A Case of Mistaken Identity
When my middle son was born, there was another baby boy born just hours later. It was a small hospital in eastern Kentucky, babies weren’t kept in the same room as the mother back then and ours were the only two in the nursery at the time. One afternoon they brought me my baby to nurse — except that I knew that the child they were putting into my arms was not mine. I handed him back, the nurse shoved him forward and this went back and forth a couple of times. My son had had to be in oxygen for the first two days of his life and this was the first time they had been able to bring him to me in my room so I guess they thought I didn’t recognize him. I was very young and unsure of myself — but I was sure that this was not my child and I told the nurse that. She got quite upset with me and insisted that this was not the case. “Are you not Lucille T——??” she demanded angrily, grabbing the baby’s anklet identification and shaking his little leg at me. “I am not,” I smugly informed her and she had the good grace to apologize as she backed out of the room and went to switch kidlets. I suppose before more reliable hospital ID, people did occasionally take home someone else’s biological child to raise. I have never forgotten the other woman’s name and I’ve told this story to my own son many times. I wonder whatever happened to Lucille’s boy. Did he grow up to be happy and healthy? I hope so. Does he know how close he came to becoming a Kunkel? Probably not.