Publisher's Note:  

A medical mistake during an IVF procedure. An unthinkable situation . . . you’re pregnant with the wrong baby. You can terminate, but you can’t keep him. What choice would you make?

Carolyn and Sean Savage had been trying to expand their family for years. When they underwent an IVF transfer in February 2009, they knew it would be their last chance. If they became pregnant, they would celebrate the baby as an answer to their prayers. If not, they would be grateful for the family they had and leave their fertility struggles behind forever. They never imagined a third option. The pregnancy test was positive, but the clinic had transferred the wrong embryos. Carolyn was pregnant with someone else’s baby. The Savages faced a series of heartbreaking decisions: terminate the pregnancy, sue for custody, or hand over the infant to his genetic parents upon delivery. Knowing that Carolyn was carrying another couple’s hope for a baby, the Savages wanted to do what they prayed the other family would do for them if the situation was reversed. Sean and Carolyn Savage decided to give the ultimate gift, the gift of life, to a family they didn’t know, no strings attached. Inconceivable provides an inside look at how modern medicine, which creates miracles daily, could allow such a tragic mistake, and the many legal ramifications that ensued with both the genetic family and the clinic. Chronicling their tumultuous pregnancy and its aftermath, which tested the Savage’s faith, their relationship to their church, and their marriage, Inconceivable is ultimately a testament to love. Carolyn and Sean loved this baby, making it impossible for them to imagine how they could give him life and then give him away. In the end, Inconceivable is a story of what it is to be a parent, someone who nurtures a life, protects a soul, only to release that child into the world long before you’re ready to let him go.

Inconceivable: A Medical Mistake, the Baby We Couldn't Keep, and Our Choice to Deliver the Ultimate Gift

by Carolyn & Sean Savage

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Overall Review:  

Inconceivable gives readers a seat on the emotional rollarcoaster that the Savage family experienced not only through an unprecedented embryo mix-up, but through their whole experience with infertility.  The Savages share their unusual story with compelling honesty, even acknowledging that some have views that oppose IVF (in vitro fertilization).  Whether or not you agree with the decisions they make throughout their journey, one thing is obvious, Sean and Carolyn are willing to make sacrifices for what they believe is right.


This is a quick read that is well thought out and organized.  The chapters are divided into segments, some are written from Carolyn's point of view and others from Sean's.  We are often able to see the same event from both the husband's and wife's perspective, making the book very interesting and, somehow, not redundant in any way.  This style of writing is well suited to capture this story of two regular people finding themselves in an unbelievable situation and striving to do the very best they can.  I was amazed at the intelligence and concern for others that they demonstrated throughout their ordeal, and felt they brought those same virtues with them as they recorded their experience.


Carloyn Savage sums up her experience, and this book, best when she writes:  "It was a celebration of life and loss, all wrapped in a baby blanket."

Content Analysis:  

Profaniy/Language:  4 religious exclamations; 7 mild obscenities; 1 scatological word.


Violence/Gore:  Brief description of hemorrhaging during pregnancy.


Sex/Nudity:  A man and woman hold hands and kiss goodnight; "intimacy" and "trying to get pregnant" are mentioned but never in any more specific manner.

Mature Subject Matter:  

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF); temination of pregnancy mentioned but not chosen; death of a family member; miscarriage; ethic of fertility treatments and religious conflicts regarding them.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Six brief references to adults drinking alcohol.

Reviewed By Ambra
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