Along for the Ride: Beta


Along for the Ride: A Real Time Surrogacy Experience

Beta Day

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It’s Beta day! Usually on Beta day I wake up jazzed. Super excited. I even have a little song:

Beta Day, Beta Day

Goody, Goody,

Hip Hooray!

Don’t judge me. Beta day has always been an exciting day for me. Just exactly HOW pregnant am I? How high will that first number be, and is it one or two babies? Let the guessing game begin!

This time around I gave in to temptation and broke the cardinal rule of the two week wait, “Don’t take at home pregnancy tests.” The tests can be misleading. I know this. But I did it anyway, and my tests were negative.

So today, walking into the clinic, I wasn’t singing. I wasn’t excited to see just how big that first number would be. I already knew. My perfect transfer record was broken. I wasn’t pregnant.

As someone who has done –literally- hundreds of hours researching all things IVF and surrogacy, here’s what I know:

  • Nothing I did, didn’t do, or could have done differently would have changed the outcome of this Beta.
  • Sometimes you can do everything right, have perfect looking embryos and an ideal uterus, and it still doesn’t take. Sometimes it snows in July.

As a surrogate though, my heart is screaming this:

  • You failed.
  • You let your intended parents down.
  • You promised something you couldn’t deliver.

It’s hard to make the head and heart reconcile. It’s hard to have to be humbled and share my bad news with the world. I’m supposed to be telling everyone that the transfer took, Allison and Orin will be parents by Christmas, and isn’t surrogacy an amazing, wonderful thing? I still think surrogacy is an amazing, wonderful thing, by the way. But a baby by Christmas? Well, that’s not the route our Atlas is giving us for this journey.

Have you ever heard the expression, “Everything is sales?” In this case, I was selling myself. My reproductive prowess. My ability to grant wishes, make dreams come true, and help people have babies… all while whipping up a 5 course dinner for my family in 3 inch heels. I’m left feeling like I tripped over the cat and fell flat on my face in the kitchen. Looks like we’re ordering a pizza!

One of the best things about surrogacy with an agency is the support that comes with it. I was able to turn to my fellow surrogates, my surro-sisters, for support immediately. While this may be my first failed transfer, it is far from the first one we’ve dealt with as a community. It’s just part of IVF. My surro-sisters knew exactly what to say to help me pull it together, get my game face back on, and prepare for what’s next.

I also know that in the next day or so I’ll hear from   GG Co-Owner & psychologist Dr. Kim Bergman. She’ll call me to see how I’m doing and if I need anything. I don’t, I know my feelings are normal, but isn’t it nice to have that professional line of support available in case I did need it?

Here’s something else I know. Even Babe Ruth didn’t hit a home run every time he stepped up to the bat. So now we gather ourselves and we try again. Because while today we may have “struck out,” this game is far from over.


Odds of IVF Success

Causes of Embryo Transfer Failure

What to Expect on Beta Day

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.