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Implanted with the Wrong Embryos

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On the day they learned they were expecting, Carolyn and Sean Savage discovered they were carrying someone else's baby.

After the birth of her first child, Carolyn Savage experienced difficulties in becoming pregnant and carrying children to term. Her second child was born at 30 weeks, and there were multiple complications. After ten years of trying to have a third child, Carolyn and her husband Sean conceived a daughter through in vitro fertilization in 2007. They had five embryos left in the IVF clinic, and felt strongly due to religious beliefs that they must give those embryos a chance at life. Doctors told Carolyn that this must be her final pregnancy, and the couple had planned to have the five embryos they had frozen implanted in the hopes that one would take.

A short time after being implanted with the embryos, Carolyn Savage learned she was pregnant. But then she got the shocking news: The clinic had implanted the wrong embryos, and the baby she was carrying was someone else's.

Rather than terminate the pregnancy, Carolyn decided to carry it to full term. When she delivers in five weeks, she will hand the baby over to his or her genetic parents.

"The hardest part is going to be the delivery," Carolyn told the "Today" show. "I remember communicating with the mother of this child as to what I was envisioning and hoping for. I said, 'We want a moment to say hello, and goodbye.'"

When they complete this pregnancy, they intend to have a surrogate carry their remaining child or children to term.

Check out the Savages' heart-wrenching story here:

What would you have done if you were in Carolyn's shoes?


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8 comments so far | Post a comment now
Shannon September 21, 2009, 11:20 AM

That is so sad!

Julia September 21, 2009, 11:24 AM

I think what she is doing is great I sure it’s going to be the headest thing she’ll have had to do so god bless her and thank yo for being a good person with a heart

Shelly H September 21, 2009, 12:04 PM

In todays selfish society it is a change to see total selflessness in this way. My heart breaks for the couple giving up the child and for the couple getting the child. The mother of the baby isn’t getting to enjoy the wonders of pregnancy. But she will have a long life with a child she is being blessed with. The clinic should be help culpable about this. Its a heartbreak that shouldn’t have occured. Thank God they decided to carry the pregnancy to term and show society how important a child is in any stage of pregnancy.

june September 21, 2009, 12:20 PM

There is a product called the IVF witness that guarantees that a mix up like this doesn’t happen. A fertility clinic in Oregon uses it. I wonder why more clinics don’t.

maeby September 21, 2009, 1:44 PM

what an amazing woman.

Bob September 21, 2009, 9:08 PM

My heart goes out to this couple and especially the wife’s pregnancy as she’s having to go through with the end of the pregancy and as a result give up the child. What I don’t understand is this couple uses their religion as a basis to justify embryonic implants. If they had previous pregnancy problems why did they feel they had to push the envelope using religion as their reason to have embryos implanted? This technolgy procedure is against God’s creation of nature through natural conception. Sometimes going against nature causes tragic consequences such as this one.

sobbing September 22, 2009, 7:53 AM

This is one of those stories that restores your faith in humanity. The Savages chose the noble path, at their expense. God bless them for what has to be some of the hardest days any of us can imagine.

Carrie September 22, 2009, 8:20 PM

Good. I’m glad this happened. These people are disgusting for using IVF and this is what they deserve. Clearly, they think genetics are the only things that matter or they wouldn’t have tried it in the first place. You want a kid that bad? How about saving one of the millions that already exist and need homes! It’s beautifully ironic that this would happen to people obsessed with genetics.


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