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Misconception: One Couple's Journey from Embryo Mix-up to Miracle Baby
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Misconception: One Couple's Journey from Embryo Mix-up to Miracle Baby

3.27  ·  Rating details ·  474 ratings  ·  81 reviews
In February of 2009, Shannon Morell 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
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 4th 2010 by Howard Books (first published April 15th 2010)
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3.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  474 ratings  ·  81 reviews

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Jun 12, 2011 rated it liked it
I read the other side of this story first in Carolyn Savage's book "Inconceivaable," so my opinion may be slightly skewed here. Regardelss of what side of this horrible embryo transfer mistake you find yourself, this situation is heartbreaking and really just unfathomable. That said, I find myself sympathizing with Carolyn, who has to carry this baby and give it away, much more than I do with Shannon Morell, who misses out on being pregnant. Now, don't get me wrong, I would never want to find my ...more
Theresa Rielly
Mar 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book is the story of a couple, Sharon and Paul, who tragically had their embryos from an IVF cycle transferred into another woman who falls pregnant. After initial concerns that the pregnant woman may terminate their baby, it was confirmed that she would carry the baby to term and then hand the baby over to the biological parents.
The story seemed like it would be better, but I found Sharon's complaining about how hard it was for her that she wasn't able to carry her own child quite annoying
Cecilie Lee
Jul 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
Perhaps I would have enjoyed this book better if I read it before the other couple's story, Inconceivable. Compared to that book this one was trite and sort of pathetic. While I did feel badly for her lack of connection with the baby during pregnancy she was able to take the baby home. The other book was full of such heartache (I cried on the airplane as I read the ending) but this book seemed full of complaints. A difficult comparison though since one couple lost a baby, and the other gained on ...more
Jul 25, 2011 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoirs
Although the story was interesting, it needed to be told as a magazine article and not a book. There just wasn't enough story to fill a whole book. It was extremely redundant and slow moving.

The main point of the story was what prompted me to read it - what happens when an infertility clinic mixes up frozen embryos and gives them to the wrong parents. How should everyone respond? What moral/ethical obligation does the receiving family have to preserve the life of the implanted embryo who is not
Jun 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
In the end, I did enjoy the book. Fast read and really explained their side of the story. I have more in common with her than first imagined. Her struggle was much like that of adoptive parents. The appendix at the end gave great advice to anyone contemplating IVF.

I'll be interested to read the Savages' story next February.

No surprise why I grabbed this book. I wanted to know more because my gut instinct is to be angry with these people and demand they give back the baby to the woman who was pr
Eva Leger
I read this in early April and I should have reviewed it then. I found the book written by the other couple, I forget their name now, a few months before reading this. The first one intrigued me because it's so upsetting this can happen.
I can't imagine this happening to me - in either woman's circumstance. It would turn my entire world inside out. Much as it would for most any woman.
It's hard to read both books because both women went through something devastating. Regardless of whether someone
Apr 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2019
I'm not really sure how this book crossed my radar, but the last time I stopped by the library it was with my holds. I actually left it sitting around the house for a week or so, then when I did pick it up I had a hard time stopping reading.

This was a horrible situation, one that put both families in a bad place, making big decisions that would affect them all. I think they all did the best they could with the cards they were dealt. You could tell how worried Paul and Shannon were, if their baby
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
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 daughter
May 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a story! I was interested in this book since I've had several miscarriages and I'm now looking at IVF as an option. I'm really glad I read this book. She brings up questions to consider that I never thought about. I can't imagine what it would feel like to have a stranger carrying your baby. That had to be terrible. As someone who has struggled to conceive and have a successful pregnancy, I could really relate.

When I first picked up this book, I thought I knew the story from interview
Carmen Hartono
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone who has a heart
I wept when I came to a pivotal point in this couple's journey to have a child. Fortunately, I was home alone and could let the tears flow freely. I normally like to go to a coffee shop to read. So I felt it complete gift to firstly, find this book as a giveaway at a local coffee shop, and secondly, to connect with this couple from the privacy of my home.

With that being said, I have to ask what hit me that caused such a reaction? I have been blessed to not have had problems in the conception and
Feb 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-stories
It was good to hear the other side of the story that was told in Inconceivable by Carolyn and Sean Savage. I understand Shannon and Paul Morell's feelings more now.
It seems to me that in trying to be polite and respectful of each others feeling throughout this mix-up and pregnancy, they ultimately lacked communication and understanding of how each other was really feeling. They may have felt offended unnecessarily.
It's an impossible situation to imagine and I really feel if you read this book, y
Jenny Fuller
Jul 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
I just didn't "jive" with Shanon. Like Sanz, I found her completely un-relatable. While I feel bad for the situation and know she had no control over what happened to her, I find myself having a hard time feeling sorry for her. In fact I really had a hard time feeling anything while I read this book. But it was interesting to read it right after Inconcievable.
Brandee Terry
May 11, 2014 rated it liked it
I read the other side of this story first do maybe that skewed my thoughts. The other side seemed heartbreaking. While I felt for this couple it just felt selfish.
Jennifer Honeycutt
Apr 23, 2011 rated it liked it
After reading "Inconceivable" I wanted to see the other side to the story. This family was much more likeable than the Savages. Easy read. Very interesting.
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: christian
This book was really disappointing and really frustrating. However, I am not sure if it was me or the book. I picked this book up because I am a Christian woman who is struggling with infertility. I was looking for the author's opinions on the ethics of reproductive technology which were formed through her experiences. What I got was a recounting of her experiences and feelings presented in a relatively poor way, which made reading the book quite difficult.

The book could have been a third of th
Apr 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Wow; what a story! I'm planning on reading "the other side" for book club (the book Inconceivable by Carolyn Savage) but I was glad to read this, too, to see both points of view. This sounds almost too crazy to be true, but indeed, it was: in a mix-up at the lab, a couple undergoing IVF is placed with the wrong embryos: Shannon Morell's embryos. As I came to see what prompted the Morells to use IVF as a tool toward conception (first for their twin girls and then for the son, whose in-utero life ...more
Joanne Fishman
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I thought the authors did a good job describing what it was like to have their baby carried by a women they didn't know because of an embryo mix up. What stood out most was the loss of control, from the initial concern over whether the other women would be willing to carry the baby to term, to the health choices she made while pregnant, to whether she would willingly give the baby to the genetic parents after birth. The other thing that stood out was the author's sadness over not getting the exp ...more
Mandy J. Hoffman

The title really states what the book is all about. It's the emotional story of two families caught in the effect of human error.

This story held some twists and turns that would make one think it had to be fiction. However, this is a true story despite the hurt and pain caused. I appreciated the honesty with which Shannon shared their journey to overcome something bad in order to enjoy the blessing. It is such an amazing encouragement to read of the sacrifice of one family for anothe
Kerry Casey
I really enjoyed this book, but of course, being such a controversial case- everyone is going to have an opinion on the stories that both Shannon (being the biological mother of an embryo turned pregnancy mix up case) and Carolyn (the woman of whom the mixed up embryo..becoming a baby was implanted with)..share. The story flowed well and I can only respect and appreciate Shannon's raw honesty in sharing her experiences about how she and her family felt and dealt with the invitro lab's extreme fa ...more
Jul 07, 2011 rated it liked it
After reading Inconceivable, I wanted to hear the other side of the story. I didn't feel that Misconception: One Couple's Journey from Embryo Mix-up to Miracle Baby really expressed how the Morell's felt about the situation - it seemed to leave out parts and wasn't as detailed. I thought Inconceivable was written better and gave you a better perspective of the situation.

Still worth a read, especially if you know of this couple's story.
This is a extremely emotional story and must have been hard for the authors to open themselves up to all the media furore. I know couples who have been through IVF without all these complications, and it is without doubt an emotional rollercoaster, so what happened to this family must have been devastating. I didn’t really enjoy this audio as I found it too repetitive throughout. I would have liked to have heard more of the husband’s side of the story too, as I found it very one-sided. It is ver ...more
Mar 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
This story was absolutely fantastic. I can not wait to read the other side of this story. The thing I disliked the most was Shannon's attitude. I agree, it was a horrible situation to be in but I often felt like Shannon played the victim role. Yes it sucked, but you got your baby in the end. How do you think Carol felt? I also wasn't really crazy about Paul. He almost insinuated at point in this book that they wouldn't be able to afford the transfer and that is why God did this. I don't know, th ...more
Crystal Nelson
Jul 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this book. I felt the writing was pretty good and accurately portrayed their experience. I read the unofficial companion book "Inconceivable" first and found I had a hard time relating to that author. In a weird way, I had more empathy for the carrying mom after reading this book by the genetic mom. I would have liked to read more about Shannon's empathy for Carolyn and I would have preferred to see the two women open up to each other and be honest. But maybe that's a fiction s ...more
Aug 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011-reads
The true story of Paul and Shannon Morrell and their journey into parenthood through IVF. After successfully having twin daughters they decide to use the remaining frozen embryos to have another child. Everything seems to be on track for another successful implantation when they receive a call from the doctor’s office. The news is shattering … their remaining embryos have been thawed and mistakenly implanted into another woman.

We follow them through the personal, ethical, legal and practical pro
I first read, Inconceivable A Medical Mistake the Baby We Couldn't Keep and Our Choice to Deliver the Ultimate Gift and I knew I wanted to read this book to hear the other side of the story. The Morell's do a great job of sharing their unbelievable and personal story. A good quick read that is worth reading, as is the Savage's story.
I was prepared to have issues with Shannon. From things that other people had told me, I thought she would be whiny and ungrateful. I didn't find that to be the case though. I did read "Inconceivable" first, and I will admit that I enjoyed that book more. However, I did feel badly for Shannon Morell. This was an unfortunate, very sad situation for both Carolyn and Shannon. Yes, Shannon ended up with the child, but she did miss out on the pregnancy. Not a situation that any one should find themse ...more
Jul 31, 2011 rated it liked it
Interesting book. This couple tried to ensure their embryos would be handled in a pro-life manner, in accordance with their beliefs, and chose a lab they had thoroughly checked out....but disaster happens when, a week before Shannon Morell was to have some of their remaining embryos implanted into her womb, the couple finds out all the embryos had been thawed, and some implanted into someone else...the rest were discarded; human error...
An easy read, with a good ending...
Jun 30, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting to read the other side of this sad story. This was much less emotional than 'Inconceivable.' I read it in 1 day. The writing is quite poor and I had a hard time relating to Shannon. Misconception did not affect me the same way Inconceivable did.

Book club discussion will be fascinating!
Nov 17, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Saw this on the shelf and thought it looked interesting. While I enjoyed the light read and hearing their story, I kind of expected more medical research and information to be woven in the story. There was a nice chapter at the end discussing some of those things, just not quite laid out like I thought.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: misconception 1 2 Aug 31, 2012 06:47PM  

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