'Inconceivable' mom: How IVF mixup changed me as a mother

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By Parents

Meredith Vieira wanted to know if giving birth to the genetic child of another couple, after my fertility clinic accidentally transferred another couple’s embryos into me, changed me as a mom.  I realized at that moment that  I am changed. 

By Carolyn Savage, TODAY Moms guest blogger

During the six hours of interviews my husband Sean and I completed for "Dateline," there was one question that gave me great pause. Meredith Vieira wanted to know if giving birth to the genetic child of another couple, after my fertility clinic accidentally transferred another couple’s embryos into me, changed me as a mom.  I realized at that moment that  I am changed.   How could giving birth to a beautiful baby boy, and then watching him leave the hospital in the arms of another family, not change me as a mother? 

My three children are the light of my life, and although at times they push my buttons, raising them is a challenging privilege.  After Logan left us, I think I learned how to appreciate my moments with Drew, Ryan and Mary Kate with a new intensity. I now treasure even the simple, little moments that all moms experience.  When I walk with Mary Kate and lower my hand and she instinctively grasps hold, the feeling of her almost 3-year-old fist curled around my finger prompts a depth of gratitude I’ve never felt. 

Ryan is my middle guy. At 13, he’s navigating the awkward years! At night, after he’s fallen asleep, I still sneak into his room to kiss him on his forehead.  Notoriously a light sleeper, he almost always stirs just enough to tell me he loves me.  Hearing those words, even from a half-conscious teenager, has always been special.  But now, it’s sweeter than ever. 

My oldest  is sixteen and last week I took him to get his driver’s license.  Drew was as nervous as I had ever seen him as he walked out the door with the state examiner.  Fifteen minutes later, I looked up to see him walking around the corner flashing a smile and giving me a victorious thumbs-up.  I savored this rite-of-passage not only because it meant that there was light at the end of my “endless carpooling” tunnel, but also because I was present at this milestone.  His smile and victorious thumbs-up were priceless. 

We all, as mothers, love our children.  It is a love that is so intense that there are truly no words to describe the feeling that floods us the very moment our child is placed in our arms.  I had that “love flood” when each of my children, including Logan, were born.  When we placed him in the arms of his adoring mother, our love grew.  I grew.  I now try to recognize the little things -- the tiny joyful moments that my kids bring into my life -- and treasure them. Logan taught us so much, but the most important piece of his legacy for me is a lesson of love.  In the heat of full schedules and endless to-do lists, Logan has taught me to savor every moment and to appreciate the gifts of my children.  I love being their mom.  It is an experience that I’m incredibly lucky to have.