Carolyn and Sean Savage share their incredible story of how a medical mistake turned into a lifetime of love.
Jana Melpolder: You both have an incredible story. It’s amazing. Could give me a little bit of background to how this all came about?
Carolyn Savage: Sean and I have been married for 18 years and we knew prior to actually getting married that our fertility was so much threatened due to an early diagnosis. I had endometriosis. And so, we knew that we were going to have to get after building a family right away. Luckily I was five months pregnant on our first anniversary. We also were able to conceive our second son in 1996 the old-fashioned way as well. We thought maybe we had beaten the once-predicted diagnosis of infertility, but unfortunately when we went back to have our third child, we ran into some significant fertility problems. Then after ten years of trying, we turned to the technology of In Vitro Fertilization. On our third attempt at IVF we were lucky enough to get pregnant and we delivered our daughter in 2008. From that original IVF cycle we had made too many embryos during that cycle and so, seeing as how we respect life, we had those cryo-preserved for future pregnancy attempts. So in 2009 we went into do a procedure called a Frozen Embryo Transfer in which our embryos were supposed to have been thawed and transferred in an attempt to have another child. And unfortunately there was a mistake and they transferred the embryos of another couple.
Jana: And that resulted with you being pregnant with another couple’s embryo. I couldn’t even imagine what that would be like.
Carolyn: Yeah. It was a little bit stunning to say the least. It certainly wasn’t news that we ever expected to hear. When you go through In Vitro Fertilization there are a lot of ups and downs but really only two possible outcomes. One is you’re pregnant, or you’re not. Pregnant with the wrong baby isn’t exactly something that we would have expected or even ever considered before we entered into that realm of medicine. It is a highly unusual outcome; we’ve been told it’s 1 in 3 million. So it was very, very stunning.
Jana: Sean, you first received the news of this over the phone and you had to tell your wife. What was going through your mind at that point?
Sean Savage: I just knew that it was a life-changing situation as soon as I received the call. I wanted to get to Carolyn and tell her in person because I knew that it would just be such devastating news to deliver and receive that we just needed to be there together as a couple, to support each other and try to figure out what steps we would take, and how we would start to deal with this incredible situation.
Jana: How did your marriage become stronger through of all this?