Dear Sassy Surrogate: Failure and Loss

Dear Sassy Surrogate,

Does surrogacy ever fail? - Scared

Hi, Scared-

Most of us who become surrogates have little experience with our own personal pregnancy losses. Then with all the screening done in the process of getting pregnant as a surrogate, it can seem like it’s a fail proof process. So when it goes wrong, it is devastating!

A failed transfer, an early miscarriage or a late miscarriage. Every loss feels like a waste of time, a waste of resources and a huge failure.

Levels of Loss

Any loss of pregnancy is difficult. As a surrogate there are so many levels of loss. 

You have the loss of everything you have been doing over the last year or more to prepare. You have taken hormones and spent time away from your family. You’ve put your body through a lot. You made a huge sacrifice for what feels like nothing.

You feel enormous guilt for failing the Intended Parents. They have spent money on you and you didn’t get pregnant. You feel you wasted their embryo and have to make up for that somehow. 

Then there is the grief. This is a loss and all loss of pregnancy is painful. You will have the pain of this loss for your IPs and everything they were hoping for. You will have the pain of your sense of failure and not being good enough. You will have the pain of what you have put your own family through on this journey. 

Then there is the physical loss. Your body is going to have to adjust. Once you stop the medications your body will have at the least a very heavy period. You may even need a medical  procedure depending on how far along the pregnancy was when the miscarriage happens. 

It’s not your fault

There is no way to not feel the guilt when you are the surrogate who has a loss. You will feel like a failure. You will question everything you did that could have caused the loss. Any time you took your medications even a little late. You’ll worry about having done too much activity or too little. You’ll even question kissing or getting turned on by your partner. 

The truth is IVF has a very high failure rate, even in surrogacy. While more and more ways are developed to make it more successful, it is just going to fail sometimes. The chances of any embryo implanting and developing normally is always pretty low. Because surrogacy pregnancies are monitored so closely, we know very early everything that is happening. In most cases you wouldn’t know you were pregnant so early and a loss would just be seen as a late heavy period. 

While you will take it on as your fault, this loss is not because of anything you did or didn’t do. It’s just part of the process.

Get Support  

You will have to move through the process of loss just like everyone. Allow yourself have the full range of emotions without judgment of yourself or the experience. Reach out and process with your IPs. They are experiencing the same loss and you can be a support for each other. Also, get professional help. Most surrogacy contracts have a provision for mental health support; use it! 

Remember, your agency is here for you too. We have employees who have been through this and can relate to what you are going through. Be sure to reach out to us at Colorado Surrogacy so we can support you. 

Interested in more information and talking to us about how the process works to become a gestational carrier?