Sunday, March 24, 2013


I’m used to being good at things. I’m also used to things coming easily. Yes, I am aware that I sound like an arrogant jerk in saying so. I'll admit I don't much care for the old adage “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”. If at first I don’t succeed, I obviously wasn’t meant to be doing it in the first place. Duh. Not that I’m against working hard, but I have to know that success is a definite outcome to make the hard work worthwhile. For example, I knew I could get good grades in school if I worked hard. I know I will eventually finish a painting that I’m happy with if I work hard. I know my kids and I will survive each day if I work hard. Other things are doable, but I normally choose not to do them. For example, I know I can get this gross house clean if I work hard and I know I can get in shape with diet and exercise if I work hard.

Then there are the things that just aren’t doable, even if I try. If I fail at something, despite my best efforts, I don’t take it well. At the very best, I am UNpleasantly surprised. At worst, I am crushed. And embarrassed. So when my “beta” (hcg levels, or pregnancy hormone) test came back positive, but barely, it was like getting a D-, a barely passing grade. Shameful. To be considered pregnant, you need a number 50 or higher; some pregnancy tests only require 25 or higher to be considered pregnant. Mine was 53. See? D-. The worst grade I ever got in school (including college) was a C. L-7 weenie! It was in high school gym class--the only class I repeatedly skipped.

Moving on. Congratulations were bestowed for my "positive results". I couldn't get excited about a D-, and my doubt proved right. In a normal pregnancy, the beta needs to double every 48 hours to indicate appropriate growth, and when I got re-checked two days later, my number was only 57. Two days later it had dropped to 16. That pretty much means that the transfer was unsuccessful. They called it a biochemical pregnancy. I don’t think the term “miscarriage” is applied to a situation like this, but it’s still weird that I was technically pregnant, and now I’m not.

Now. The success rate of IVF is nowhere near 100%. I read somewhere that the highest you can expect is 65%, so it often takes several attempts. Sometimes 4 or 5 attempts. But here I am, thinking how easy it was to get pregnant with my two kids, fully expecting it to work. Not just work. I was expecting an A+. Instead, I got a D- and ultimately an F. I was disappointed, but mostly saddened for the parents. Guilty, even. They are financially and emotionally invested beyond comprehension, and although they are taking it well, I feel like I let them down.

The emotions involved in carrying a baby for someone are really hard to put to words. It’s sort of like being excited for a friend who’s having a baby—involved but disconnected. The emotions involved in trying and failing to carry a baby for someone else are more complex. Of course there’s the question of what went wrong. In all likelihood it was just not a viable embryo for some unknown reason, despite being genetically tested and confirmed, but I still don’t like feeling like I failed. Even if it was beyond my control.

And then of course I wish I hadn't told anyone about the surrogacy, because that means more people to ask questions, more people to worry, more people to doubt, more people to criticize; more people to let down.

HowEVER, my grade is not really an F, just an Incomplete, because we’re going to try again. It totally sucks to have to do a whole other cycle of meds—shots and all—but this is a situation where I need to “try, try again”, because I made a commitment. Even if I’m mad about it. And impatient. The good part is, with this delay, I won’t be so huge in the hot summer months. Another bonus is that if the pregnancy is divided between 2013 and 2014 I won’t get completely screwed in taxes. The bad part is, it still sucks to fail.

But everyone is hopeful.

In the meantime, I get a break from all the meds and restrictions have been lifted. I’m enjoying my coffee and beer for a couple more weeks before we give it another go. Fingers crossed for round two!


  1. Sarah, you don't know how to fail. This will work. Until the next round begins, we will celebrate. We will celebrate you and the amazing woman you are. We will celebrate your beautiful kids. And we will celebrate this new, unusual, but exciting chapter in your life. See you Wednesday. Kw.

    1. You always say the nicest things! <3 Thank you!

  2. Aw, sister, I feel you. I watched one of my close coworker/friends go through three unsuccessful rounds. Like you, she's got a big heart, and was devastated. Not to mention she became close to the couple she was carrying for, and really felt like she let them down. She joined surrogacy groups on fb, and that helped her a lot through the process. Here's her blog if you want to check her out.
    But back to you, while we obviously hope it's a success, I know you'll have the grace and strength to handle what ever comes your womb's way. ;)

    1. Thanks Jane! I read some of her blog--I love hearing other stories. I hope it works for her this time!!! I'm on a surrogacy fb group too, which is definitely great for sharing experiences. Staying positive! :)


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