On September 26, 2009 Carolyn Savage gave birth to a healthy baby boy after receiving infertility treatments. For most families that is where the story would end, except Savage gave birth to a baby boy who genetically was someone else’s baby. According to news reports, she has given the baby to his genetic parents.
A few years ago, I went through the entire nine yards of infertility treatments. I started with a lousy clinic in Illinois and moved on to a good clinic in Wisconsin. I wanted a child so much that for three long years, it was my only focus. Cheryl and I made decisions based on the idea that we would have a child to love in our lives. I had artificial insemination – six of those – and on three occasions, I had in vitro fertilization. None of these nine procedures produced a child.
We had to make the decision, do we keep going with the treatments or do we stop? We were over $17,000 in debt and our marriage was on the brink of failure due to the stress this placed on us. Add in that the doctors weren’t sure if my body could even handle another go around, we had to stop. I was devastated. My heart was broken in places I didn’t even know it could break. I mourn the loss of those last two embroyos. The doctors had thought they were our best chance for a child. Had I been able to carry them, they would’ve been two years old come November. My heart aches every Mother’s Day.
I bring this up because when I read the story of Carolyn Savage my very first thought was I could never give up a child I had carried to term. Nothing short of armed guards could’ve pried that baby from me. And, yet, there she is, passing a child she has grown to love over to another woman. I admire Savage’s commitment to giving the child to his biological, DNA-related parents. I am nearly positive that had the clinic we used called and said we’ve given you the wrong embroyo, I would’ve hung up the phone, changed my name and moved out of state. You truly have to have a great faith in a higher power to be able to give up a child to his or her rightful parents. I am willing to bet not many childless women would be willing to do the same.
I realize that Carolyn Savage has other children, but giving up a child is not an easy decision. She had an opportunity to terminate the pregnancy and she didn’t. To carry a child that you know isn’t yours and you can’t keep is a very unselfish act.
My heart goes out to these two families. I hope that little boy grows up with the opportunity to know his birth mother. She is someone worth knowing.