16: Fertility Testing Results

November 22, 2023


Meredith shares the results of her fertility assessments, specifically AFC and AMH levels, from her first round of appointments with Kindbody.


Hello there, welcome to the Thanksgiving episode of the Backup Plan. I hope that you’re having fun cooking for your friends or family, or that you’re having fun putting on stretchy pants for your friends or family, or that you’re putting on your stretchy pants all by yourself, because sometimes I just want to give thanks for the ability to be alone. Anyway, I am recording this from the guest room of my mother’s Orlando home. I have met my niece. She’s not even two months old. She’s so small because she was a little preemie and she had a tough time coming into this world. But she is fighting and fighting and fighting her way through it and she’s surrounded by so much love and so much support. There’s no doubt that she’s going to thrive and just do fantastically. And I haven’t seen finger nails this tiny she’s, so she’s so small. And then I’ve been spending a lot of time with my three year old nephew, who is a little crackerjack, and nobody in my family makes more sense to me that he does. He’s my dude, he is my spirit in a tiny little body. I’m sure his parents would say that he is their spirit in a tiny body, but I don’t know. Man genetics are one thing, but all right, let’s get back to fertility. One thing I didn’t detail last week was the fact that before we even got into any of these appointments, an insurance coordinator from kind body called me to let me know what all of my benefits were, and that’s wildly impressive. It’s not something that they need to do. There are a lot of doctor’s offices that don’t do that and a lot of services that don’t do that. They just kind of say like, oh yeah, insurance will cover it and you may have some extra payments here or there and we’ll let you know after you’ve had those procedures done. But no, they detailed everything and they said let’s make the most of it and we’ll figure out a way. And I got a direct contact for somebody and she was just absolutely fantastic and I can’t thank them enough for that extra little step. It doesn’t cost me anything, but it really. I mean it really sold the whole package to me. So after knowing how much I was going to spend on things, I went to my first appointment and I was surprised when they gave me the address of the kind body location in Newport Beach, because my understanding was that that establishment wasn’t going to be open yet and somebody had told me that it would be open in October. Other people told me, no, it’s not going to be open until next year. So, again surprised. So I drive up and it is straight up a construction site Lots of men walking around with lumber and the sounds of saws, and it’s in this little kind of strip mall situation. And I saw the kind body RV, which I’ve seen pictures of it online. So I was like okay, if nothing else, they’ll know what to do. So I walked up and like opened the door and hoisted myself in and it looked like one of their offices inside. They said come on in, we’ve been expecting you. Are you Meredith? Like we’re so glad to see you. And it was two women who were the best Keanna, joanne, huge shout out, keanna. I think Keanna is a listener of the podcast now, so I am thrilled to have you here, girl. They were the best, like I had the nicest time with them in this silly little RV. We had so much to talk about and they’ve been working for kind body for a while. I think Joanne in particular said that she has worked at three of their locations and she said you know, it’s such a good company to work for. I’m so happy to be here and that fucking shows, you know, like I am such a huge advocate of treating your people right, because then that reflects back on all of the folks who come in to use your services or buy your products or what have you. I’m not going to turn this into like an MBA lesson, but treat your people right and they’ll treat you right back and it’s it’s a cyclical thing, right. So they were so sweet and they’re like okay, we’re going to do your ultrasound back here. And they led me to the back of the RV. It felt very much like a rural, like mobile doctor, you know, through the Appalachian Mountains or something, and, like I said about the vibe in the last podcast, like it was still poppin, like there was nice lighting, the walls were painted a lovely color, there was art and you know curtains and it didn’t feel like some kind of shady side of the road gig, which I mean it kind of is at the moment. So this was my first vaginal ultrasound, so so exciting. I wasn’t nervous about it because I just I don’t get nervous about doctor’s appointments and I don’t get nervous about things going at my vagina and it was easy, like it didn’t hurt, it wasn’t problematic and Keanna administered it and she was like so great about telling me where things were going, what I would feel. And then she really talked through the whole ultrasound. She’s like, do you want to see? I was like heck, I don’t want to hear about it. Yeah, can I record it? And she was like 100%. So I have that. I might put it up on the old Instagram this week. And after I was done with that, I was taken out and Joanne gave me my blood work. And you know it’s I’m not. I hate IVs. And so with this kind of blood work, you know they do the multiple vials, so they have it just kind of they have it stuck in there and they just keep popping the vials on and that just I’m just uncomfortable with that. It’s not, it doesn’t scare me, it doesn’t make me queasy, but it’s just like I hate it. I hate the feeling of like an IV in my arm and like not this most recent doctors appointment I had like my annual physical, but the last one before that I went in and like I don’t know if I hadn’t had enough breakfast or or what, but it was the first time I actually felt like I was going to pass out from giving blood and I had to sit there and they brought me all kinds of snacks and stuff like that. They were very, you know, cautious with me. So now when I get blood work this is the second time I’ve done it since that time I’m always like kind of nervous it’s going to happen. So they had a juice box for me at the ready, which was just nice and it was natural Love. That right goes with the vibes, it’s good branding. And then I had to do a p test, which I had to go outside to a port, a party that was designated specifically for kind body, and it said like no construction workers allowed. But I was weird, like going out and came out and I was like going out and carrying my little peak up in empty and out full past men and hard hats, but you know what it’s? Clearly I’m fine sharing my shit, so whatever. So after that I drove home and then about an hour later I had a call that I thought was my family building meeting, but it wasn’t. It was another. I actually don’t know exactly what it was. It was a call with a woman. They said it was with the third party. So I’m going to be honest, I don’t exactly know what this call was, and I’m going through my whole kind body message system and I don’t see anything in there about like, oh, you’re meeting with this person at this time and it’s for this, but this I think I think when they called me and left a message, they said it was like your third party consult or something which I thought was a family building meeting, but it turns out I actually have to schedule that. That’s what I’m seeing now in the messages, that that’s a totally different group of people. So I went into this expecting to explain what my situation was and for that person to instruct me on like, okay, here are the people we’re going to need to talk to. Let’s make a checklist of the things we need to do to get Michael sperm to you. It wasn’t. It ended up being sort of like like mini therapy. She told me from the outset, like no, no, no, this is not, this is not a therapy session. I’m not your therapist, I’m just here to talk you through some things and explain some things to you. Okay, and I’ve been in therapy long enough that I’m like okay, here’s my story, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and you know I’m blabbing my story to all of you guys, so I have a lot of practice at this and at the end she was like wow, it like really seems like you’ve got some stuff settled and everything, and so let me just give you my run through of things that like are important to keep in mind. And I guess it was sort of like a counseling session on advanced maternal age a, k a, geriatric pregnancies. She didn’t tell me really anything that I didn’t already know and she delivered it to me in a way that I didn’t love, not that she wasn’t caring and kind and lovely, it just like is not my energy? And she kind of was like here are all the reasons why it might be difficult to get pregnant. Your, you know, your eggs will be thicker and there are less of them, and you were born with all the eggs you’ll ever have. And men just keep making sperm, like new sperm, every day. And I was like, yeah, I’ve taken health classes, I know. And she was like so, in summary, if you don’t get pregnant, it’s not your fault, it’s science’s fault. And I was like, right, yeah, my science. Like it is my fault. Like if I can’t get pregnant, it is because I’m older or I just am not meant to get pregnant and then I’ll adopt and whatever. It was just kind of weird. It was just kind of like a let me give you the facts in a way that kind of felt heavy and it didn’t make me feel like awesome coming out of the call. But I think for some people it would probably be helpful if they haven’t done as much research as I’ve already done. Maybe it’s that or maybe if it was information delivered by somebody else, I don’t know. But then the other thing that she said that I was really like bumping up on is that I don’t think she fully understood the relationship I had with Michael, and I don’t think a lot of people understand that relationship. I mean, you guys might, because you’ve listened to our podcast episodes or you’re a friend of mine and you’ve seen him and I together and it’s like, oh, that’s a kind of that’s a certain kind of dynamic. I wonder if this woman didn’t kind of have more of a like conventional, stereotypical idea of like a girl and her gay best friend, because then she was like and it wasn’t like she was closed minded, like let me be very clear about that Like she was totally like cool for you and sounds like you got great support and this is a wonderful person to do this with and it’s fantastic that you guys talk through all of this. But she said to me you’re going to want to avoid using the term daddy because Michael won’t be the daddy. A father is somebody who provides a certain kind of support and he won’t be doing that. So you’ll want to use the term donor, like Michael is your donor. And when your child is on the schoolyard and some kid asks who’s your daddy? And he says no, no, no, I have a donor. Who’s your daddy? And your child says oh, I have a donor, then children just accept that. And I was like I think you have a generous idea of play yard acceptance. But anyway, michael’s told me like we don’t have to use the word daddy. I think that’s kind of a simplified, idealized version of like father that she was giving me, because I have plenty of friends who’ve had shit fathers but they’re still like yeah, that’s my dad, or father is like a you know, legal term in some cases. I get to decide what daddy means in the circumstance and Michael gets to kind of decide what that means. And if somebody else entering into the situation like we get to decide what papa or father, or like whatever, I get to choose my own destiny here. And that’s not to say that there won’t be extenuating circumstances or that perspectives will change or that my perspective may change, like I may say, maybe we don’t use that term and what she did say that was thoughtful is like it’s difficult to prepare for the things that you don’t see coming and, yeah, totally agree with that. But all I can do is stay like open and adaptable and keep communicating how I feel about the whole situation to all of the people involved, my mother included, you know, my friends included, men or women that I end up in relationships with. Like you just got to keep talking, but as things stand right now, I do want to use the term father, daddy and like if Michael doesn’t want that, then we have a conversation about it and we meet on a middle ground Because he’s still the person I want to do this with. So, anyway, that was that call. So, still yet to have the family building call. I’ll let you know how that goes when we get there. So let’s talk about the results. Okay, there are two results that I have so far. There’s the AFC, which is the antropholical count, and then there’s the AMH, which is the anti-mularian hormone, and I hope I’m saying that correctly, because an umlaut is involved. Let’s talk about the AFC first. So the antropholical count is how many follicles are in my body releasing eggs. Oh my gosh, I should not be teaching a health class on this. So you know, if you are very interested in exactly how all of this works, double check my work, because I don’t. I could pull Wikipedia up and just read it to you directly, but I’m gonna wing it. Let’s see how far I get. Okay, so the antropholical count is how many follicles you have in your body. Follicles are in your ovaries, so the follicle releases an egg each month, and then that travels through your fallopian tubes and then into your uterus and, whether or not implantation occurs, that egg then comes out in your menstrual cycle. I hope we all know that One follicle releases an egg each month. So I currently have 12. I have six follicles in each ovary that are functioning. That’s good. The average amount of follicles that a woman would have at my age is between eight and 10. So the fact that I’m at 12, we love, I’m thrilled about that. So that number is not gonna go up, it’s only ever gonna go down. All right, I am pulling up Google and we’re gonna start Googling some things. So let me see how many follicles does a woman have at her prime? All right, we’re on whattoexpectcom and here it says on average, women in their mid-20s to early 30s have around 12 to 30 antracle follicles. Wait, not antracle Antrall follicles. Did I say antracle follicles earlier? No, I’m second guessing myself. So cool, so I could have had 12 in my mid-20s. So that feels great. So that’s where we are. On the AFC count, I’m at 12. Amh, that anti-mularian hormone. I am currently at 1.17. Kind body says an AMH of one to six indicates an adequate number of eggs or good ovarian reserve. Amh of one to six can be an indication of a good response to ovarian stimulation Needed for egg freezing or infertility treatments. Amh is only one piece of your fertile profile and it is very important to combine information from your fertility assessment to get a complete and accurate evaluation of your fertility. Though this may seem like a broad range, any number between one and six is considered normal. Now do I want that number to be higher? 100%, but it’s normal, it’s good, that’s what they say I’m gently lower than where I would like to be. But when I did some research, it seems like you can pop this number up a little bit with some dietary and lifestyle changes, and that’s something I’ve been doing. So I mean, I stopped drinking for a while. I am back on the sauce now that it’s the holiday season and I’m about to go on that vacation through Germany and France like sorry, we’re gonna have a good time and my diet’s changing, like I was eating a lot of fast food when my dad was sick and I was grieving and Mama still has Taco Bell once a week but she’s loosening her grip on the like bi-monthly big mac that she was getting for a while. And I’ve been using HelloFresh for a long time. This is not sponsored. I reached out to them about it and they’re still considering me, but I do love HelloFresh honestly. I’ve been using it for about a year and it’s made me better cooked. It’s made me a more confident person. It’s made me a more confident chef, as did the knife class that I took at Sir Lettob. Highly recommend that, because I mince and dice better than I ever have thanks to that class. I’m eating better is what I’m saying like I’m cooking more for myself and I an exercise. I haven’t been where I’ve wanted to be on that because I’ve had a lot of foot problems and when you have a swollen foot from minor surgery, you can’t do what you want to do on it. So we’re working on it is what I’m saying. So, all in all, we’re in a good place. The next steps that I have on this whole Journey I’m gonna be getting a saline bubble study which is going to determine whether or not my fallopian tubes are open and spitting those eggs out like they should be. That has to be scheduled. I got a message from kind body that said cycle day five through nine of your period, which which I got to talk to them about that by the time I get to day five, I’m already Not bleeding anymore, so I just have to confirm that with them and see what works. But yeah, there’s that. And then I got to fill out some paperwork for the family building stuff. Michael’s made his account with kind body, so they’ll be talking to him about his sperm o’s and Beyond that. My next steps are to fucking enjoy this goddamn vacation. I Haven’t had a proper vacation since January of 2020. I’ve had a work trip or two. I’ve had to drive cross country a couple times for family stuff. I got a weekend off in Seattle with Mike. That was really nice. But every other time that I’ve traveled it’s been for something, it’s been for a thing, so it hasn’t been. Oh wait, I’m lying. Wait, wait, I’m a total liar. I went to see music festivals this summer and I had a really great time, but I had anxiety about, like, how do I dress, what do I do? And like, how do I avoid drugs and Tom Sainovol I did, by the way, successfully. Um. So I’ve had little weekends away here and there, but this is like a total Unplugged situation and and what’s even more relaxing for me is that it’s a totally unplugged situation for my mom as well, which she deserves more than anyone. So we’re gonna have a great time. I’ve got one more episode for you next week and that is gonna be with a very exciting guest I’m so thrilled to talk to, and then I go on that December hiatus. So if you’re interested in following along with what I’m doing in December, follow me on Instagram, my account. There is Meredith K8. So that’s Mere D I T H K and then over eight it’s in the show notes. I’m doing this trip around Europe right and I want to document it the right way. So I Got a fancy little camera. I got a little DJI Osmo pocket three. I’m obsessed with it and I’m just recording all these holiday antics and I’ve decided that I’m gonna put it all up on YouTube in December. I’ve been getting footage of my shenanigans here and I’ve been recording little videos about, like, what I’m packing and how I’m prepping and where we’re going, and I’m gonna participate in something on YouTube that’s called vlogmas, where you release an episode every single day from December 1st through December 25th. It’s really nice. I’m learning some like video editing skills and Thinking a little bit differently about how I’m capturing footage, and it’s just strengthening the skills that I need in the entertainment industry, anyway, and I’m finding myself just like I Don’t know more creative and I’m loving it. So I’m gonna do that through December and then come back in hot in January with more updates on you know that bubble study and that family building call and having Michael back and telling you about freezing his sperm and getting some segments in, and you know we’re gonna be releasing new episodes, releasing new eggs, releasing more sperm inside of me it’s gonna be great, everything’s gonna be good. 2024 is looking like a fantastic year. I don’t want to jinx that. I’m gonna knock on wood, but I think this is my year, guys. I think it’s gonna happen. Anyway, thanks for listening. Happy turkey day and have a fantastic week. The backup plan is created, produced and hosted by me, meredith Kate. Julian Hagens is my co-producer. You can find us on social media at backup plan pod. The best place to get updates is to sign up for our newsletter at backupplan podcom, where we also post all episodes, show notes and transplants. Thank you for listening.

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