30: Estrogen Priming

April 9, 2024

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White Bed Tray

KLIPSK Bed tray, white


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In college, my gay best friend and I joked that if we hadn’t found love by 40, we’d have a baby with each other.

20 years later, I’m pulling the rope cord.

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

This is my second week of taking medication for IVF.

I’m taking Estrital, which you saw me take in the last episode, that first pill.

It is the generic version of Estros.

So you may be asking yourself, as I asked myself, what is estrogen priming?

So I’m gonna give you a little primer here.

This is from a Polish website, but Polish women’s bodies are the same as mine.

So estrogen priming protocol.

This is the protocol in which estrogen pills are used in the cycle before planned stimulation.

Following ovulation, estrogen pills are usually taken in the amount of two times two milligrams.

True, I’ve been taking one in the morning and at night.

This is usually administered to women with low ovarian reserve.

It downregulates the growth of follicles, thus increasing their number available for stimulation.

In addition, it better coordinates the growth of the follicle and possibly increases the number of eggs to be collected.

So look, it’s worth the price of admission.

That being said, this has been a terrible week.

Like, awful.

I have never had back pain like this.

So I started doing research online as like, what are the side effects of estradiol, of estros, estrace, estradiol, whatever, these pills.

And I didn’t find anybody really talking about back pain as much.

I did find one or two websites that did mention it.

So there was a low chance of that as a side effect.

It did say that the side effects that you get during your period are increased.

And that’s true.

Normally the first day of my period, I have like a little bit of a crampiness, just a little bit.

Usually my gut is very churning during that time, but my gut’s always churning.

I have had pain in my back that’s so bad that it feels like all of the vertebrae in my back are like condensed and like bone on bone.

It hurts so bad.

Usually when I’m up and about during the day, it’s okay-ish.

It’s when I’m going to bed at night that I’m absolutely dying.

And I can’t really take pain medication for it because of the antidepressant I’m on.

If I take Aleve or if I take Aspirin, my doctors recommended that I don’t.

They say just take Tylenol, which normally works for me.

Also, I have my mother’s arthritis strength, Tylenol here, nothing.

Like, it’s just terrible.

It’s awful.

And so at night, what I have found works best is a hot shower, which I take a shower before I go to bed every night.

And I’ve been falling asleep with a heating pad on.

But the problem is that in the days leading up to my period, I have the night sweats so bad.

So I am just a sweaty, sweaty lady with all of this body pain.

It feels like I’ve had a fever for a week, basically.

It’s awful.

So I’m getting like, I think, four or five hours of sleep a night.

And then during the day, I just feel like doing nothing because I have no energy because I’m not sleeping.

So it’s been really terrible.

But my period came last night.

So I go in tomorrow to, it’s for like an initial cycle treatment.

So what they’re going to do is take my labs again.

So let’s see if my bruise is just healed from my last blood taking, so it takes more.

And I can’t imagine a trans-vag ultrasound is going to feel great in my condition right now, but we’re doing it.

It’s going to be worth it.

The thing about these pills, and I emailed my doctor about it.

She said, do you want to stop?

And I was like, I just, I know it’s helpful.

I know it’s only for this little bit of time.

I can tough it out.

And so I’m doing the best I can and just, you know, sitting with a kitty on my lap over my uterus and sitting with a heating pad on my back and just like vegging out as best as I can.

I just trying to get through it.

I wonder if this will be the worst part of it for me.

Could be, we’ll see.

So injections will be coming up soon.

Something I did decide to get for myself.

I went to IKEA and I bought like a breakfast in bed tray because I figured if I do start the shots laying down like Ariana and Carla have suggested, having like, I have a side table by my bed, but having something like literally right next to me or kind of like right on top of me is gonna be easiest.

So I could have gotten just like a, you know, $2 tray or something, but I figured having a little stand and if I have to do any kind of bed rest, now I have a nice little tray to do that with.

IKEA is always good.

I also bought shelves for my closet to do a little bit of organization because I do feel like find myself nesting.

I find myself like wanting to do these things around the house to get things repaired while I have the time to do them.

That’s why I thought some of this back pain was like maybe painting the chimney or putting those bookshelves together, but no, I’ve put together many an IKEA product in my time and it has not caused the kind of pain that I’m feeling right now.

The other update I have this week is regarding all of the different intake stuff that we had to do with Michael that the family planning team had dropped the ball on.

So Michael’s own personal medical team could have signed off on the third party consent form saying that he is of sound mind to do this.

His doctor decided not to, it has nothing to do with him.

She said it was because she didn’t know me and haven’t talked to me and also didn’t know about disposition rules for embryos in different states, which kind of flagged to me a little bit of, I don’t, it’s just a feeling I have.

I’m not naming who the person is.

I don’t even know her name, so I couldn’t if I wanted to.

But it felt a little like she was finding excuses not to sign off on something like this because of political feelings.

But maybe that’s just me.

Maybe that’s just me.

Maybe that’s just a vibe I’m getting that’s incorrect.

She was kind of hung up on some of the nomenclature of the form.

So like, she was like, well, here’s this question.

It says that like, you’ve talked to Meredith about these things, but I don’t know how Meredith feels about those things.

And I’m like, Michael called me with this.

And I was very snappy at him.

And I texted him and apologized and was like, I’m not mad at you.

I’m just frustrated because I want to get this done.

And to me, it’s very clear when I read this form.

And maybe it’s because I’m just in it.

And I’m thinking about these things all the time.

And I’m talking about fertility constantly.

But when I read this form, it’s like, yeah, okay, you understand your end of it.

Meredith understands her end of it.

Like there’s no need for this, for his doctor to talk to me about it.

It was just like, hey, have you talked to Meredith about this thing?

Yeah, I have.

I feel good about it for reasons X, Y, Z.


And so we were able to get a Kindbody certified third party consult for him at the last minute.

He had it on Monday.

He said it was great.

She was very nice.

They pushed again not to use the term daddy, which I am, just to reiterate, I am fine with that.

And I understand that there are societal understandings that we have of the word father and daddy and dad and papa and whatever.

I get that.

But I don’t mind bucking those trends.

And I don’t mind having a very clear understanding with my kid from the get go of like, well, for some people, this is what daddy means.

For other people, yeah, they have a dad that they call dad that walked out on them and they don’t know him.

For us, it’s this guy who is mommy’s very best friend.

He is family.

He cares about us very much.

And he comes and visits us and we go and visit him.

And it’s fine.

Like that’s what it is.

I don’t mind establishing what that is from the very beginning, from the very start.

There would never be, to me, an introduction of like, here’s what it means.

I’ve brought out this whiteboard, you know, from the very beginning.

Like he’s daddy or daddy, gay daddy.

I don’t know.

Maybe we use our own term.

Maybe the baby calls him Mikey.

I don’t know.

I am kind of open to seeing where things go with the understanding of what it could be and what people think.

And that I don’t always care about what people think.

And that it’s gonna flush itself out in its own way.

But I do think about it a lot.

So anyway, that’s signed off on.

Thank God.

I think that I get to sign a waiver to say that we don’t need a together consult because that would be like another two or $300.

And like you’ve heard us talk about this over and over.

Like obviously we know what we’re in for.

So maybe I just send them back up planpod.com and they can see everything that we’ve talked about over and over.

So those are the updates this week.

I kind of feel like as I am on this roller coaster ride or chugga chugga choo choo train, and each week I’m making these different stops and it’s like, here are the things I did to my body this week, here are the symptoms I’m feeling.

I kind of want to stray from having guests and just let you guys know.

And really for me, this is for me too, to keep a diary of all of the things that I did because it’s funny as those first couple of episodes I recorded, even those are so far in the distance.

The way I felt about things has changed so much that I still need a little more distance from them.

I don’t want to go back and listen to them immediately because I hate listening to myself, but it’s nice to have an audio slash sometimes video memory book of all of the things that I’ve gone through for this whole process.

So it’s just going to be me for the next couple of weeks, hopefully, and then I will get pregnant and then I will have more people on and I’ll still give you updates about what’s going on with this bod, but maybe then I’ll have some more people on for advice and stuff because that will be totally new territory.

And let’s just hope this works the first time around.

Let’s just hope because this is…

I hope I don’t have to do any more estrogen priming ever again in my life until I get to menopause and then I can decide whatever I want to do with myself then.

Thank you for listening.

Feel free to share your experiences.

Ask me questions or give advice on Instagram and on YouTube is where I’m the most active.

You can reach out on TikTok.

Maybe I will answer there, but Instagram’s better or reach out to me on my personal Instagram.

That’s meredithk in the number eight.

Thank you for listening and thank you for coping with me.

I didn’t want to record this today and I’m going to edit it as fast as I can and lay back on the couch.

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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