A father has accused a doctor of stealing the baby from his wife's womb after she awoke from a C-section in Brazil, UK MailOnline reported Thursday.
Claudia Aparecida Lopes, 30, claimed she attended all her pre-natal appointments and even had two ultra-sound scans, but after the birth, she was told her pregnancy was "imaginary." The baby was shown to be in a breech position during her last scan at nine months and needed to be delivered by caesarean, her family said.
According to UK MailOnline, when she woke up from the procedure at a hospital in Alto Paranaiba, southeast Brazil, Lopes was told there was never a baby in her womb and that she had imagined the pregnancy.
Alexandro Donizete Alves, Lope's husband, who reported the case to police, told Brazil's G1 website he is "indignant" and needs to know what really happened to his son, who would be the couple's third child.
"My wife did a pregnancy test at the chemist and it was positive. So we made a doctor's appointment, and he confirmed the pregnancy, even telling us it was a boy," Alves told UK MailOnline. "We paid for pre-natal treatment and even went for ultrasound scans. During one of the two scans, the doctor told us the birth couldn't be natural because the child was sitting down, and it needed to be a caesarean."
Lopes was accompanied for the operation at the Santa Terezinha hospital on Monday by her mother-in-law, UK MailOnline reported.
"My mother was waiting outside the operating room to be called, when the news came that it was just an imaginary pregnancy, that there had never been a baby in there, despite everything," he said. "My wife had a huge cut across her belly and they simply told us that there wasn't a baby after all, it was all psychological. That's when I called the police and registered the occurrence."
Jose Tomaz de Oliveira, who performed the operation, had seen his wife in December and even prescribed vitamins designed for pregnant mothers.
"If the pregnancy was psychological, how come he accompanied the whole pregnancy. If it's true, then I must have psychological problems too, because I saw the child on the ultrasound and so did he," Alves told UK MailOnline. "I need to know if my son was in there, and what happened to him. I was the father and I have this right. Caesarean is a serious thing and you can't go opening up a person without knowing for sure. The bedroom was all decorated ready for the baby to arrive, then we're told he never existed at all. No-one can believe this is happening."
Oliveira told the G1 website through email that he had only seen Lopes twice and hadn't personally done the ultrasound scans. The hospital has already handed over records to police. Claudia Coelho Franchi, civil police chief, has ordered an investigation into the case, including tests to find out if Lopes had been pregnant.
"We're going to hear witnesses and examine all the documents," he said. "The inquiry will be concluded in 30 days, but it is too early to draw any conclusions."
Alexandre Rodrigues, from the Medical Council of Minas Gerais state (CRM-MG), said an internal inquiry had also been launched. "At the moment I don't know who falsified what. We don't yet know why a caesarian was carried out and everything has to be investigated."
"We could we dealing with a psychiatrically-disturbed patient," he said. "The investigation is to find out exactly where and in what moment the error occurred. We will examine the two ultrasound scans presented by the patient and find out if the doctor carried out the caesarian just on the basis of seeing the scans. We have the testimonies of both parties and they will be investigated."
According to UK MailOnline, this case is the latest of a number of disturbing similar recent incidents in Brazil.
Last month a "heavily-pregnant" woman was also told she had a "phantom pregnancy" after also waking up from a C-section at a hospital in Cabo Frio, in the state of Rio de Janeiro. And in December last year, another Brazilian woman, Layane Santos, accused a hospital in Sao Paulo of stealing the baby from her room during a caesarean.