Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Inconceivable by Carolyn and Sean Savage

By now I'm sure most of you have heard Carolyn and Sean Savage's heartbreaking story. They are the couple who where inadvertently given the wrong embryos during an IVF treatment. When faced with this horrible and horrifying news, they decided to not only continue the pregnancy, but to surrender the child to his biological parents and not fight for custody of him. It's hard for me to imagine a worse situation to be in. And if faced with a similar situation, I'm not sure I would have been as strong, gracious or giving as the Savage's.

The story was made even more poignant by the fact that due to medical considerations, this would be Carolyn Savage's last pregnancy. She would not be able to undergo another IVF treatment with her own embryos. I can only imagine her heartbreak. How difficult must it have been to carry that baby for nine months, knowing you couldn't keep him? And not because you didn't want him. You do want him. Desperately. But you choose to do what's morally right. From the beginning, Carolyn and Sean thought about the biological parents and what they would want if the roles were reversed. And they based their actions on that. Putting their own feelings aside, as much as was possible.

Inconceivable: A Medical Mistake, the Baby We Couldn't Keep, and Our Choice to Deliver the Ultimate Gift presents an honest and sometimes raw account of how Carolyn and Sean came to the decision they did and how they got through this most emotional of pregnancies and deliveries. It is a surprisingly honest presentation of their ordeal, in that the Savage's don't try to hide or sugar coat their experience. It is all revealed - the good, the bad and the ugly - but with an astonishing amount of grace, dignity and respect. Carolyn and Sean Savage are amazing people. I was so impressed with their courage and their strong sense of morals. My heart breaks for them.

This book is definitely not for everyone. It's certainly not a book that I'm telling everyone to read. For me, I was interested in reading it because I was so impressed by their story and I wanted to know more about how they came to make this difficult decision and how they were each able to reconcile this terrible situation in their own minds. Additionally, I am interested in all things medical, but especially medical and maternal. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about this strong and compassionate couple, readers who are fascinated with medical ethics or anyone who likes to read stories that force them to question how they would behave in a similar situation. What makes it all the more fascinating, heartbreaking and incomprehensible is that it is all true. 4 stars - I really liked it.

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