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Podcast

1. Trimester Zero

Why do you want to have kids? What kind of life do you want? What are your values? These questions may not have easy answers, but they’re an important part of trimester zero. This is the period before the start of any fertility journey (pregnancy, adoption, gestational carriers, IVF, or egg freezing). Trimester zero covers how to prepare for starting a family—financially, physically, and emotionally. Leslie Schrock, author of Bumpin, shares her experience. CW: miscarriage, pregnancy loss.

Show Notes

Leslie Schrock is an author and entrepreneur with a health and tech background.  

Bumpin is the book Leslie wrote about her pregnancy experience, and the first chapter covers trimester zero in depth.

Shame Proof Parenting is a parenting coach Leslie referenced.

Transcript

Marie (00:00): I'm a planner. Always have been. My mom tells me I was sobbing the night before I had to start first grade because I hadn't memorized my multiplication tables yet. Which yeah, that's not something you're supposed to even know until second or third grade, but I like to be prepared. Which is why even though I am not going to have children in the immediate future, I am already thinking about the day I hope to eventually become a mom. I know. I want that for myself at some point, and I have a lot of questions about what to expect. Like what is important to know about the many different options that exist for having kids? And what happens if things don't go as planned? Before we start walking down any of those paths together, let's take some time to talk about what it means to be at these crossroads, right here at the very beginning. I have very recently learned the that this pre parenthood preparation period actually has a name. It's called Trimester Zero. It's the time for working through all the things there are to think about before you start your fertility journey, whatever that may look like. Whether that involves adoption, IVF, IUI, or any other kind of process. To tell me about it I'm calling it an expert, Leslie Schrock. She's the author of Bump In. A book she wrote about her pregnancy experience and she shares lessons that can apply to any fertility journey. This is Baby Steps, a podcast from Carrot Fertility about the many diverse paths that people take to become parents. I'm your host, Marie McCoy Thompson. There's a lot to cover in trimesters zero. There's the financial aspect. No matter how you have kids, it's going to cost money. There's also the medical aspect, the physical changes that may happen to your body if you are getting pregnant, or it will happen to your partner, or gestational carrier. And of course there's the emotional aspect, which I genuinely love talking about feelings. I'm a total sucker for a good emotional chat. I mean, I already told you I cried about not knowing math. So I want to hear if preparing to have a child might be a time when I should stock up on tissue boxes, and I want to hear what the unexpected joys might be too. So let's get into it. To start off, I'll have my esteemed guest introduce herself.

Leslie (02:53): I'm Leslie Schrock and I'm the author of Bump In.

Marie (02:55): What inspired you to write Bump In?

Leslie (02:58): My own personal experience was the inspiration for writing this book. My background is actually in health and tech. I've worked in that space for a very long time, and I kept thinking to myself, "Oh my gosh, if it feels like this for me, if I feel this helpless, what is this like for everyone else?"

Marie (03:14): Even with her health and tech background, Leslie had a lot of questions. I can relate. So when writing her book, she consulted a cohort of experts. An OBGYN edited all the health guidelines and Leslie talked to nurse practitioners, therapists, midwives, doulas, pelvic floor experts, trainers, physical therapists and acupuncturists to round out the information she presents.

Leslie (03:39): I think that we live in a world that kind of tells us there's one right way to do pregnancy, and the reality is it's very individual. Every pregnancy is different even from person to person, even from pregnancy to pregnancy. I went through three. They were all very different.

Marie (03:54): As promised, we are going to get into emotions right from the top. For Leslie, what she was feeling early on was sort of hard to pin down.

Leslie (04:05): I mean, I was I guess 35 when I started trying to get pregnant. The transformation to becoming a parent and having this responsibility is a huge thing. For me it didn't feel real for awhile. I didn't really feel connected until I felt the kicking. I mean, you don't know how you're going to feel. You don't know, "When should I take the test? What if the test is negative? What time of day should I take the test?"

Marie (04:33): What do you think that people can do, both as you write about in your book with your partner, but also if you're on your own in this process, what can you be doing to emotionally prepare for pregnancy and the potential pregnancy during trimesters zero?

Leslie (04:49): So therapy, if insurance doesn't cover it, you can do telemedicine and get someone on the phone. There's such a range now and I think it's such a powerful tool for people. I think mindfulness and meditation are great. I'm personally terrible at meditation. I sure do try, but I think kind of taking a walk was kind of my meditation when I was going through this.

Marie (05:13): And obviously everything you said, which I think is really valuable, applies to any kind of fertility journey no matter how you're planning on having kids, or thinking about having kids. All of these things are super relevant.

Leslie (05:26): Yes.

Marie (05:27): In doing this kind of emotional work, are there specific questions that you recommend that people ask themselves, or if they're with a partner asking their partners? 

Leslie (05:39): One of the more interesting things that came up on my call with this, this parenting coach, who's wonderful. I think her URL is shameproofparenting.com. Is that she said she really wished that more parents would stop to consider why they wanted to become a parent. And sitting with that can be kind of uncomfortable. Why do you want to become a parent? What about your life at that moment is calling you to do this? Maybe it wasn't planned. How do you cope with... How do you do that?

Marie (06:09): When you've talked to this coach about asking these questions, what did that set off for you personally?

Leslie (06:15): Oh, I mean, Nick and I sat down and talked about all of this. How many kids did we want? Why did we want that number of children? What happened in our childhoods that was particularly formative? What kind of life do we want? What values do we have? What do we want to expose our kids to? Do we want to travel a lot? Do we not? How much time do we want to spend with family each year? How do we want our... We have two sets of wonderful grandparents who don't live in San Francisco. How do we navigate that? So also how were we going to navigate childcare? How are we going to navigate work?

Marie (06:54): Excuse me, while I take a quick pause to write all these questions down. I think I've heard a lot that it's important to think through how your life will change when you have kids, but this tangible list of questions to actually ask yourself and, or your partner is such a good tool to have. Is this all one conversation where you hash all this out or is this an ongoing dialogue? How do you continually bring these questions up?

Leslie (07:21): I mean not always, unless you're really drinking a lot of wine, but it's definitely a series of conversations because it grows and evolves so much. I mean, so much can happen. You practice these conversations early, you practice being transparent, you practice having like... Let's be honest, no one wants to talk about money. It sucks. It's not fun, but it's really important because it's a point of friction with pretty much everyone.

Marie (07:46): That's such a good point about these conversations serving as practice templates for how to do it. And that, again, talking about this early on does not mean you're setting this hard and fast plan for what you're going to stick to for the rest of your lives, and the exact kind of parents are going to be, but more that when you start in trimester zero talking about these things, you can start getting into a rhythm of how to ask yourself and or whoever you're with what this is going to look like for you.

Leslie (08:14): Yeah. And leaving room for the unexpected and leaving room to be flexible because you just don't know what life is going to throw at you.

Marie (08:27):Let's talk about the cost, the financial area of trimester zero, which is a pretty important component. How should people be looking at their finances at this point?

Leslie (08:38): Yes, it's the least sexy part of conception, but financial planning is a very important part of this process. So I advocate for... And I talked to some financial planners and other folks that had good thoughts on this. You really just want to start with where you are today. What do you spend every month, every year? What are your outlays? What are your hard costs? What are the things that are maybe a little more flexible and how much are you saving? And then how much do you have in savings? Number one, where are you today? Number two, the two things that are the really big ticket items are childcare and also your medical bills. So if you don't have insurance, try to get it. If you know that you're both going to go back to work, you should start thinking about what kind of care you'd like. Because daycare in cities like San Francisco is astronomical, nannies are even more expensive. And then when you start thinking about the more optional items; baby registry, maternity clothes, it gets a little easier. I think that one thing I certainly did a lot of is I borrowed. I borrowed a ton of stuff. My maternity wardrobe was largely baggy stuff I already owned. I did buy some jeans, which were amazing and I kind of miss actually. Maternity jeans have come a long way. It's kind of awesome.

Marie (09:59): I feel like I've seen pictures of them and I don't understand why they're not the norm. They're just jeans with elastic waistbands. That's what I would like to wear all the time.

Leslie (10:08): Yeah, and once you are in them and you have a good pair, that doesn't sag and that fits. It's the best. They're so comfortable.

Marie (10:16): Can we make that just the trend?

Leslie (10:18): You can totally make that a thing.

Marie (10:19): Okay. Let's get on it.

Leslie (10:20): I'm in. The other piece of advice I have as it relates to baby stuff is... I don't know the finished baby boxes. Have you seen that?

Marie (10:29): No.

Leslie (10:30): So Finland has had this government program for decades now where they send every new parent home with a box that has all the essentials for the first 30 days of life. It's one box. Can you imagine? It's one box. One box of stuff, and the box serves as a crib. It has a little mattress in the bottom. It's amazing. And their infant mortality rates were really low. It turns out babies don't need that much for the first 30 days of life.

Marie (10:56): What about all the blogs that I see with the mile long lists of essential things to buy?

Leslie (11:01): I mean, you can do that if you want, but it's really expensive. It costs a lot of money to buy all that stuff. Here's the other thing, your baby might not like those things. So the other thing that ends up happening is if you buy, say a diaper brand, if you buy 300 diapers, newborn diapers. Well number one, if your kid on the bigger side, like mine was, he will outgrow newborn diapers in approximately one week. He will be size one, but you don't know what your baby's going to need. You don't know how big your baby's going to be. You don't know what they're going to like. I was pumped up about the whole baby wearing thing as a concept. My son does not want to be worn. He just wants to be... He wants to sleep and then he wants to be active, and on the ground by himself. And he was-

Marie (11:46): I can relate to that. I like to sleep-

Leslie (11:48): You don't like to be worn either?

Marie (11:49): ... and then be on the ground by myself. Yeah.

Leslie (11:52): No wearing for you.

Marie (11:53): Those are my two solid states of being.

Leslie (11:56): Yeah, but I mean we do babies come out and they kind of are who they are. We can do what we can to shape them, and to help them grow, but at the end of the day there are going to be things they like and they're going to be things they don't. There also could be something they have a reaction to. So just be minimalist until you have to. It's a really good way to not waste too much money.

Marie (12:15): Yeah. So your financial philosophy is more take a look at your money situation, whatever that may be, be aware of what you're spending and saving, think about what upcoming costs are going to look like, especially in relation to childcare and medical costs, and hopefully have a savings-

Leslie (12:35): Build a buffer for yourself. It just doesn't necessarily have to be six digits. Great if it is, but being realistic and talking to your partner, and calibrating, and understanding that it is expensive I think is where a lot of people get into trouble.

Marie (12:49): How do you suggest people start researching how their insurance can play a role, and as you mentioned also if you don't have insurance, trying to get insurance that can help out?

Leslie (13:01): Yeah, out of pocket costs for birth are pretty high. If you don't have insurance, the average vaginal birth in the US is about $10K, and the average C-section is 30. So it's not cheap, but there's also the first year of a baby's life is quite expensive. So you should think about those pediatrician appointments add up. It's usually seven to 12 appointments is kind of an average.

Marie (13:27): So newsflash, having a baby is expensive, costs money-

Leslie (13:32): It does.

Marie (13:32): A lot of money.

Leslie (13:33): It does.

Marie (13:34): Yeah. Good to know.

Leslie (13:35): The bills are good reading for later though. It's fascinating. All the shots, all the things, all the whatever. It's really crazy to see a line item of everything that happened to you.

Marie (13:46): That'll be our next podcast is just you sitting and reading aloud all your bills.

Leslie (13:50): Perfect.

Marie (13:56): All of this insurance and all of these costs are because of the final aspect of trimester zero we'll cover today, which is the medical and physical aspect. For Leslie, that means pregnancy as she was the one to carry her child. Obviously this will be different for everyone, but I wanted to ask her about her experience and what she would recommend someone do to physically prepare if they are, or if they're a partner, or gestational carrier is planning on getting pregnant.

Leslie (14:26): So there's so much you can do before you get pregnant to prepare. You can prepare your body, you can go get a preconception checkup with your doctor. Your partner, if they're contributing genetic material should also consider doing this. Lifestyle cleanup. Eat well. Stop putting things into your body that probably shouldn't be going in there in the amounts that you currently using them. Don't lie to your doctor about it either. When I talked to OBs, they were like, "Listen, newsflash, we all know you're lying when you say that you have one drink a week. Or you're not smoking or whatever. We know. We know you're doing that, but it really hurts the kind of care we can deliver when we don't have the full picture." So don't fudge the numbers. Just go in and be honest because their job is to help you, it's not to judge you. If you do feel that maybe you're with the wrong practitioner.

Marie (15:17): Right. I mean that's something that I think people don't talk about either is just that you can change doctors if you don't have a great impression of the first meeting.

Leslie (15:26): Yeah. And all obstetricians are gynecologists, but not all gynecologists are obstetricians. So really if you're seeing a guy and you're not going to be seeing that person for your pregnancy care. In fact, many obstetricians only see pregnant women. And you can interview people before you ever get pregnant, ask for recommendations, but you should ask those questions. Ask about VBAC rates and C-section rates, and ask what care looks like, ask what other kinds of practitioners they have as part of their practice. Ask kind of what their approaches to this process and make sure their values kind of align with yours. Because someone who's C-section rate is really high is probably not going to be great if you're planning an un-medicated birth.

Marie (16:13): Right. What is the first thing that you think that people should do when they are considering becoming pregnant in the next few months?

Leslie (16:22): Yeah, I mean one thing that actually people don't really think about too much is it's best to start taking prenatal vitamins actually three months ahead of time before you decide to conceive just to let all of that folic acid build up in your system. But you want to look for DHA and Coleen, and there are lots of great ingredients, but folic acid is the main thing. It's in food, but it's not in food in the volumes that are needed to really support pregnancy. So that's one thing.

Leslie (16:52): Unless you're having issues, I don't suggest just going and having a ton of fertility tests done just for funsies, unless there's a reason. So-

Marie (17:02): Can I ask why you don't recommend just testing for testing? Is it a cost thing or is it something that-

Leslie (17:08): Yeah. This is somewhat philosophical, but I think you'll hear the same thing from most doctors. More information is not necessarily better. If you have a family history of genetic disorders, if you have a family history of a lot of miscarriage or any fertility related issues, it's a good idea, but that's a medically indicated reason to do it. Unless there's a good reason to seek out extra information, it's best to just kind of get started and not worry yourself to death. I think it contributes a lot to the stress of the process, the anxiety of the process. Every practitioner I talked to kind of echoed that, "It's just we follow a process. There's a reason that there's a process here."

Marie (17:51): Don't overwhelm yourself if you don't need.

Leslie (17:53): Don't over think it. Yes.

Marie (17:55): Yeah, I mean that makes sense. I think there's always ways to take the pressure off of yourself, and like you're saying, sometimes the information overload is more harmful than it is helpful. For women, people with uteri who are on birth control, trimester zero we'll probably include stopping hormonal birth control if you're on that. What is to be expected with that?

Leslie (18:19): We can also file this one under things I had to learn the hard way, but I think it's an aspect of this that no one really talks about. And one of the reasons I think no one talks about it is because this whole idea is kind of new. We now have a whole generation of women who has largely been on birth control for, some cases, decades without interruption. And so when you're just used to a steady state of having that hormonal delivery, once you yank it out, turns out it's a little jarring. So what was the question?

Marie (18:53): This was just about going off birth control essentially.

Leslie (18:56): Oh yeah. I think I've also blocked this out. Well also your brain shrinks after pregnancy so it becomes more efficient. So I'm a definitely experiencing a little bit of that these days.

Marie (19:06): You can add that to my list of things that no one has ever told me. I'm learning not for the first time right now.

Leslie (19:12): Two years postpartum, your brain is still a little more efficient to deal with the needs of your baby. That's the theory anyway, but you actually lose gray matter. Yeah, it's cool. It's interesting.

Marie (19:21): Another thing to look forward to.

Leslie (19:23): I know, but for me, hormonal birth control was way more emotional actually than pregnancy. Which is... It was intense. I would get irritated at everything and it took about a month for me to kind of even out, but I really hated that. It was a really rough thing and it's pretty common. So if it happens to you, you are not alone. It is widely reported. If you talk to your doctor they will probably tell you exactly the same thing.

Marie (19:50): Are there physical changes that happen as well or is it mostly the emotional?

Leslie (19:54): There can be. I mean the effects of hormones on your body are very, very unique to each person. So there is no universal... Some people have no sex drive on birth control. Some people when they get off then have raging libido. Sweet, awesome, great. Some people it's the opposite. So it's just very, very individualized. Which is one of the frustrating things about this whole process. Right? There is no silver bullet solution to everything.

Marie (20:22): Yeah. Well I kind of liked that because it means that I have a reason to make a podcast about it and talk to many different people about individual experiences. But yeah, it would be so nice if there was a one size fits all.

Leslie (20:34): It would be so nice.

Marie (20:35): Yeah. I could just do one five minute conversation and call it a day. So you also wrote a section in your book relating to trimester zero called If Things Get Bumpy. Can you talk a little bit about the experience that you shared in that section? 

Leslie (20:55): In that section, I talked about my miscarriage, which was the first pregnancy. And I think what was surprising to me is that I knew a lot of friends that had miscarriages because I'd either been with them through it, or they told me later when I started trying to have a baby. They were like, "Well, just so you know, this happens." Once you have one though, you realize everyone you know has had one. It's so common. It could be... Some estimates are one in five, some are one in three. We will probably never actually have a real number because so many of them happened before a woman ever even knows she's pregnant. They happen very early. And again, I have a background in health. I didn't know what I was doing. I thought the miscarriage was my fault. I thought I had somehow done something. I thought that, "Oh my God, I waited too long, and I'm old, and I'm this maternal age, and whatever, and this is so terrible, and it's my fault." It was not my fault. It's very rarely your fault. It's almost always a chromosomal abnormality that causes miscarriage. So I think that was something I felt really needed to be said. Why does it happen? What do you do when it happens? How do you know that it's happening? Even for me, I was in Canada when it happened. I was in the middle of nowhere, kind of. I called a practitioner, I got her on FaceTime, I'd talked to her before, she walked me through everything. She suggested like, "Hey, listen, it's your first pregnancy. You probably should just go get checked out." And I did. And I went into the emergency room and they confirmed that I had been pregnant, but then they confirmed 24 hours later that I had miscarried, but I didn't know how to navigate that. Nobody tells you what to do. Nobody tells you what you can expect afterwards, and even more importantly, no one tells you how quickly you can get pregnant again because I was pregnant again two weeks later, which was crazy. Yeah.

Marie (22:50): That's really soon.

Leslie (22:51): Yeah. Oh yeah. It was really soon. But you're really fertile after a miscarriage. Didn't know. No one told me.

Marie (22:58): How did you go from those feelings of self blame to coming out of the other side and realizing, "It's biology and this happens to so many people, and it just happened to happen to me?"

Leslie (23:14): Research, probably. For me, it's just so much self-blame. It just doesn't matter because it's so emotional and it's so hard. I mean, you want this thing so badly and then you have it for a little while, and then it slips away, and it is really devastating. Really devastating.

Leslie (23:42): So I think for me, it was reading the science and understanding, "Actually no, this wasn't my fault. I couldn't have done anything differently. It didn't happen because I got on a plane. It didn't happen because... I didn't do anything physical."

Marie (23:57): So in your experience, you got pregnant again two weeks later. What was that like? I mean, were you ready? Were you still processing?

Leslie (24:06): No! I mean it's kind of embarrassing to be honest because we weren't trying, but we weren't being careful either. You know? It wasn't really... Yeah, that's the way I'd put that. It just happened, and then I started feeling badly again, and I thought, "That can't possibly be a thing. No way. No way is this happening again." And then I took a test and it was like, "Oh my God, really?" And then that second time it just didn't feel right. Nothing about it felt right from the beginning. I was pretty depressed actually. I was really sad because I think I was still processing the miscarriage. I just hadn't given myself time. I think I am a person who needed a little bit of time to process it, and I didn't have that and it was hard. I tried to just kind of continue to push through, and I did talk to people about it, but I just kind of sat with the kind of feeling of like, "Ugh. It just doesn't feel quite like it's supposed to." Not that it's supposed to feel anyway, but that pregnancy just didn't really feel right to me. And then it wasn't, which was truly horrible. It actually was a chromosomal abnormality. We found out during genetic testing that we had trisomy 18 which is a fatal condition. And between that discovery, and that test, and an ultrasound, which they did, but the ultrasound confirmed that the pregnancy was about to stop on its own anyway. It was not growing properly. So it was a very strange experience because we could wait. We could wait a couple of weeks and it would've just terminated on its own, but we made the decision to follow our doctor's advice, and move forward and terminate it. And that was the worst thing I've ever been through ever because the idea of terminating a wanted pregnancy is just not a thing I ever thought I would have to do. And it was truly just... That's when I got therapy because I knew if I was going to do this again, I just absolutely could not continue to try to power through because it just... Yeah, it was awful.

Marie (26:39): What helped you when you were processing that trauma?

Leslie (26:42): Therapy and forgiveness. Because again, I think when you don't understand the actual facts, and then you read stories and people's opinions and all this stuff. I mean there are people who think that's your fault, and I read those stories and I thought like, "I don't know how this would be my fault, but maybe it is." And you're so... I mean, I was grieving. It was awful. It was a really tough thing and-

Marie (27:09): And so vulnerable at that time.

Leslie (27:10): Yeah. I got therapy. I just really kind of tried to take a step back from things for a little bit, and just take some time for myself, take some time to recover physically.

Leslie (27:31): But we ended up going on what was supposed to be our baby moon. Which was sad and also great at the same time. It was nice to be able to really have that time together and take one last trip, but at the same time it was in the back of my mind the whole time. This was supposed to be... I was supposed to be pregnant and this was supposed to be our thing. But I just feel grateful. I think I emerged from that experience feeling grateful, and I also emerged knowing that the more I tried to white knuckle this, the worse off I was. That I couldn't control it. Any number… I did everything that everyone was telling me it was the right thing and things still weren't working. So I just said, "Before we conceived the third time I just kind of have to let go." I have to let go of the control, and I have to let go of whatever the outcome is, and I have to just do my best and I have to talk about it, and I have to not just let things fester and build up, and be honest about what I'm feeling and seek help. And I think that's a really hard thing to do. Especially for something like this because it feels so personal, and you're so vulnerable, and it's so complicated.

Marie (28:51): Yeah. It is very much all of those things, and I think everything that you're saying about the support network that you can rely on, and talking to a therapist, and trying to work through this process of forgiveness is all such an integral part of having to move forward. So all of this was a part of your trimester zero, which after these emotional conversations, these financial conversations, the physical things that happen to your body as you're preparing and experiencing the miscarriage, where did that end up taking you?

Leslie (29:34): I think it just took me to a place of admitting that I couldn't control everything, which was great. I mean I'm definitely type a, but I'm not a super controlling person in general. But I think the training it gave me for parenting was really great. Have fun with it because this is supposed to be kind of a joyful experience, and I think we've really beat it down to something that feels like you can micromanage every single thing, and then it becomes work and it's not fun. And I guess the parting shot would just be, you never know what's going on with someone else, whether it's a parent, whether it's a friend, whether it's whoever. We always, especially with pregnancy, even more so with parenting, I'm learning, we really rush to judge other people. And there is so much mom shaming, and all kinds of craziness, and I would really love to see a world that's full of more kindness. Because we're all doing the best we can. I think if we were just a little nicer to each other, if we'd stop piling on on the internet, and Facebook posts, and Reddit forums and wherever. I mean it's hard enough becoming a parent, so just be kind to yourself and each other.

Marie (30:50): That could not be a better message to end on. Thank you so much for coming in and talking to me. I've learned a lot, as you can tell. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

Leslie (31:02): Thanks for having me.

Marie (31:03): So that's trimester zero. Between the financial, physical, medical, and emotional areas of preparation there's a good amount of helpful things to do at the very first step of a fertility journey, but as Leslie said, "At the end of the day, you can't control what comes next." So you really have to just take it one step at a time.

Marie (31:31): Baby Steps is a podcast from Carrot, the leading global fertility benefits provider for employers. To demonstrate how Carrot helps us members. I'm sitting down with Adam who is the head of Carrot's care navigation. Hi Adam.

Adam (31:44): Hey, how's it going?

Marie (31:45): I'm going to read a question that you have received from a Carrot member and I want you to walk through how you would help that person. So here's the question. "I am 29 years old and recently got engaged, and my fiance and I want to wait as long as possible before we have kids. We like our life, but I don't want to risk waiting too long. I'm not sure if it would make sense to freeze my eggs or if that's extreme. And I'm not really sure where to start." So Adam, when you get this type of question in your care navigation, how do you respond?

Adam (32:17): Well, first off, that's a great question, we see it quite frequently. For members like this person, we generally advise that they go and see a fertility specialist at a clinic, and during that initial consultation they'll have the opportunity to have some tests performed. They'll be able to chat with their doctor to understand their fertility health relative to kind of their family forming needs, and then based off of the analysis that the doctor then performs, they'll provide some insight into their next steps for conceiving a child. Moving forward with care with that clinic is not necessary at that point. However, if the patient wants to move forward, they can do that afterwards.

Marie (33:02): Good answer, and I'm sure that's helpful to the member who asked it. To learn more about Carrot, visit Carrotfertility.com.

Marie (33:18): Baby Steps is produced and edited by me, Marie McCoy Thompson, and also edited and mixed by the ever reliable, Jim Metsondorth. Our original music is by Chris [Ploug 00:33:29] and Chili Quarter, who has the best name in the music making game. Our artwork is by Allie Packard, whose recommendations for hair products are pretty much as amazing as the art that she makes for us. Thanks for listening.