Louise had waited a long time for a baby of her own. She had spent the last four and a half years (although it felt more like ten) trying to conceive with her husband Chris, while all around her friends seem to find it easy. They were dropping babies as if it was as easy as pie. Yet month after month, the disappointment came only to be boosted by the hopes for the following month.
At last, Louise found herself with child and so began the planning and preparation for their life to change beyond all recognition. A check up with the doctor was first and then Louise couldn't help but head straight for the shops to buy the first of the baby clothes. Of course, she had heard the superstition that you shouldn't buy things before you had reached the three month mark but she couldn't help herself.
Breathing in all the unmistakable fragrance of new baby stuff, she went home laden down with babygro's, shawls, cardigans and toys. This pattern continued until their nursery was bursting at the seams and Louise and Chris were ready for their imminent arrival.
On the big day, the pains had begun at four in the morning and continued regularly until they took themselves in at eight o'clock. A new shift was just swapping over and staff were changing into their nurses tunics and updating patient notes.
They quickly settled the couple into their room and carried out all the usual checks - everything was fine. Louise delivered a healthy baby girl at 1.15pm and mother and baby were fit and well when Chris left for home that night. However, at six the next morning, Chris received a frantic call from the hospital asking him to get there as soon as possible with no other explanation.
When he arrived at the hospital, all around him was a sea of nurses tunic's blurring into one in a hive of frantic activity. Finding his wife, distraught and in the process of being sedated, he looked around the room for a clue to what was going on and noticed the empty cot beside the bed.
With the arrival of the police a few moments later, a doctor found time to sit him down and tell him that his baby had gone missing. Everything seemed to move in slow motion for Chris. He heard the words but couldn't make sense of them. Babies didn't just go missing. They couldn't walk off and get lost! So, where exactly was his daughter and who was she with?
It didn't take the team long to check back over CCTV and spot a woman leaving the room with a bundle in her arms and making for the exit. What gave her away as a little odd was that she may have been wearing a nurse's tunic but she had teamed it with jeans and stood out quite obviously. It amazed Chris that no-one had noticed her but apparently there is only a skeleton staff on at night and the nurses that were around were distracted seeing to other babies.
A search team was quickly set up to cover the local area and records of women who had recently lost babies was scoured for any clues as to who would do such a thing.
On the other side of town a woman was woken by the sound of a new-born baby crying in the flat above her and assumed the woman had visitors as she knew that she was single and had only spoken to her last week when she was as thin as a pencil so it obviously wasn't hers.
Bumping into her on the landing later that day she spoke to her neighbour as the baby was still with her and the woman claimed it to be hers. Immediately alarm bells began to ring as news flashes had already been flagged up on local stations about the incident at the hospital.
She alerted the police and the baby was recovered and returned to its natural parents. In the space of just 24 hours, Louise and Chris had certainly gone through the mill and from that moment their precious baby never left their sight.