Carolyn and Sean Savage were thrilled to learn that they were pregnant and going to have a baby after going for In Vitro Fertilization treatments. But soon they discovered that it wasn't genetically their baby. Discover their story of how faith, family, strength, and love united this amazing couple to hand Logan - the baby they couldn't keep - over to his other family.

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?

Sean: We struggled at times. It was such a complex maze that laid down in front of us once the decision was made immediately to continue the pregnancy. And also the decision to not fight for custody. Once those two fundamental choices were made, it took us down a road that was treacherous and, at times, put us into kind of the depths of despair. As a couple that really challenged us, at times we didn’t treat each other as well as we would have liked. There were times where we weren’t as supportive. Certainly I wasn’t as supportive of Carolyn as I needed to be, but as we went along I really believe that our marriage vows, our commitment to each other, our commitment to this child and our faith, all combined [and] really helped us. As we got closer to delivery, and we got closer to the point of handing the child over to the family, we were so together that it made our marriage stronger even though it really was a challenge for us to get through.

Jana: I would think that your marriage is very connected to your faith. I understand that you both are Roman Catholic. What was the reaction of the church and the faith community in your hometown to all this?

Carolyn: Our faith community in our hometown was incredibly supportive. I don’t know how somebody without a strong core faith would be able to manage a crisis like this, or pretty much any crisis. I think at those times in our lives when we’re really challenged and kind of rocked, that’s when Sean and I kind of retreated to our core beliefs and really relied on our faith in God to first make the most loving decision, and second, in order to navigate this way in a very loving and generous manner. Sean mentioned earlier that there were some pitfalls along the way and I think those are to be expected with any kind of crises.

Jana: When Logan was finally born, what was going through your minds at that point?

Carolyn: You know we had worked really hard at making sure that Logan’s birth was celebrated and he was welcomed into this world surrounded in joy and love. So when he came out kicking and screaming, we were both smiles ear-to-ear. It was as miraculous as any other childbirth, and we have three other children, and we were incredibly thrilled. It was a major accomplishment for us to get him to be born. He was so healthy and it was such a great moment.
About 10 minutes after his delivery they took him from the room [and] Sean accompanied him. And that was tough but I will say there was a presence of absolute witness to the work we were doing in that OR that day. Sean, myself [and] our entire medical team [all] had strong convictions about what we were doing in bringing this little boy into this world and returning him to his genetic parents. When they left it was tough. I think at that moment I can sure remember closing my eyes and feeling proud of what we had done, and thanking God for allowing him to come into this world in such a healthy manner.

Jana: It’s wonderful that he’s a healthy baby boy. How many times have you been able to see Logan?