29: Starting IVF

April 2, 2024

Meredith is starting IVF this week! She’s taking Estradiol (Estrace) in before shots start next week. Despite some confusion with the Family Building Team at Kindbody, Meredith prepared with IVF organization tips and answers some listener questions.


I’m not crying, it’s just allergies, hazards of recording outside.

From deciding on solo motherhood to choosing IVF, I’m Meredith and this is The Backup Plan.

Hey everybody, welcome to The Backup Plan this week. I’ve decided to film outside because spring has sprung.

It’s finally not raining in California, and I painted this chimney, and I’m really proud of it.

If you’re watching on YouTube, you can see my beautiful black chimney.

I live in an old mid-century modern house, and it’s needed a lot of love, and the chimney was painted a couple different colors pretty terribly, so I went in and cleaned it up and primed it, painted it, and that was this weekend because apparently I’m nesting.

I think my body knows that I’m about to start something.

And on that note, you’re probably wondering where I’m at right now, because last we left off was last Wednesday.

I was about to go in and get checked to see if it was time for me to start Estradol.

And I went in and I hadn’t ovulated yet.

So I couldn’t start anything.

That was on Thursday that I went.

So for context, I’m getting out a calendar here.

I went in for my appointment on March 29th to see if I was ovulating yet.

I wasn’t.

So March 30th in the morning, I got up.

Up Saturday, I took an ovulation test and I was ovulating.

They said, come back on Monday.

We’ll see if you’ve ovulated.

Then we’ll decide whether or not it’s time to start the esterol.

So it came in this morning.

Today is April 1st.

This is not an April Fool’s joke.

I have indeed ovulated.

So now it is time for me to start my esterol.

And I figure who better to do this with than my beloved audience who has been watching me talk about this for a while.

So here we go.

It begins.

It’s a little blue pill.

Not unlike Viagra, if I’m honest.

There it is.

This is my first step into a much larger world, for Star Wars Quote.

There it is.

I don’t feel any different yet, but…


Okay, so I’ve started.

So what updates do I have for you guys this week, otherwise?

I will say that Kindbody has kind of let me down this week.

I have been singing their praises for a really long time, and they kind of shot the bed this week.

This is what’s great about not being sponsored by them, which I did ask if they wanted to do.

They said no.

The thing that I really liked about working with Kindbody when I began was that it was a…

was that they have a family building team that helps you go through all the steps of the process.

And I had a chat with the family building team.

Let’s see, shall we?

Did I put it in my calendar as family building?

Okay, yeah, all the way back on December 20th is when I had my family building initial call, and it was great.

I really enjoyed it.

I think I can link back here somewhere.

You guys can listen to the episode that I had with Julia.

I think her name was.

Really fantastic.

But I didn’t hear anything after that.

I assumed things were taken care of.

Another thing I’ve really liked about Kindbody is that they have a whole dashboard on their website that you can see things that have to be checked off.

Nothing has been checked off for me.

It just kind of has stuff I know I’ve done, right?

Like initial blood tests.

I’m like, yeah, I remember doing that.

Hasn’t been checked off.

So I kind of put it off as like a, oh, nobody really uses this checklist.

It’s just kind of a, you know, standard thing that sits on the dashboard until you’re all the way done.

Would I like an actual checklist that I see checks checked off on?

Yeah, yeah, I’m Taipei.

I love a checklist.

So I gave that up, but I didn’t worry about that really.

I figured they were doing their own things in the background.

Then all of a sudden, I got this message this week that said, hey, have you done this genetic screening that costs extra money?

Have you gotten your legal paperwork in?

Have you done this?

Have you done that?

I’m like, nobody has asked me for these things.

I don’t know where to upload them to or who to upload them to.

And I wrote a very sassy message back.

Ooh, and actually while I’m pulling up the app, which blows, like it does, Kindbody is great.

I do like them.

I don’t want this to come off as like, I wouldn’t work with them again.

I would, but they’re just some things.

You have to keep signing into the app every single time.

And then sometimes it tells me, oh, sorry, it didn’t work this time.

Like try again later.

You don’t have an account with us.

And I’m like, I know I have an account with you.

All right, they say I have a new message.

So let’s, I can read this here too.

Okay, this was a message from my nurse saying, it looks like you’re good to start the Estrall pills.

One tablet of my mouth twice a day.

Contact our office on day one of your first full flow menses.

You can take one this evening and start twice a day tomorrow.


It’s recommended you do a match consult with a genetic counselor to review both your genetic results with Michael’s.

I’m happy to send a referral to GeneScreen to set this up.

If you choose to waive this, please let me know.

I’ll send you a waiver.

I already signed the waiver.

So, because I’m feeling good about all of our stuff, we don’t have any crossover.

So, fine.

That’s fine.

Okay, so the message that I got, this is from a new person in family planning.

So the story that I’ve gotten is the family planning team has switched over.

That the person that used to be leading it or something, somebody left and it just kind of stuff sat.

But like, do you see how big this message is?

Like it’s a lot of information all at once.

The week I’m supposed to start stuff, it’s frustrating.

So yeah, they said like, you know, you’ve got to do this additional genetic testing, then you have to do this third party consult, which we’ve gone through the third party consult here before.

I didn’t like the person I was with before.

If I had known I could have gotten my therapist to sign off on it instead, I totally would have done that.

That’s what we’re doing with Michael, because I really thought this message that I got from them of all these things that I needed to get done.

And I said, you know, this is coming in pretty close to the actual date of egg retrievals and IVFs and what have you.

I put off this stuff for a month because I got foot surgery.

All of this stuff could have been done back then.

The ball was just dropped.

But luckily, the team that I’ve been working with in the office, my actual like doctor nurse medical team has been fantastic.

And they’ve been emailing every day.

The two of them, I guess, they were like attacking the Family Building Team.

So I think things are settled.

I think things are good.

I think everything’s gonna be just fine.

You know, the nurse said to me at one point, I know this is upsetting.

And I said, it’s not upsetting yet.

It’s frustrating, but it’s not upsetting yet.

You don’t wanna see me mad.

I did send a very terse message back to this Family Building consult here.

I’m incredibly frustrated that this wasn’t brought up earlier.

I was gonna start IVF last month, but I had a delay due to minor foot surgery.

All of this could have been done back then, or even in February when Michael froze his sperm.

Why is this all happening last minute?

I’m really frustrated that this has been held up for reasons I can’t control.

I don’t, I wouldn’t say I have control issues.

I would just say that I am aware of things that I can control and will endeavor to control as much as I can.


Anyway, yeah, everything’s been good since then.

So we’re rocking, we’re rolling.

My mom is gonna be coming out here for the egg retrieval.

I could have a friend drive me to it.

You know, that’s gonna be in like two-ish weeks.

But I just told her, I was like, I want you here for it.

Cause I think that’s gonna be, I don’t know what it’s gonna be.

I would just rather have her here for that.

So that’s coming up.

I mean, this whole month has just kind of felt like a very nebulous thing.

Cause it’s April 1st now.

You’re gonna hear this on April 3rd.

Because all of my medical stuff isn’t, again, it’s not in my control.

It’s what my body decides to do.

I hate that I don’t have a time on the calendar to be like, this is how I’m gonna feel on this date.

And this is the procedure that happens on this date.

It’s all very like, I have to keep going into the office, getting my blood drawn.

Check out that cool bruise.

There are gonna be so many more of those because that’s the best vein for blood taken.

I’m gonna have to go to a lot more of those appointments.

I am already feeling crampy.

And I don’t know if it was because of the trans vag ultrasound this morning, or if it’s just like my body is already gearing up for what’s coming.

I have a very empathetic nervous system.

So, yeah, I think I’m already feeling it.

So it’s just hard because I’m trying to schedule stuff for work too.

And I can’t schedule meetings and coffees and dinners with people because I don’t know how bloated I’m going to feel or sick I’m going to feel or tired I’m going to feel.

It’s just a little frustrating.

I mean, it’s all worth it, absolutely.

But my job has kind of diverted over into a little bit of business development.

And that requires meeting with people and shit chatting and stuff like that.

And I just don’t, I don’t know how I’m going to feel.

But luckily I work with people who are very cool and calm about everything.

And so when I can’t step up for some reason, they’re able to step in for me and everything.

So it’s fine, it’s good.

It’s just, it’s just part of it.

It’s just what it is.

The only other update is that all of my meds are in and I have them organized in a very lovely little way.

I bought an over-the-door shoe organizer.

And then I have this very cute little label maker.

It’s only like 15 bucks on Amazon.

And then you get this app and you can like choose little fonts and cute little things and like print out.

It’s just like so much better than a label maker where you type in the thing and it’s just like one long string.

This has different kinds of stickers you can buy.

So I bought like cable wrap stickers and use those.

I have all these safety pins that I’ve saved for whatever reason off of like whatever Target t-shirt I’ve ever bought.

They have these like little safety pins kind of like with a round bottom, if that makes sense.

And I have put the labels on those and then clipped those onto the shoe.

It’s really lovely and it makes me feel good.

And I had fun making the labels.

And so that was part of my whole experience was doing that and my fridge is full of meds.

So it’s just, it’s all happening.

It’s literally all happening.

My last update this week is that I put up an Ask Me Anything on Instagram.

And so if you have any questions about stuff I’m going through, let me know.

I also joined a Single Mothers by Choice Reddit community, which is really nice.

I have knocked the whole SMBC community in the past because it felt a little dated and a little dreary.

This doesn’t seem to be organized by the Single Mothers by Choice group.

It’s just kind of like somebody just started it.

And it’s really nice and it’s really active.

I’m really surprised by it.

So I got some questions from people in there.

So I’m just gonna run through this.

My dear friend Erica asked if I have baby names in mind.

And I do.

Will I share them?

No, they are, I wouldn’t say they’re like super Anglo.

They’re not like, there’s kind of like a history and a weight to them.

And I’m kind of sitting, there’s one girl’s name that I’m really feeling strongly about.

There are two boys names I’m feeling pretty strongly about.

There are also some like naming traditions in our family that I wanna keep going.

So stay tuned, that’s all I’ll say.

Like, it does feel like putting the cart before the horse, but I can’t help myself.

I like checklists, I like planning.

You guys all know this at this point.

So yeah, I like the names I’ve chosen.

I have a double ass name and I’ve been wondering about how I’m gonna navigate that.

My thought is that it’s gonna be, I’ll say this, the double last name has always been problematic for me.

A lot of people put a hyphen, there’s no hyphen.

A lot of people will call me by the first of my last names.

Sometimes if it’s like, you know, you go to a place and they call your last name first and then your first name.

If they ask me for my last name, I’ll say it.

And then they go, no, which is like, so that’s your first name and your last name, but so your last name is this.

And I’m like, no, it, mm.

So it’s been kind of an annoyance, but what I kind of, I don’t want to get rid of them.

So what I think I’m going to do is couple the first part of my last name and do a double middle name.

And so they’ll have just one single last name.

And then part of me has thought about whether or not I should revert to the original German spelling of my last name.

I don’t know.

I think about it.

I go back and forth.

Anyway, stay tuned.

And maybe I’ll tell you, Erika, if you text me.

I like getting people’s reaction when I tell them.

Really puts them on the spot, makes them uncomfortable.

I like it.

Somebody, the screen name, Lauren Sure asked how Arianna and I are doing.

And if you watch the last episode of this podcast or listen to it, you would know we’re doing very well.

I love her very much.

And I’m very excited for her to be coming back.

And she’s already bought me baby gifts, so good friend.

Last night, I was talking to a friend.

I went to Disneyland.

I had a whole like last hurrah.

I went on like every roller coaster and had more than one drink.

I had a few adult beverages, but not too many.

And one of the friends that I was there with, she asked me about my relationship with Michael and how I think it’ll change because of all of this.

And my answer to her was that I think it’s gonna grow.

I actually think it’s gonna get better.

Him and I talk to each other a lot more than we have in years past.

I think I mentioned in the past that we had during COVID, there was a little bit of a hiccup in our relationship, but we’ve gotten over that, talked through it.

I mean, we have to talk a lot more now because we are getting, we’re like, I’m having to text him about appointments he has to do and he’s texting me about forms he sent in and stuff.

You know, I just, I don’t foresee it changing our relationship in a negative way at all.

I just see it as another bond for us to have.

And I think as long as you keep up your communication and when things start to nag at you a little bit, that you’re open and honest about it, rather than keeping it quiet or talking to other people about it, which I mean, we are all victims of and subject to.

So everything’s great so far.

We’re having a great time.

Everything’s wonderful.

And another question from somebody about why I am bypassing IUI and going directly to IVF.

And actually that brings up kind of a complicated situation.

And I would love to hear from some of you guys on this.

So I decided to, due to my age and due to, I don’t know, more assurances that this will work, I decided to go right to IVF.

There aren’t as many guarantees with IUI, right?

Like it’s a little bit less, there are less assurances that it’s going to work.

Now that IVF is foolproof, you know, IVF definitely has a lower success rate than I’d like, but a higher success rate than IUI.

I also decided to go this route because I want to test the embryos because of my age and because I’m doing this on my own.

I want to make sure that I’m working with the healthiest set of embryos that I possibly can.

But I got this interesting message from somebody on Instagram that I’m going to pull up and I’m going to read to you.

I mean, lots of people are talking to me, guys.

I’m so tickled that so many of you are listening and reaching out and telling me how much this means to you.

Thank you.

So this is somebody named Allison.

Hi Allison, thank you for listening.

And she said that she read a lot of reputable medical articles about how inaccurate the testing can be and how there aren’t enough studies and it’s not regulated.

People have had healthy babies with embryos that tested as abnormal.

They’re only testing a small section that is not representative of the whole embryo.

So you could be discarding perfectly fine embryos.

Time to pregnancy is longer when you’re testing embryos because you’re testing them, then you’re putting them on ice, you’re waiting to see what the results are and then you’re doing it.

So yeah, it is longer.

The only benefit that was found was that there was a slight decrease in miscarriage rate.

It’s hard to know since they can’t check with the success rate would have been on embryos that were discarded and some embryos try and can correct themselves once they implant.

I have not had the opportunity to fully look up all of these different articles and to really look into it.

A lot of the stuff that I’m reading online about embryo testing is from clinics that do it, and obviously it benefits them financially if you are doing embryo testing.

So they’re not really saying anything negative about it.

This message has gotten me to think about a couple different scenarios and what I want to do.

Should I just pop a fresh embryo in and see what happens?

Depending on how many eggs I get, should I make embryos of all of them?

Maybe would it be smart for me to save a couple of eggs for maybe a future relationship I have down the line with somebody?

Should I test everything?

It’s kind of a numbers game too though, right?

I don’t know how many eggs I’m going to get.

That’s the other exciting thing that I have to share is that I have more follicles than I thought.

They counted an extra three, maybe four.

So I’m working with a total of perhaps 16 follicles, which is exciting.

So say they all pop out an egg, best case scenario.

When I have 16 eggs, what do I want to do with all of them?

Do I want to do the same thing to all of them or do I want to like have a couple different contingency plans going?

I don’t know.

This is something I’m kind of playing with in my brain right now.

And I figure I’m going to be going to the doctor’s office enough times that I’ll be able to talk to them about some of these scenarios and figure out what’s going to be best for me.

But I’m glad I’m taking the time to think about this.

And I’m really excited to get a lot of the feedback that you guys are sending because it is opening me up to different thoughts and possibilities, and I’m glad that I’m able to stay malleable during this and not just full steam ahead with the first plan that I had.

So, I mean, if I had done that, we’d still be flying up to Washington every month and Turkey based during myself at the wrong time.

I’m an ovulator.

I ovulate late.

I’m an ovu-later, but I didn’t know that.

So, thanks, Kindbody.

Thank you, Kiana.

So, that’s all the news that’s fit to print this week.

It’s big week.

I took my pill, staying hydrated, painting chimneys.

Thank you guys for all hanging in there with me.

If you have any questions or articles or reports or studies you want to send my way, info at backupplanpod.com, on Instagram, on YouTube, on TikTok, backupplanpod, and my personal Instagram is at meredithk8 if you want to check me out there.

So I’m going to cut it off there.

I am going to go make myself some dinner and I hope it’s okay to take this on an empty stomach.

Maybe I should go eat.

Thanks everybody.

Have a great day.

You may also like…

34: Blastocysts

After a week of waiting, Meredith learns how many of her fertilized eggs have become full fledged embryos. She shares how she found out, how she’s feeling, and what’s up next.

33: Egg Retrieval Surgery

What’s it like to have an egg retrieval for IVF at KindBody? Meredith just had hers and she’s here to share the results – how many eggs were retrieved, how many were mature, and how many were fertilized with her gay best friend’s sperm.

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