Full Circle

AUTHOR: | POSTED: January 7, 2013 | COMMENTS: 15 Comments

Carolyn Savage

One thing I’ve learned over the past few years is how important it is to try and anticipate my emotional reaction to the outcome of an event.  Sean and I spent nine months “practicing” how we were going to handle our emotions the moment that “L” was born.  It was important to me that the first minutes of his life be filled with nothing but joyful celebration.  Yes, we weren’t going to get to raise him.  Yes, the whole situation was unfortunate.  Yes, we had no guarantee what his life would be like once he left the delivery room, but instead of being overwhelmed by our sadness, I wanted him to enter the world enveloped in happiness and joy.

Given the circumstances of his birth, we had to practice.

Since then, I’ve made countless mental dry runs through equally dramatic moments.  Some sad and tragic:  The funeral of a friend; being interviewed about the baby we lost ten days after I gave birth to “L”; talking to a national television audience  about the Newtown tragedy.  Other moments have been victorious:  getting the book deal phone call; finding out we were having twins; holding my newborn daughters for the very first time.

I practiced all these moments because I *may* have a tiny obsession with control.  (If Sean is reading this he just fell on the floor laughing.)  I also *may* have a tendency to get overly emotional.  Knowing these two little tidbits about myself prompted me to practice.  When I can anticipate something big on the horizon, I run through the potential outcomes in my head, deciding how I want to react so I don’t feel like a complete fool in that moment.

So, what happens when a spontaneous or unexpected big-deal-event drops a bomb in my lap?

Well, I get emotional.  Which is what happened last night.

I didn’t accurately predict what this Dateline was going to mean for me.

First of all, let me say, obviously I knew the Dateline was going to air last night.  What most don’t know, however, is that we are never allowed an advanced viewing, so the content is coming to us at the same time it’s coming to the rest of the world.  Add that to the surreal experience of watching your greatest challenge play out on television with a new and very happy ending, and from me. you are going to evoke emotion.  All kinds of sappy, teary, blubbering emotion.

That didn’t happen the first time around.

I guess that’s because the first time the Dateline aired, back in February 2011, our journey hadn’t come “full circle”.  Even though, at the time, Jennifer was early on in her pregnancy with the twins which was, of course,  a miracle, Sean and I were still so far from the peaceful, happy place we exist today.  Time has definitely given way to a better place for our family.  It was that happiness that overwhelmed me.

It’t ironic because shortly after delivering “L”, I was always asked if I spent time wondering “why me”.  I never did.  But last night, as our happy ending played out for the whole world to see, and was then followed by a pile-on of very loving and supportive messages from countless strangers, the “why me” question did enter the picture.  What makes us worthy of experiencing such peace?  Why can’t their be a happy ending for everyone?  How did we get so lucky?

Cue emotions.

The truth is , I get overwhelmed because I don’t understand how this crazy, unpredictable and sometimes screwed up world we live in works.  I don’t know why some people get happy endings and others never fully recover from a challenge.  I’m always awestruck by people who have experienced true tragedy in their lives (I’m talking bone chilling tragedies, not pregnant with the wrong baby challenges), that are able, in time,  to move forward with a sense of peace and happiness.  The only thing I can figure is that time, perspective, perseverance, prayer, loving family, patient friends, and gratitude are all important variables in successfully  muddling through life’s unwelcome curveballs.  And, by the grace of God, we’ve tapped into all those things to come full circle.

So, I celebrated last night with an emotional and  uncontrolled but joyous response.  All of it, because I recognize just how very blessed we truly are!



15 Comments on “ Full Circle ”

  • Kathy | January 7th, 2013 3:12 pm

    Awesome Carolyn! I am so happy to see that you have come full circle. I continue to be so proud of and inspired by you. xoxo

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  • Grandma Honey | January 7th, 2013 9:14 pm

    I think one of my favorite parts last night was when one of your sons said how proud he was to have you both as his parents. What a character building experience it must have been for 2 teenage boys to actually watch their parents ‘walk the walk.’ It most likely shaped who they are for years to come.

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  • Carolyn Savage | January 10th, 2013 9:50 am

    Thank you. You know I always love hearing from you! And, I can only hope we have positively impacted the boys. I agree, we won’t know the full extent of our work with them for a long time. I guess that’s true of any parent, though.

    Thanks as always for reading!

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  • Ann | January 7th, 2013 9:23 pm

    Carolyn, I just saw the Dateline program last night. I know someone very close to me who for a day or so had reason to believe her clinic had made the same mistake with her. Well I have to tell you, it was the most horrifying thing I ever tried to help someone grapple with. It turned out not to be true. But because I witnessed that, I could barely breath when listening to your story. You are amazing, Carolyn. I agree with your father. I have been thinking to myself that it has to take years of character building and moral certainty to make a decision like that and go on that journey. I am so happy that everything played out as beautifully as it did for all involved. And I, too, asked Why You. Well, God certainly chose wisely, didn’t He?

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  • Carolyn Savage | January 10th, 2013 9:53 am

    Ann, In a way I was lucky that I only found out about the mistake after it was made, and I knew I was pregnant. The anxiety that would have ensued if I’d known before I new the outcome of the transfer would have been very bad for Logan…I think.

    Thanks for your kind words. I battled with God a lot during this ordeal. I really thought he had chosen wrong. In the end, I think we did our best, and by His grace, came through the journey as better, stronger people.

    Thanks again for reaching out. It means a lot to us.

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  • Lori Lavender Luz | January 8th, 2013 12:33 am

    I am so glad your story was treated with the respect it deserves.

    And I know what you mean about the other side of “why me,” the upwelling of joy and the gratitude for one’s overwhelming blessings that can bring happy tears.

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  • Teri | January 8th, 2013 6:31 am

    I haven’t read your book yet so I did not realize how hard a time you had with pregnancies and I didn’t know that the twins were born via surrogate. So when I watched Dateline on Sunday it was like a one-two punch. I am in awe of your bravery and applaud you and Sean and your whole family for the type of people that you are. Big hugs!!

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  • Carin Cooper Head (Manually Imported from Facebook Comment) | January 8th, 2013 2:40 pm

    Carolyn, I didn’t get to see the Dateline episode last night, but your beautiful Christmas card says it all…what a lovely family you have, and how happy you all look!

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  • Maria Deflorio (Manually Imported from Facebook Comment) | January 8th, 2013 2:40 pm

    You are Beautiful and very strong people. Thanks for sharing your story with the world, it had to be very hard to do.

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  • Kim deRoos (Manually Imported from Facebook Comment) | January 8th, 2013 2:41 pm

    So happy for you all!! Really, I mean that! When I read your book, talking about emotional, well you would understand I think….I cried as if you and I were best friends and I hurt like you we’re telling me this one on one. I am so proud of the testament that God has allowed you to share and how well you did in that test!! I’m now as proud for you as a best friend would be and have shared your story numerous times. I could only wish to meet you all someday, now that would be the icing on an emotional cake

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  • Kim Voisin Whitney(Manually Imported from Facebook Comment) | January 8th, 2013 2:42 pm

    Your posts are always inspiring!

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  • Jennifer Murphy (Manually Imported from Facebook Comment) | January 8th, 2013 2:42 pm

    I know watching it made me feel like it was happening all over again, I cried and it was my life! lol

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  • Erika | January 9th, 2013 1:48 am

    I’m sorry if this is a sensitive question, but I didn’t hear any discussion about it. After having baby “L”, as you call him, why were you not able to conceive via in-vitro again?

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  • Carolyn Savage | January 9th, 2013 9:55 am

    Hi Erika, Not insensitive at all. In fact, I can see how if you were new around here my might not be used to my lingo. And if you haven’t read the book, well, you wouldn’t know a lot of our story that was left out of the Dateline. So here’s the explanation.

    First, when I refer to “L” on FB or here on the blog, it’s Logan I am referring to. I try not to use his name very often. I realize that might seem strange after the Dateline, but before Sunday, “l’s” story really has been on the back burner around here. I’m trying to respect his privacy (which I realize may be a mute point).

    The baby I lost ten days after “L” was born was an unborn child that our surrogate, Jennifer, was carrying for us. She miscarried ten days after I gave birth to “L”.

    Lastly, I couldn’t carry again after “L” for a multitude of reasons. “L” was my third c-section, and although some women can handle more than three c-sections my uterus was in a state of disrepair due to scarring. Add in my advanced maternal age and history of pre-eclampsia and regardless of my uterus’ condition, carrying well into my forties was not considered safe. So, we had to use a surrogate (or gestational carrier…proper term) to carry our remaining embryos.

    Hope that makes sense.

    And don’t worry about asking sensitive questions. You wouldn’t believe what the media has asked. 😉

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  • Teri | January 9th, 2013 10:40 pm

    I borrowed and shared the New Year’s resolution from your Facebook page. It is the most inspiring, meaningful and touching resolutions ever. Knowing your story and the wonderful person that you are made the resolution extra special and real. Thank you for sharing your story, and I love reading your updates and seeing pictures of your growing, adorable family. Congrats and best wishes.

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