A Sylvania Township couple received a double whammy of astonishing news this year from their fertility doctor, news that landed them on national television Monday.
The first part they anticipated: Carolyn Savage was pregnant. But the follow-up that came later carried a horrifying jolt: It's not their baby.
Carolyn and Sean Savage shared with the Today Show audience the extraordinary story of how a fertility clinic accidently implanted the wrong embryo into Mrs. Savage.
"We had been delivered the worst news of our life," Mr. Savage told host Meredith Vieira during the live television interview from their living room.
The Savages, already parents to three biological children despite years of reproductive difficulties and miscarriages, explained how, because of their religious beliefs, they never considered aborting the fetus.
Not wanting to destroy their remaining frozen embryos after the successful in vitro fertilization and delivery last year of their youngest child, they returned to their fertility clinic in February to try for one more.
Mrs. Savage, 40, is due to give birth in two weeks via cesarean section, and said she and her husband are prepared to give the boy to his biological parents, whom they have met. During the meeting, the biological mother seemed "so grateful for what we had done."
"We're trying to look at it as a gift for another family that eight months ago we didn't know," she said.
Mrs. Savage said the mother agreed to let her have a moment with the baby "to say hello and good-bye" before handing him over.
"We know they did not ask for this. We are not going to press ourselves into their lives.
"Of course we will wonder about this child every day for the rest of our lives. We have hopes for him - but they're his parents," she said.
When contacted at her home Monday night, Mrs. Savage said she and her husband are working with a public relations firm. She declined to comment to The Blade Monday but said they are planning to talk with local media later this week.
Mr. Savage, a self-employed financial adviser, said their two older children, boys ages 15 and 12, are OK with what their parents are going through.
"We've tried to set a tone inside our house that is conducive to keeping this in the most positive way as a teaching moment for them: When you face a tough situation in life, how are you going to handle it?," Mr. Savage said.
Attorneys for the Savages said in a statement for the Today Show that they are working to make sure that the fertility clinic "will accept full responsibility for the consequences of their misconduct."
The show did not name the clinic or the baby's biological parents.
The Savages said in the interview that after the baby is born, they'll attempt to use the last of their remaining frozen embryos.
Because Mrs. Savage has been told that this is her final pregnancy, they have signed a contract with a surrogate mother to carry to term what will be the fourth child of their own.
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