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I Admire Your Courage
By Sean Savage,
Author of Inconceivable: A Medical Mistake, the Baby We Couldn't Keep, and Our Choice to Deliver the Ultimate Gift

The last two years have been filled with unexpected twists and turns for me and my wife Carolyn. There are times I wonder if I say to her enough what I would like to say here. So please indulge me this shout from the proverbial rooftop, from husband to wife, from best friend to confidant.

Carolyn, you are an extraordinary person. Despite fertility struggles and numerous high risk pregnancies, several of which resulted in miscarriages, you did not waiver in your determination to build our family, even at your own peril. While we struggled to conceive and during pregnancies when bad news was close at hand, you did not quit. I remember when we thought your most challenging pregnant moment would be when at 30 weeks pregnant with Ryan, HELP syndrome suddenly surfaced, threatening your life and that of our son. I stood by your hospital bed all day, confused and scared as doctors worked to stabilize you as they wheeled you down the hall for an emergency c-section. Time felt paralyzed while I waited to know if you and the baby would pull through the procedure. By God's grace and the tremendous medical care, you both lived, and I had a front row seat to an amazing testament of love as mother and son overcame many challenges during a slow and difficult recovery.

More than a decade of infertility ensued. Month after month, I would walk into our bedroom as you were sticking yourself with a syringe full of medication to help facilitate a pregnancy. Bruises - - infertility battle scars - - were always visible. Do you remember when I actually tried to administer this shot to you? You fired me - - rightly so, and admittedly to my own relief - - after just a few days. After this experience, I do know it takes a brave woman to volunteer to endure such physical pain, all on top of the mental torture of negative pregnancy tests, month after month and year after year. I would wonder silently, and at times out loud, why you (and often me) wanted to keep going. I know the answer is love of family

A decade of failures ended with the beautiful and satisfying birth of our daughter in March 2008. A child we had longed for was now with us and your smile that night was as I can describe in no other way but. . .perfect.

News of another pregnancy just shy of a year later became the biggest bombshell we'd ever dealt with. When I told you about the medical mistake - - and the realization sunk in that this child would not be ours to keep - - you paced our bedroom, the fear on your face and your desire to figure out how to separate it from your own body pained me. You had been violated, and the source of the ongoing trauma was within your own body. I would do my best to help support in that moment and the days to follow, but I would never truly understand what you were experiencing.

I watched as you spiraled into despair, only to see you rally. You were on an emotional teeter totter that was quite unpredictable, but you always fought through the darkness and did not let it win. Your rage against it was potent and beautiful.

At night I could feel you get out of bed and walk into the bathroom when you got sick. The medical problems which developed during your pregnancy brought great concern, but you did not quit. All of these sacrifices for another couple we had never met. You were embodying the spirit of doing for others.

Carolyn, I was there for many of the private emotional moments and some of those really low points. You would pick yourself up, gather yourself with grace and face the day with a sense of purpose and pride. Of course, you had many private moments with just your thoughts and I am sure those battles were the most difficult.

This gift was not just a moment in time, but moments that added up to days, in turn weeks and months. The gift of a lifetime is really a gift of forever. What kind of person is willing to walk that road? My answer is a beautiful and selfless woman.

You gave everything in the hospital on that day in September, and all witnesses there I am sure were touched. I believe your ultimate reward is not of this world. Carolyn, I don't know if everyone recognized that your sacrifice was a gift. But I hope that one day the young boy will and his appreciation will make the journey worthwhile. Please know your husband has great admiration for you.

Thank you and I love you.

© 2011 Sean Savage, author of Inconceivable: A Medical Mistake, the Baby We Couldn't Keep, and Our Choice to Deliver the Ultimate Gift

Author Bio

Sean and Carolyn Savage's, story was covered widely when they gave birth to the baby boy in September 2009, including People magazine and on The Today Show.  In Inconceivable: A Medical Mistake, the Baby We Couldn't Keep, and Our Choice to Deliver the Ultimate Gift, they are telling the entire story for the very first time.  Sean and Carolyn live in Ohio with their two teenage sons and a two-year-old daughter

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