Jessica Escobedo gave birth to her third child, Melanie, without a hitch on Dec. 10 at Oak Bend Medical Center outside of Houston. But the next day, when a nurse brought in a baby who was supposed to be hers, Escobedo was horrified to discover it was not her little girl.
Mom noticed the mistake quickly and demanded to see where her child was, reports local news outlet FOX 26.
"I asked the nurse where was she and they actually took my baby to another mother," Escobedo told the station. "[S]he was over there for like two hours and the other mother actually breast fed and didn't notice that she had the wrong baby."
Dad Aaron Powell was equally frustrated by the mix-up.
"This could've been something like I see in the movies," he told Fox. "I didn't think I'd see my own child getting handed to someone else and they put their nipple in her mouth."
The case drew the attention of national media outlets. Officials at Oak Bend Hospital in Texas have confirmed the mistake and apologized, reports FOX 26. After an internal investigation, a nurse who was part of the baby's care was also fired.
Cafe Mom's The Stir writer Adriana Velez says that while the incident would definitely have creeped her out, in the long run hopefully it won't be that big of a deal.
"As long as serious diseases are ruled out, I don't think this is a huge tragedy," Velez noted. "In the grand scale of human tragedies, even in the grand scale of baby tragedies, this is minor. So I hope it doesn't weigh on Melanie's parents' hearts for too long."
So far, Melanie's breastfeeding detour doesn't seem like it will have any long-term health consequences. The mother who nursed her has been tested for diseases, and the tests have all been negative.
But the prospect of potential infection is a real one in these types of situations. When a similar switch happened to a baby born in Minneapolis, Minn., in 2012, that newborn had to undergo a year of tests for HIV and hepatitis, according to ABC News.
"You put your baby in the nursery, not even 48 hours old, and you think they're safe," mother Tammy Van Dyke told ABC News at the time. "I'm holding it together. I'm just in disbelief, and it was like I was in a dream, a bad dream, and I couldn't get it to stop."
And in August, parents in Palo Alto, Calif., were shocked to learn a nurse gave their premature son another mother's breast milk by mistake, potentially exposing his fragile immune system to disease.
“He has a lot of allergies, so we don’t know if he was exposed to anything in what he consumed,” mother Holly Reyes told NBC Bay Area. “It’s very unsettling.”