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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Misconception: One Couple's Journey from Embryo Mix-Up to Miracle Baby...Review

About the book:
In February of 2009, Shannon and Paul Morell were especially eager to bring a new life into the world. After years of infertility and miscarriages they had, in 2006, finally scrimped and saved enough to have in vitro fertilization. The result? Two dear daughters had been born, and six precious embryos had been frozen. 

They counted the days until they could transfer the six remaining embryos. Until the fateful day of February 17, 2009, when the clinic called. “The doctor would like to you to come in today?” Shannon writes, “Face to face with the doctor, I noticed that his face was gravely serious. 'There's been a terrible incident in our lab,' he said. 'Your embryos have been thawed.' A pause, as we both exchanged disbelieving looks, and he went on...'Your embryos have been transferred into another woman.'"   

The Morells have a story to tell. A cautionary tale of medical errors, unexpected miracles, sincere mourning, and grateful bonding with their son. Amazingly, theirs is also a story of joy-filled thanksgiving... a story of life: life that is precious, sacred, and treasured. 

Shannon and Paul's story is a straight-forward and honest commentary about their experience.  I've seen mixed reviews about it and reviewers commenting that the book is poorly written and all Shannon does is complain. I simply thought that it was one family's honest account of their difficult experience. I also think this story is one that you truly cannot understand unless you live it.  I can only imagine how I would feel.

The Morells share their IVF experience with conceiving their twin daughters and how they planned for future children by freezing their remaining embryos.  A week before the planned appointment to being IVF the second time, they were told by their doctor that their embryos had been thawed and mistakenly implanted into another woman.

I remember seeing this story in the media and being shocked.  I realize that no one is infallible, but I can't imagine a mistake on this level.  My disappointment in this book is that there is no information about the consequences for the fertility clinic.  There should be severe consequences for the clinic.  The portrayal of their doctor is that he was rather cavalier, even while being apologetic, and that the clinic kept trying to get them to come back for more IVF.   

This is a really fast read, and an interesting one. The Morells talk a lot about their Christian belief and view of IVF and include many references at the end.  I did find Shannon to be somewhat self-centered. Everything was about her and she showed very little concern for the Savage's feelings.

I'd love to read Sean and Carolyn Savage's story, if they ever choose to write about it.  I think they must be incredibly selfless people to put aside their own disappointment and carry this child for someone else.

Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow.  You can purchase your own here.

Read 6/10

* * *
3/5 Stars


  1. Wow, what a story! I don't remember this story at all, but I can imagine it is heartbreaking.

  2. and this is just one of the many reasons that doctors shouldn't try to play God :(

  3. Thank God that Doctors play God or I wouldn't have my little boy.

    Ever think that Doctors were made by God to help infertile people have their children? Probably not.

    One bad story and millions of miracles.