Olympic winner and motivational speaker, Jim Stovall once said “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is looking.” In September 2009, I wrote about a blog about Carolyn Savage, a 40 year old woman with a poor obstetrical history. Savage married her college sweetheart and had an uncomplicated first pregnancy. However, her second child was born prematurely. She had 4 subsequent miscarriages and ten years later she became pregnant through in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Because the Savages wanted a large family, they tried IVF again. Unfortunately, Savage was impregnated with the wrong embryo. To their credit, everyone rose to the highest level of integrity. The infertility clinic informed the Savage family as soon as the mistake was discovered and then gave them the option of terminating the pregnancy or continuing it. The Savage family then had to inform the rightful parents of the embryo that were not expecting to have a baby any time soon but was now faced with that dilemma. Savage ultimately delivered the baby and then handed it over to its rightful parent, the Morrell family.
When bad things happen to good people, we are perplexed and often wonder why. I remember feeling despondent as I wrote the blog. A woman had delivered a healthy baby but was leaving the hospital with empty arms. A blatant systems error had reared its ugly again reminding physicians that we are all fallible, despite our years of strenuous training and hard-earned credentials. Yet, the book of wisdom reminds us that everything works for our highest good despite the tragedies that are seen through the lens of our human experience.
Fast-forward 2 years later: the Savages hired a surrogate mother (aka gestational carrier) who was pregnant with their baby but subsequently had a miscarriage. However the Savages didn’t give up and they are now pregnant again, through their gestational carrier with . . . . twins. When Carolyn Savage leaves the labor and delivery suite this time, her arms will be filled with not just one baby, but two. Who says life can’t have a happy ending? We wish the Savage family the very best as they prepare for their joyous occasion.
*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway*