. He was as opposite of the boyfriend as he could get: tall, very muscular, beautiful smile, and rich, chocolate brown skin.
The girl’s father accompanied her to the delivery room.
Odd, but ok. The more she pushed, the louder she cried. In between, she kept saying ‘sorry daddy.’ Finally, out slid a very beautiful, chocolate brown baby boy. I thought her father was going to pass out on my delivery room floor.
I did my usual, ‘it’s a boy!’ and said nothing else. I handed him off to a nursery nurse and got dad a chair. The new mom said ‘I’m sorry daddy,’ over and over again. Her mom, now frowning, came to see the baby, took one look, started asking God for forgiveness, and left.
I sent her dad home a short bit later, admonishing him to react at home, not here. I set up a time for our counselor to meet with him before I left. After talking to new mom, she admitted her gym teacher had been giving her ‘special treatment.’
I’m state mandated to report child abuse, so I did.
Two weeks later, with her world shattered, her baby was given up for adoption. I wish her the best.”
The Slow Burn
“I was doing epidurals in residency. This Caucasian couple was from a more rural part of the country and they don’t look or sound particularly educated.
Anyhow, the wife is particularly antsy. Asking when she can go home, even though the baby isn’t out yet.
The husband looks bored and uninterested like he’s been there a whole bunch of times.
I usually don’t stay in the rooms during delivery, but this one I just happened to be nearby to give more in the epidural because of a tear immediately after delivery.
Anyhow, when I get to the room, the wife is holding her eyes shut and doesn’t want to see the baby. I look at the baby and he’s obviously black.
Now the husband is paying attention, and he sees what I do.
He keeps repeating, ‘When dat baby gonna pink up?’ Louder and louder. ‘WHEN DAT BABY GONNA PINK UP!?’
The ONB tries to diffuse things by reminding everyone that this moment is critical and suggests the baby should be taken to the resuscitation area in the NICU and that the father should step out while the ob repaired the laceration.
We called the social worker and security and I was called elsewhere, so I don’t know what happened afterward, so I can’t imagine it was good.”
The Reaction Was Immediate
“A friend of mine was looking after a Caucasian couple on the labor ward. Things were progressing well and she started pushing. Pushing, pushing, hair visible, head continues to advance and it is quite clear that this child is black.
The dad stands up wide-eyed, points at the woman, shouts ‘You slag!’
And storms out of the room.
The woman in sheer panic hops straight off the bed trying to chase down her significant other…with the baby’s head just sitting there between her legs. My friend is trying to wrangle the woman back on the bed so she can deliver the body; woman uncontrollably sobbing.
I imagine the guy didn’t stick around to raise the little one, based on his reaction!”
Good Thing The Nurse Was There
“My (ex)girlfriend delivered a baby while I was in the delivery room, and turns out it wasn’t mine.
She was 16, I was 15. All along I was under the impression that this kid was mine, and time to be an adult.
I took all the classes, read the books, worked every night/weekend to save whatever money I could as a 15-year-old. I finally get the call that she is in labor, so I have somebody rush me to the ER. Luckily for her, it wasn’t a long labor, only about 6 hours, but there was a complication.
The baby came out with the umbilical cord wrapped around its neck. The doctor assured us it was going to be OK, but the nurses were prepping for things to go south.
The baby comes out, it’s a light shade of purple, and the nurses immediately take the baby and put on the smallest mask you have ever seen, to help it get oxygen I guess.
I was too panicked to ask a lot of questions. They state they need to keep the baby on watch overnight, so I stay in the room with the ex.
The next evening, the baby is back in the room with us, and all seems well.
My ex is asleep, and the same nurse from the night before comes into the room and beckons me out. She states that at risk of her losing her job, she has to break some harsh news to me, that kid is not mine.
She stated that while at this stage it wasn’t obvious, over the next few weeks it would become clear this kid was mixed, and since both of us were white, it was a high probability that it wasn’t mine.
Queue a mixed bag of emotions, and me promptly waking the ex to get a little clarification.
Come to find out, she knew the chances and was just hoping it was mine because it worked better for her. Apparently, her father was old school racist and she didn’t want to have to deal with that. I left the hospital to collect my thoughts, and a few weeks later was served with child support papers.
One DNA test and about 6 weeks later, I am 0.0% that kid’s father.
Where ever that nurse is now, I hope your life is amazing. I understand that you were not supposed to get involved in the personal side of things and keep it professional, but you saved me a lot of additional headaches.”