Kathy Benson Reviews: Inconceivable

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

By Carolyn and Sean Savage


One of the first things that struck me about this book was how well written it was. I am not sure what I was expecting, but after reading the first few chapters, it was hard for me to put down. Since I had bought the electronic version of Inconceivable for my Kindle, and also have a Kindle app on my iPhone, I found myself stealing moments whenever I could to get my “fix” and find out what would happen next.

Anticipating what was to come is something that I found both amusing and ironic about this story and the authors’ ability to convey it – it was really compelling. Not unlike the movie Titanic where you know going into it that the ship sinks, there was a part of me that was skeptical about how interesting Inconceivable might be. I think this was in part because of my personal relationship and history with Carolyn (one of the authors).

From the moment I first learned about what had happened, as I shared in this post about Inconceivable on my blog, I followed Carolyn and Sean’s story. After I found out the Savages had written this book and reconnected with Carolyn again, I was excited to read this account of their story, but also wondered with the amount of media coverage that I had followed, how much new information could there possibly be to share in Inconceivable?

As it turns out there was a lot in the book that I didn’t know about from my direct communication with Carolyn or from watching countless television interviews with the Savages in the weeks surrounding the time when Inconceivable was released back in February. What I also didn’t consider is that a really well written story can be incredibly interesting, even if you know a lot about the main events that take place and most of all, despite if you already know how it ends: they give the baby she carried to their genetic parents after he was born.

One of the storytelling devices used in Inconceivable that really worked for me is that it is told in the individual voices of Carolyn and Sean in alternating chapters. The approach really helped me to connect with each of their unique points of view in this both heartbreaking and heartwarming memoir.

Since I carried my daughter Molly for most of my pregnancy in 2008 knowing that it was unlikely she would make it to her birth alive and if she did, even less likely that she would live long, I could relate to a lot of the feelings and emotions that Carolyn felt towards Logan and her pregnancy that she expressed so candidly and vividly in this book.

I was moved to find out from Carolyn, after we reconnected following Logan’s birth that she had often thought of me and used my family’s journey with Molly, who was born and died in April 2008, as inspiration to get through her own experience carrying a child that she and her family also would not get to bring home after his birth.

In part because of my husband and my experience with a very rare and unique pregnancy with our daughter Molly, and how early her diagnosis was made and prognosis was given, I found myself nodding with understanding throughout Inconceivable. I laughed and cried many times as read about the kind of moments and experiences that only those who have “been there,” or at least somewhere close, can appreciate.

I also really like that Carolyn and Sean don’t profess or pretend to be or have been saints through all of this. As Carolyn shared with me early on when we were discussing their book, which had not yet been released, part of why Sean and she wrote this was to show people that they are somewhat ordinary human beings who when faced with extraordinary circumstances, rose to the challenge. However, they want others to know that it wasn’t easy for them or pretty much of the time. They also believe, as do I, that when you find yourself in such unbelievable situations in life and facing “inconceivable choices,” you do what works for you to get through and you make the best decisions you can with the information you have at the time.

To learn more about Carolyn and Sean Savage’s journey and life since they wrote Inconceivable, you can follow their blog. As you may know, the Savages are anxiously awaiting the birth of twin baby girls via their wonderful surrogate Jennifer due later this summer!


**Reprinted from  Exhale’s Summer 2011 Issue.


Author Bio:

Kathy Benson is Exhale’s Contributing Editor. Kathy is a Domestic Engineer with three children (two here and one in Heaven) trying to live mindfully and find joy in the journey after dealing with secondary infertility and pregnancy loss for over five years. She blogs at Bereaved and Blessed and you can follow her on Twitter @BereavedBlessed

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