– Fertile Myrtle
– I get pregnant when my husband just looks my way!
– 2 pink lines every time.
– Knocked up on the first try!
Totally common phrases among surrogates. Women that choose to become surrogates generally have not experienced much infertility of their own. They have had a child or children, enjoyed a healthy and successful pregnancy and would love to share the joy of parenthood with another family.
As any person who has been through assisted reproduction or Infertility treatments can tell you, it’s not always a golden path to pregnancy. Even with professionals handling the birds and bees, there can be disappointment. Women with an ideal scenario still only have a 40-65% per-cycle success rate, with most women having a per-cycle success of 20-35%. Having this perspective may help you feel less discouraged if the first attempt doesn’t work.
But I’m not here to just give you facts and figures. The emotional toll that an unsuccessful IVF attempt takes is very real. Disappointment, sadness, maybe even anger that you didn’t get the result everyone was hoping for, maybe even guilt that you “let down” the Intending Parents. The first measure to take is to let yourself grieve a bit. It’s okay to feel disappointed and sad.
Prior to your IVF treatment, you will have many MANY blood tests ultrasounds and screenings to ensure your body is responding in the best way possible. In surrogacy, the most common reason for a failed IVF is implantation issues. You may find yourself analyzing every move you made trying to figure out “what you did” that stopped the embryo from implanting. Most of the time when implantation issues occur, it is simply because the embryo stops growing through no fault of anyone.
So, you receive the news that the IVF treatment didn’t work. Much uncertainty follows that disappointing conversation. Depending on your unique situation and relationship with your Intended Parents you may hear from them right away or they may also need time to process and grieve.
First off keep in mind that this a very personal matter and you must do what feels right to you. Here are some tips for after:
– Send a heartfelt condolence to your Intended Parents
– Talk with someone it can really help to open up to someone who understands what you are experiencing.
– Get active, you have likely spent 2+ weeks laying low and keeping physical activities to a minimum, allow yourself to enjoy a run/hike/long bike ride, whatever gets your blood pumping!
– Thank your body. This may seem silly, but your body has undergone quite a bit through this process and will do so again if another cycle in your future.
Share your story
If you are part of a surrogate or support group, don’t be afraid to share. Your story may be just what someone else needs to hear. When IVF fails, you may feel very lonely, It is an experience shared by many other surrogates (and intended parents). Only half of all IVF cycles will be successful the first time. It is quite common for success to require multiple attempts. Shutting down only serves to create strife during a time when unity is vital. It is okay to not be okay.