1: An Introduction

August 5, 2023

The journey to motherhood is unique for every woman, and Meredith’s story is no exception. In the inaugural episode of her podcast, The Back Up Plan, Meredith shares her journey to becoming a single mother by choice.

In this episode, she talks about her college years and her friendship with Michael, her gay best friend. Their bond was so strong that it transcended traditional boundaries, to the point where Michael dreamed of them having a baby together. This dream sparked the idea that would eventually lead to Meredith’s decision to become a single mother by choice.

Navigating the complexities of single motherhood is not without its challenges. Meredith acknowledges the difficulty of dating while pursuing her dream of becoming a mother. However, she remains open to the possibility of someone joining her on this adventure, showing resilience and determination in the face of adversity.

The Backup Plan offers a fresh perspective on single motherhood. Meredith aims to provide a platform for individuals who are starting their families on their own terms. By sharing her experiences, she hopes to inspire and empower others in similar situations. This episode sets the stage for future chats with experts, individuals who’ve treaded similar paths, and folks thrilled to initiate their families on their terms.

 

Description

Picture this: college pals, a heartening bond, and an unusual dream that leads to an extraordinary journey. Meredith is your guide through this delightful adventure. Learn about her friendship with Michael, her gay best friend, and how his dream about the two of them having a baby together became a real-life decision.

This episode sets the stage for future chats with experts, individuals who’ve treaded similar paths, and folks thrilled to initiate their families on their terms. Welcome to The Back Up Plan.

Transcript

Hello, Everybody! Welcome to the first episode of The Backup Plan. My name is Meredith Kate. I am a 38-year-old, cisgendered, bi, white woman, pronouns she/her, living in Southern California, working in the Entertainment industry. That is the three-second elevator pitch for you!

To start out this first episode of The Backup Plan, I want to tell you a little tale. To start at the beginning. It’s a very good place to start! I met my gay best friend, Michael, at a small liberal arts college in Northern Florida in a year that – I guess I can list, because I’ve already said I’m 38 – the year was 2003. I had just started college, moved away from home (I’m from Maryland originally). It was my greatest hope in moving to college and studying theatre arts that I would find the Will to my Grace. I was desperately wishing for a gay best friend. I ended up getting them in spades, but the one who stood out the most – the pea in my pod, the peanut butter to my jelly – was Michael.

We became such fast friends. We were absolutely magnetic to each other. Our families ended up becoming close. It went beyond just a collegiate friendship to, ‘Oh, this guy’s family,’. He has always been there for me. If you go back to my college graduation photos. There’s no picture of just me and my family. He is in all of them and is welcome to be in all of them because we were together all of the time.

We did everything together before class, after class, weekends, holidays and, I would say, sometime around senior year. He had a dream that since we were both taking 21 credits and we both had active social lives and we were both doing extracurriculars, that we might as well throw a baby in the mix as well. Why not? The dream ended rather tragically. I’m going to let him tell that part of the story when I have him on a future episode. But his mother took it as a sign we were meant to be together. I even bought him a turkey baster that year for Christmas as a joke.

Not long after college ended, we moved to Orlando. At about the same time, I remember there was a mini van that was launching and they put this website up as a marketing campaign, where you could upload a picture of yourself and your partner to see what your child would look like. That picture has been a running gag for the rest of our friendship. I’ve even printed it out on posters and taken it to the airport with big block letters that ‘YOUR BABY’S BEEN WAITING FOR YOU’.

Anyway, after Orlando, we both built up our careers in different places: I moved out to Los Angeles to work in the entertainment industry, as I said, he moved up to Alaska where he was able to work remotely for his job, and he’s traveled the world. Now we’ve gotten to this place where we’re both in our late 30s and…

My father died two years ago. That was obviously a real monumental moment in my life. The year after that happened really pulled things into a sharp relief for me, where I said to myself, ‘I’m ready to start my own family and I’m ready to start my family on my own terms,’. I decided that I was going to do that and I didn’t really know how, but I knew that was the direction to start moving in.

I sat down to have dinner with him because he just happened to be in town the first anniversary of my dad’s passing. I mentioned wanting to have a baby, mentioned wanting to do it on my own, and without me even asking, he offered up his little swimmers. So it must be meant to be right. So I’m going to do it. I’m going to get pregnant with the help of my gay best friend.

I’m excited because I’ve always wanted to be a mom. There was a moment in time post-Trump election, post-Me Too, this climate change that we’ve got going on, the pandemic… Where I was like, ‘No. I don’t want to do that, I don’t want to bring somebody else into this world,’. But my therapist said something very enlightening to me, and she said, ‘You’ve got to take the elevator from your head to your heart. And what does your heart really want? What is your heart telling you to do? What is your gut instinct?’ And it really brought me closer to what I feel I need to do.

And would it be nice to do this with a partner? Would it be nice to have somebody who I could rely on and trust? Of course, but it’s a wild world out there and I haven’t met that person. And it hasn’t been for lack of trying; I’ve been on the apps, I’ve been out in the real world and it just… has disappointed me. So, I’m not opposed to dating, and I’m not opposed to somebody joining me on this adventure at some point, but this is an adventure that I’m looking forward to starting on my own.

And so that’s where you come in: the audience. I’ve decided to share this journey because when I made this choice, I started looking up resources online and I just couldn’t find anything that I saw myself in. There is a movement out there called Single Mothers by Choice, but something about that feels haughty and dated to me. Because there’re a lot of mothers out there who are single not by choice and I can still learn from them, and there are fathers out there that are single by choice or not by choice, and I can learn a lot from them as well. And I basically decided to start this podcast to put out into the world what I’ m seeking to find. I wanna talk to people who are happy about starting families on their own terms, y’ know? I wanna talk to someone who’s excited to embark on a new chapter in their life. I wanna talk to people who are proud of their identities. I wanna have conversations with people who are in the same boat as me, or learn from somebody who’s just done it. I wanna talk to experts. I wanna talk to folks who’ ve been there. I wanna look at products that make the whole thing easier, because I’ m into smart tech and I’ m into anything that makes anything more efficient. I’ m German and a Capricorn, I can’t help myself. And so, I wanna have fun doing it.

Like, that’s the number one thing. I just… I wanna meet cool people, I wanna share funny stories. I wanna be honest about the experience but not spook anybody away from doing it. I think we’re all capable humans, y’ know. So here we are. It’s a short first episode. I just wanted to give you a lay of the land, where I’m at.

If you would like to join along in this journey or contribute in any way, we’re on social media; it’s backupplanpod on Instagram and TikTok. I’ve got a YouTube and a Facebook parked too, so you can go ahead and follow there and we’ll see what we can upload there shortly. The website is backupplanpod. com and the email address is info@ backupplanpod. com and you can send in voice notes or questions or your own experience. If you’d like to talk to me here on the pod, hit me up. Let’s see what we can do, right? And if you wanna follow my personal account, I’m meredithk 8. So that’s M-E-R-E-D-I-T-H-K, and the number 8. That’ll be down in the show notes for you.

And you know rate, subscribe, follow, do all of the things, heart things, hit the notification bell, whatever you need to remind you that I exist. I truly appreciate it! So thanks for listening and stay tuned for a second episode, because I’m starting off with two. We’re just gonna upload both of them right away.

The next episode is a little bit of a retrospective on ways that I started prepping for this back in March, and that involves OBGYN appointments and an acupuncturist that I didn’t love – spoiler alert. But you know, there’s a lot of ways to start prepping for something like this, and those were my first steps when I got serious about it.

So… excited to have you here. Thank you for joining in and looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks, bye!

The Backup Plan was created, produced and hosted by me, Meredith Kate. Julian Hagins is my co-producer. You can find us on social media at backupplanpod. The best place to get updates is to sign up for our newsletter at backupplanpod.com, where we also post all episodes, show notes and transcripts. Thank you for listening.

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