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Extraordinary Moments Mothers Are Reunited With Their Own Daughter 102 Days After They Were Swapped At Birth   
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Lyudmila Dubayeva (left) and Lyudmila Trofimova (right) are finally reunited with their babies 102 days after they were swapped at birth in a hospital blunder
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This is the extraordinary moment two mothers swapped their babies back again, following an appalling maternity hospital mix-up meant they took home the wrong daughters.

The women, who are both called Lyudmila and were given Caesarean operations at the same time in a Russian hospital, breast fed and bonded with each other's children.

The handover came 102 days after their births, in the same maternity clinic which had committed the blunder. In an attempt to ease the agony, the women are for now staying together in the same hospital suite, helping each other get to know their real babies, how and when they like to be led, and which lullabies they enjoy.

Both women described their ordeal as 'deeply traumatic'.

Lyudmila Dubaeva, 32, said her marriage was almost wrecked because when a DNA test showed 'her' child did not belong to her husband, he feared she had been unfaithful and threatened divorce.

From soon after their Caesarean operations on 6 August, both she and Lyudmila Trofimova, 28, suspected they had been given the wrong daughters - Aishat and Anna respectively - but their hospital in Naberezhnye Chelny told them such a mistake was impossible.

Even when the women paid for their own DNA tests - which proved the error - the hospital kept insisting no switch had occurred, and it took a formal complaint to the police by Lyudmila Trofimova to force medics to accept the mothers were right.

Finally, late last week the hospital accepted its mistake, firing the staff responsible, and offering the women all possible help - starting during the weekend - in exchanging the children they have loved and cherished for more than three months, and helping each other get to know their real babies.

'Privet, priveeet (hello, hello!)', said Lyudmila Trofiniova to her real baby, holding her properly for the first time.

'She likes to sing and smile, and to chat.'

Sitting next to her, the other Lyudmila was speechless, but kept one hand softly touching Aishat, who she has raised and will now lose.

'I realised the baby that was brought to me... was not mine,' said Lyudmila Trofimova.

'Of course I feel hard about giving Anna away... I was breastfeeding her.

'But with my all heart, and with my mind, I understand that my true own baby was there and I must get her to me.'

The women have become close as they challenged a medical establishment that for weeks refused to admit its error.

They realised that Anna looked like a 'replica' of Lyudmila Dubaeva's elder daughter, and Aishat was the image of Lyudmila Trofimova's son.

Overwhelmed with emotion, Trofimova, sitting side by side with her fellow victim, said: 'Lyudmila is more than a sister for me now, more than a relative. And the babies... what can we say? This one is my darling, my dear one - and that one is too.

'We are helping each other now and will be raising them together. The only trouble is that we do not even live in the same city, and it takes time to get to each other. But we are now bound by a very, very special bond. We will always be connected.'

Earlier, Lyudmila Dubaeva, 32, explained how they suffered every woman's nightmare.

'We were operated on at the same time in the same surgical theatre. Our kids were born within minute of each other,' she said.

'When I went for my scan during my pregnancy, I was told my baby should weigh 3,600 grams at birth but the child they brought me was only 2,800.'

After being sent home with the wrong children, they kept in contact, and as their babies got bigger, they only become more certain that an appalling mistake had been committed.

Lyudmila Dubaeva, 32, said: 'The DNA results came back and showed that my husband Aslan was not the father. Of course, we argued and debated. There were constant scandals in our home, and it almost came to divorce.'

The other Lyudmila said she and her husband Oleg also faced misery over the swap. 'It is very, very heavy. It is really heart breaking.

'It was clear that my daughter did not look like me or my husband. But the health workers did not want to admit their mistake.

'I exchanged photos with Lyudmila, and as the girls got older, it became more obvious that they were not similar to our older children.

'I shed so many tears, and lost weight. My breast milk disappeared.'
She added: 'Right after the birth, I asked to see my daughter and knew immediately that something was wrong because she did not look like us.

'I asked to show me Lyudmila Dubaeva's child - and saw that she was a copy of my son.'

Initially the hospital claimed the DNA tests did not amount to proper evidence because they were from a private clinic.

As police probed the blunder, hospital chiefs conceded and fired the chief of delivery ward Rustem Kashapov, along with an unnamed midwife. The head doctor Ravil Bakirov was reprimanded.

Lyudmila Trofimova said: 'I think there were two reasons for the mistake. First, we have the same names Lyudmila Alexandrovna, and the medical staff did not pay proper attention to our family names.

'Second, there was only a minute's difference between the births.

'The nurses may have been distracted and confused the babies, or perhaps it happened when they put on their tags.'

Lilia Basanova, chief doctor of the Children's Republican Clinical Hospital in Naberezhnye Chelny, said the mothers 'were admitted into one spacious room, and they swapped their babies and started getting used to them.

'Psychologists are working with the mothers, and babies are under constant supervision and control. All our clinic's specialists are working to make sure everything is fine with them. So far both babies are doing well.

'The mothers have found a common language, the mood is calm in their room.

'But they all need time to get used to each other, and it was at the request of both mothers that we put them all in one room.

'The mothers help each with everything they can, from suggesting a right lullaby to what position to hold the baby during breastfeeding, to the words the they are used to hearing in their first almost four months, such as what are their habits, likes and dislikes, and so on.

'They will stay at the hospital for as long as they need.'

She said the hospital was seeking a 'peace deal' with the mothers over the scandal.

By refusing to accept the doctors' denials, the two mothers avoided years of agony - which still continues - for two Russian familes who only discovered a similar mix-up when their daughters were aged 12.

In this case, Yulia Belyaeva, 32, found that she was raising a daughter born to another mother in the maternity hospital.

After conducting her own detective work, she tracked down her real daughter, now being raised by the other mother's ex-husband, who was the real father to her daughter.

After navigating the initial trauma, the families decided they could not tear the girls away from the world's they know - one family is Muslim, the other Chirstian.

'We try to cope, we see each other, but it is so hard, and I feel no-one knows my agony. I could not give up my Irina, just as I can never come to terms that I will never be able to raise Anna, who I gave birth to, and is made from me, as my own daughter.

'All we can do is try to make the best of it.'

A number of similar cases have come to light in the ex-USSR with experts also warning that the true number of such mix-ups will never be known.
Source: dailymail.co.uk

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