Trying Again After a Failed Transfer

The goal with surrogacy is always a healthy and successful pregnancy for the Surrogate and baby. Even when everything goes as planned leading up to the transfer, transfers can fail. Sometimes the embryo fails to implant. Other times, the pregnancy ends as a chemical miscarriage. Regardless of the reason, a failed transfer can be difficult to process. Surrogate S shares her experience with a failed embryo transfer. 


1) How were your feelings going into the first transfer?

I was very nervous going into my first transfer. My IPs only had two embryos, and I really wanted our first transfer to be successful. My journey was independent, so I had a front-row seat in seeing how much time, emotions, and finances went into their surrogacy journey. We invested so much as a team to get to transfer day. I felt a lot of pressure, not from IPs but rather from myself. I really wanted our first transfer to be successful. 

2) When you found out the first transfer was unsuccessful, how did you process your emotions?

My first transfer ended as a chemical pregnancy. At-home pregnancy tests all showed positive. Even our first beta-hcg was positive. It was our second blood test that showed levels decreasing instead of increasing. It was so incredibly disappointing. Mainly because the IVF nurse called my IPs after the first blood test returned positive. My IPs didn’t understand how this could happen, which made me feel like I had let them down. I spent a lot of time researching before pursuing surrogacy, so rationally, I knew that chemical pregnancies were common. I also knew nothing I had done wrong and a genetic abnormality within the embryo most likely caused it. Still, it was hard to remind myself of this. It was almost like an internal battle with myself. “What could I have done differently?” vs. “You did everything you could; this sometimes happens.” In the end, I just reminded myself that I followed my med protocol and all the rules and guidelines set by my reproductive endocrinologist. My husband, the best support I could ask for, also helped me through this tough time. 

3) Was anything changed for your second transfer?

Nothing changed for my second transfer except a decrease in the prescription medication valium for the embryo transfer procedure. My medication protocol remained the same, as did my cycling dates. I almost forgot that my second transfer was with a PGS-tested embryo. This was not the case with my first transfer. 

4)How were you feeling going into the second transfer?

Surprisingly, I felt much more at ease going into my second transfer. This was my IP’s only remaining embryo, with no intention of creating more. Even still, I just had a good feeling about it. Even during the transfer, I felt confident we would have great news in a few short weeks! After our transfer, my IPs took us out for a delicious Italian lunch; I took a nap and then made the 5-hour drive back home. 


5) Did you test at home for your second transfer?

I did! I tested way too much. Watching the lines get darker was a great feeling. 

6) How did you feel when you received the results of the second transfer?

I was so darn happy. I don’t think I can put it into words. It was right before Christmas, so I felt it was the best holiday news my IPs could ever receive. After our experience with the first transfer, my IPs did not want to know any results until after the second beta. I knew the results after the first and knew the numbers were high. I also received the second beta results before they did (due to them playing phone tag with the clinic). It drove me crazy not to tell them! When they finally heard the news and called me, it was one of the happiest moments of our journey together. 

7) Anything else you would like to add?

Becoming a surrogate is one of the most incredible things I have done in my life. We receive pictures and videos of surrobabe all the time. My husband and I are still in awe that we were lucky enough to be part of something so amazing. Watching surrobabe with her mom and dad makes all of the time spent working toward a successful transfer/pregnancy worth it. 

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