Ep. 28: Shanna’s C-Section Birth Story
January 14, 2019
In this week’s Big Topic, Shanna and Laura dive deep into the highly anticipated event… Shanna’s delivery! Also, Laura reports on her baby shower and discusses her birth plan for her breech baby. Finally, they reveal their BFPs and BFNs for the week. Laura is 35 weeks pregnant, and Shanna is no longer pregnant!
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Laura Birek: Hi. Welcome to Big Fat Positive. This week we have our weekly check-ins, we have a very special segment with some big news and we have our weekly BFPs and BFNs. Let’s get to it.
Laura Birek: Hi, guys.
Shanna Micko: Hey.
Laura Birek: This is episode 28. Hi, Shanna.
Shanna Micko: Hello.
Laura Birek: We usually start with our weekly check-ins. Did you have anything going on this week?
Shanna Micko: I have some tiny piece of news for my check-in, Laura.
Laura Birek: Little bit.
Shanna Micko: This is going to just take you by surprise and really blindside you and our listeners. I had a baby!
Laura Birek: What!?
Shanna Micko: I had a baby this week.
Laura Birek: Oh my God! Yaay!
Shanna Micko: The overall recap is things went well. I’m doing well. Baby is doing well. But I was thinking and you were thinking that we could talk more about that in the middle of our show like our big topic for the week so we can save all the juicy details for that. What do you think?
Laura Birek: Yes, we are going to do a deep dive into your birth in the next segment. We’ll save it for then because it’s too big of a deal to just do in a weekly check-in.
Shanna Micko: Yeah, definitely. All right then. That leaves you, my pregnancy friend, all alone in your pregnancy without me.
Laura Birek: I know. I’m so lonely. All my friends who I’ve been pregnant with have given birth now and I’m all alone.
Shanna Micko: Well, whatever. It’s so soon. How soon? How many weeks are you?
Laura Birek: I am week 35 now and I have a couple things this week.
One is that you can probably hear, I have come down with a bit of a cold, which being pregnant in the winter I guess is just the way it goes. But I’m just so over it. It’s not that bad, but when you’re pregnant everything is worse. It’s harder to get over anything. I’m just congested and whatnot and I’m pretty sure I got it at my baby shower, which is another part of my check-in.
Shanna Micko: That’s a terrible gift for your friends to bring you.
Laura Birek: No one intentionally got me sick, but I can only guess it was either that or I went to a friend’s bachelorette dinner the night before. I work from home, so I’m kind of antisocial in a lot of ways. I don’t see people that much, so I don’t get exposed to a lot of germs. I don’t have kids yet, so I don’t get the toddler germs like everyone else.
Shanna Micko: Right.
Laura Birek: Last weekend I saw probably like 50 times more people than I normally see on an average week, so anyone could have given it to me.
Shanna Micko: True.
Laura Birek: I’m not blaming anyone in particular, but I had my baby shower and it was super fun.
Shanna Micko: Yes, that’s right.
Laura Birek: It was so nice.
Shanna Micko: I should probably mention to everyone because they’re dying to know. I did not make it to Laura’s baby shower because I also got a cold, but I didn’t see Laura. So I didn’t give her my cold.
Laura Birek: This is definitely not your fault.
Shanna Micko: Definitely. I made a point not to come a), because it was the day before my surgery and b), I got a cold and I just felt terrible. I’m sorry I missed it.
Laura Birek: Those are all very valid reasons to miss it. I think it would’ve been awesome to have you there, of course, and I would’ve loved to have one more picture of us pregnant together.
Shanna Micko: I know.
Laura Birek: But I 100% understand why you couldn’t be there, but it was fun. We had it at my house. There were about 20 something ladies there and then Corey was there and so was my step-dad. They were the only men folk. We had barbecue.
Shanna Micko: Nice.
Laura Birek: We played baby trivia and our friend, Jen, did mostly organizing. My mom did most of the funding and my mom will totally be fine with me saying that because my mom knows that she’s just been crazy busy with work and she was like, “If Jen does everything, can I just pay for everything?” I’m like, “I’m sure that’ll work out.”
Shanna Micko: Well, take it.
Laura Birek: But it was really, really fun and I got so much stuff and now I feel really prepared except for I have to actually unbox everything and wash everything. But it was really, really nice and I definitely felt showered.
Shanna Micko: Aww. That’s so great.
Laura Birek: Then I do have one more thing. I know I’m trying to cram all this stuff in, but it was an eventful week.
Shanna Micko: Oh, yes.
Laura Birek: Guess who has a scheduled C-section on the books?
Shanna Micko: What? Did that baby not turn?
Laura Birek: Oh, no, his head is in the exact same spot always perpetually never even moving at all. He moves, sorry. That sounded bad. He moves a lot.
Shanna Micko: I thought you were going to entice him with the ice packs. What happened?
Laura Birek: I tried the ice packs.
Shanna Micko: You did.
Laura Birek: It was just cold. Nothing is making this baby move. I’m convinced that there’s actually might be a physiological reason he’s not turning because he’s just too consistently in the same spot. It’s not like he’s one day over on the left side and one day over on the right side, he’s literally in the same spot every day and has been for months.
Shanna Micko: Wow.
Laura Birek: I can tell because his head is hard, so I can feel it on my stomach. Anyway, there’s still a little hope. 35 weeks is not the end game. He could still turn. I read on one of my baby boards that someone went in for their scheduled C-section for a breach baby at 39 weeks and the baby had turned and they were sent home.
Shanna Micko: What?
Shanna Micko: Well, hey. You never know. It can happen to you.
Laura Birek: You never know. But one thing I did try was I had gone to a chiropractor. I think I talked about that before.
Shanna Micko: Oh, yeah.
Laura Birek: Even he was like, “Yeah, I don’t think this baby is going to turn, but we’ll do everything we can to make a good environment for him to turn if he wants to” and I was like, “Great.” What he recommended was that I go to a swim class, like get in a pool.
Shanna Micko: I remember that. Did you go?
Laura Birek: I did go. It’s at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center. The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, the big stadium has an aquatic center right next to it with two Olympic size pools and they have all these classes and they have a class called Bump & Beyond.
Shanna Micko: Cool.
Laura Birek: I went and it was so fun and I was really enjoying it at the time and then the next day I was crazy sore.
Shanna Micko: From using muscles you weren’t used to.
Laura Birek: Because I haven’t done cardio. When’s the last time I’ve done cardio? I’ve been going to yoga. But the extent of my cardio is walking around the block. It was cool because they put you in the deep end, but they give you a flotation belt so you go across the pool, like upright basically like you are on a stationary bike and they have you do all these other things and stretches and whatnot. It’s also possible I was sore because I was just about to get sick. I went the day before I got sick so maybe it was all just compounded, but I don’t know. I really, really enjoyed the class, but then I’m worried about going back again because I’m like, I don’t need one more thing making it uncomfortable to sleep, you know?
Shanna Micko: 100%. Don’t go. Skip it. It’s Bumps & Beyond, so maybe you can go post.
Laura Birek: I recommend for anyone in the Southern California area or if you have them in your area. Getting in the pool was really great. It just lifted all that weight off your stomach. It was awesome.
Shanna Micko: That sounds nice just floating in suspension no baby weight pulling you down.
Laura Birek: Part of me is thinking I could go once I get better and just be like, hey. Can I either take it easy or float here while everyone else does their exercises?
Shanna Micko: Can I bring my raft in my Virgin Pina Colada sunglasses and just float?
Laura Birek: The pool is kept at 85 degrees, so it’s so nice.
Shanna Micko: That’s what I’m talking about.
Laura Birek: Anyway, that was my week. A lot was going on and we’ll see if this baby turns, but the magic eight ball says, “Outlook not good.”
Shanna Micko: I think that is it.
Laura Birek: That’s our check-ins and now we got to go to our next segment because I am dying to hear about your birth coming up after the break.
Shanna Micko: All right. Here we go.
Laura Birek: Okay. I don’t know what to call this: a big topic? There’s no special segment that could really cover this because it’s just too good. It’s too momentous. It’s the birth of your daughter. We’ve been waiting for this all this time.
Shanna Micko: I know. That’s what we’ve been building up to week by week. This is what happens at the end of all those weeks.
Laura Birek: Wait. Really?
Shanna Micko: Did you know that?
Laura Birek: Oh, you go through pregnancy, and then you have a baby at the end.
Shanna Micko: A human comes out of you.
Laura Birek: What?
Shanna Micko: It’s bonkers. You think I know that since I’ve done it before, but it still took me by surprise.
Laura Birek: All right. I want to hear everything. Let’s start. We know that you had a scheduled C-section and you were worried about going to labor early, did you end up going to labor early, or did it go as planned?
Shanna Micko: No, I did not. This baby gave me time to finish up things around the house. We were literally finishing things on Sunday. My appointment was on Monday. The grandmas were able to come into town because they were coming to take care of my daughter. Everything was just set and ready to go. I had packed my bag and she waited. Patient little gal.
Laura Birek: Oh my gosh. What was it like the night before then? Was that freaking you out? I’m heading in that direction, so give me what to expect.
Shanna Micko: Well, it was very surreal first of all, just because at the first time around my first pregnancy, I was just waiting for labor to spontaneously start and it did in the middle of the night. I think I mentioned that before. So there’s just something so different about being like today is the last day I’m going to be pregnant and tomorrow I’m going to have a kid. My mind was kind of blown and then the whole day I spent just having little emotional ups and downs, especially with my daughter who I was trying to spend a lot of time with just thinking, oh my God. This is my last day with you as an only child, life is going to change, trying to picture a newborn in our house and in everything that I’ve set up for her, it just seemed surreal and still so distant. But it was coming around the corner, so it was a lot of mixed emotions for sure.
Laura Birek: Did you sleep at all?
Shanna Micko: I really don’t remember. I think I slept a little bit.
Laura Birek: Because your appointment wasn’t until noon the next day, right?
Shanna Micko: Yeah, I had to be at the hospital at 10. So I ate dinner. I ate a snack around nine o’clock because I couldn’t eat anything after midnight. I thought I would be like really, really restless, but I think I did actually get a little sleep.
Laura Birek: How was the hunger because I feel like I’m hungry all the time and you have to not eat for eight hours? Why that?
Shanna Micko: Eight hours. Thirst is worse for me and I’m like, do I really need to not drink after midnight? I don’t know for sure, but I kind of bent the rules. The next morning I had some water and some black tea because I was also worried about going without caffeine for so long. I was like, I figure if I don’t put milk in my stomach, food, whatever, blah blah, blah and everything, that was fine.
Laura Birek: You’re breaking rules.
Shanna Micko: But I was really hungry. Hey, it’s my ML. I’ve been doing it this whole damn pregnancy with my deli meat and sushis.
Laura Birek: Oh my God. Your deli meat.
Shanna Micko: I can finally eat deli meat again without guilt.
Laura Birek: You can admit to it.
Shanna Micko: Exactly.
Laura Birek: All right. So you go in.
Shanna Micko: The next morning we said goodbye to my daughter. Told you she knew where we were going. Took our last family photo of the three of us in front of a Christmas tree and just drove to the hospital, which took eternity because of course traffic in LA sucks and just parked the car and walked right up and I was like, “I’m here for my appointment,” which is so different from last time, which is my water broke and I had to go to triage and they had to assess me right away and they’re like, “Can you just sit in that chair in the hallway and wait for us for a little bit?” I’m like, “Okay.”
Laura Birek: So they take you in, you suit up I assume and we have a little audio of you waiting, right?
Shanna Micko: Yeah, in the pre-op room, I took just a little tidbit of audio with my husband getting ready.
Laura Birek: Your husband who is also our glorious producer, Steve. Let’s take a listen.
Shanna Micko: We are in the room waiting to go into the OR. Steve’s getting dressed in his sweet jumpsuit. We met with the anesthesiology and our doctor and it’s almost go time and this is crazy. It’s all happening so fast. Steve, how do you feel?
Steve: Good. I feel like I’m getting ready to land on the moon or something.
Shanna Micko: You look like it. I think that outfit will protect you from asteroids.
Steve: Amazing how they got my height exactly right.
Shanna Micko: I know.
Steve: It seems as perfect.
Shanna Micko: That’s nice.
Laura Birek: That’s cute. When you were talking about Steve, was he in a full like OR gown or something?
Shanna Micko: Yeah, it almost looks like a white painter suit that you would buy from Home Depot or something. It’s like legs, arms, zips up and a big head thing, and a mask.
Laura Birek: Oh my God. Did you get a picture of him in that?
Shanna Micko: Oh, yeah.
Laura Birek: Okay. Awesome. Necessary.
Shanna Micko: We’ll share that. That was minutes before and then in that pre-op waiting room, you’re waiting for the OR to be ready and giving us the go-ahead and everything and I got my IV and stuff and I met my assistant surgeon, Howie Mandel.
Laura Birek: Wait, was his real name, Howie Mandel?
Shanna Micko: Oh, yes. Howard Mandel. But my doctor did call him Howie on many occasions and I just got a real kick out of that especially because the Howie Mendel we’re all familiar with is such a germaphobe and would never be caught dead in an operating room with bodily fluids.
Laura Birek: Especially like anything obstetrics or psychology-related. That’s really funny.
Shanna Micko: I met Howie Mandel. He was really nice and my doctor came in and they were just so kind and reassuring and it was just all so calm. I was getting butterflies and stuff, but overall just dang! So different from last time. Just overall calm.
Laura Birek: Because you got rushed into a C-section last time after many, many hours of labor, right?
Shanna Micko: Yeah, after many hours of labor, her heart rate just crashed hard and they rushed me in. They kicked someone else out of the OR and rushed me in and I didn’t know what was going on and at the last second in the OR, her heart rate came back up and so we went back to the delivery room and tried again.
Laura Birek: Oh God.
Shanna Micko: We did that like three times and that’s when finally the doctor’s like, “Do you just want to choose to do a C-section at this point?” I was like, “Yes.” In the end, I chose it, but I chose it after all of that crazy experience.
Laura Birek: You chose it after trying for a while. Everyone is trying to get me to turn this baby, like, oh, you could get an external cephalic version, which is where they manually try to move him or doing all these spinning babies’ things. But it’s just like, I have this fear that then we’re going to try to turn him he’ll turn and then it’ll just end up in a C-section, anyway.
Shanna Micko: Possibly.
Laura Birek: The way you’re describing a planned C-section sounds really calm and kind of nice.
Shanna Micko: I know. C-section haters out there are going to be really mad at me probably for spreading this because obviously C-sections can be scary and it is surgery and stuff. But for me personally, compared to my last experience, it was very calm. For instance, I walked in on my feet into the operating room this time as opposed to being on my back, ushered in looking at the ceiling. This was before I got Lasik surgery, so I had terrible eyesight. My glasses were barely on my face. It was a literal blur. I didn’t know what was what. I couldn’t see anything, so I walked into this OR which was probably the same one I delivered in before, and was just like, oh, this is what it looks like. These are the machines and the lights.
Laura Birek: You got a redo in much calmer circumstances.
Shanna Micko: Definitely. It showed too because the first C-section, I just remember shaking uncontrollably, which I do know is a side effect of the anesthesia and stuff and so I thought I would get that again, but I didn’t shake shiver not once. It was a very weird sensation to feel your legs go numb. I didn’t love it but just knowing what to expect I was way more calm and not as scared.
Laura Birek: That’s awesome. All right. So you walk in, you lie down.
Shanna Micko: Well, I walk in and got the spinal from the anesthesiologist, which by the way, the anesthesiologist team at Cedars-Sinai is a bunch of young, hot dudes.
Laura Birek: No, you know that’s the thing, right?
Shanna Micko: I didn’t, and it took me by surprise the first time around because when my anesthesiologist came in, I was like, what? This time when like two or three came in to visit me, I was like, what? What? What? Why is this a thing? Who knows about this?
Laura Birek: I don’t know. All I know is that you know my parents are doctors and it kind of ekes me out because my dad is an anesthesiologist, so it doesn’t make me want to be like, anesthesiologists are so hot. I’m like blah. But I know it’s true. I think it’s like orthopedic surgeons and anesthesiologists are supposed to be these hot, young things. It’s a thing in the doctor world.
Shanna Micko: Oh, in the doctor world in general. Interesting.
Laura Birek: I remember five, six years ago, Corey’s Achilles popped and I remember I was going to take him to all of his appointments, but I had a full-time job then. So his mom and his aunt took him and I remember hearing more about how hot his surgeon was after his surgery to fix his Achilles than anything else. I remember coming back and he was all drugged out on the couch asleep. I was like, “How did it go?” His mom and aunt were just like, “Oh, his doctor was very cute.”
Shanna Micko: It takes a person a back to be approached by such an attractive human during these times, but also quite delightful. That was lovely.
Laura Birek: Okay. You got poked in the back by a hot anesthesiologist.
Shanna Micko: My legs started going numb and that’s when they laid me down and it’s just such a weird sensation. I don’t know, Laura. Just be ready for that. I don’t personally like that feeling of numbness in my body. I’ve had that a few times, but you don’t feel the pain. That’s the main thing.
Laura Birek: That makes it all worth it. I don’t like it either. I don’t like when I get numbed at the dentist. It’s such a weird feeling, but again, better than feeling the drilling.
Shanna Micko: Exactly. Apparently, the doctor is like, “Okay. Once I start the surgery, your baby will be here in five minutes.”
Laura Birek: That’s so amazing.
Shanna Micko: He’s like, “The whole thing takes about 45 because I need to put you back together again.” But it just was really fast and next thing I knew, I heard her little cry and the doctor is like, “Dad, you got the camera ready?” Steve took out the camera and he held her up over the curtain moments after she had been born and she was covered in vernix. Remember vernix we learned about.
Laura Birek: I do.
Shanna Micko: The thick waxy substance.
Laura Birek: She still had the vernix, because I know some babies get rid of it by the time they get to 39 or 40 weeks.
Shanna Micko: I think so. She still had some waxy stuff on in her little face. I was grunged out crying. I will never in my life forget the memory of that. Excuse me.
Laura Birek: Is it making you cry right now?
Shanna Micko: Yes.
Laura Birek: Aww.
Shanna Micko: I loved it and I love that he did that. He’s such a sensitive, like thoughtful doctor and I know that seems like such an obvious thing to do, but my first doctor didn’t do that. I didn’t even realize my baby was crying until someone was like, “She’s crying.” I was like, “Wait, what? That’s her?” I didn’t know she had been born and no one lifted her up and they took her away and I didn’t even see her or hold her for like 20, 30 minutes.
Laura Birek: Oh, wow.
Shanna Micko: I loved being able to see her face right away and know for sure she was out and she was good, healthy and I didn’t know for sure because they need to do little tests.
Laura Birek: But the crying is a good indication.
Shanna Micko: I love that and Steve got some wonderful shots. I’ll have to show them to you.
Laura Birek: Oh my gosh. I can’t wait.
Shanna Micko: Probably not going to share them with the world, unfortunately, because it’s a little personal.
Laura Birek: We got to keep some stuff for us.
Shanna Micko: I love that and then Steve went over with her and the baby nurse and started suctioning her lungs and getting her cleaned up and pretty quickly this time, she was on my chest. They came over and the nurse was like, “Do you want to do skin to skin?” I was like, “Yeah,” and pulled my blanket down and so she got to lay on my chest really quickly.
Laura Birek: Who was holding her there because your arms are not great at that point?
Shanna Micko: I think I could have my arms up at that point.
Laura Birek: Okay.
Shanna Micko: Actually, my arms were never tied down.
Laura Birek: That’s good.
Shanna Micko: They just had them outstretched when they were putting up the curtain and doing all the iodine and cleaning of my stomach, but after that, I could hold her and stuff.
Laura Birek: Oh, sweet.
Shanna Micko: It was really nice and really sweet. They did that before they did any of the vitamin K and the eye ointment and all that stuff, so I held her for a while while they were stitching me up.
Laura Birek: Getting the placenta out too, right?
Shanna Micko: Yeah, I’m sure. It had to be part of it.
Laura Birek: You didn’t keep it?
Shanna Micko: I did not keep it, Laura.
Laura Birek: You did not insist it stays in the room at all costs. This is a throwback to a previous episode if you’ve watched.
Shanna Micko: No, I didn’t want to keep it bedside like a bouquet of flowers throughout my recovery.
Laura Birek: Just show it off to everyone who comes to visit. They have to meet the placenta first, the baby second.
Shanna Micko: This is my placenta, Rosemary. Anyway, one thing that is a little disturbing, this might be TMI.
Laura Birek: Is there such a thing on this podcast? Come on.
Shanna Micko: Something to be aware of and you’re probably fine with it because you come from such a medical family and I come from such an eked out person, slight point of view. It’s like the hospital, the noises of surgery because you’re awake so you can hear it suctioning, you’re just like, oh, cool, cool, cool. They’re suctioning my blood right now and I guess cauterizing stuff back together or something, so you there’s some weird smells and sounds that I really wanted to avoid, but I couldn’t.
Laura Birek: Not to continually gross people out, but this is reality. My dad doesn’t eat red meat because of the smell of cauterizing that he gets in the OR all the time.
Shanna Micko: That is so disgusting. I can hardly handle it.
Laura Birek: Sorry, listeners. We have some audio from when you were still in the OR, right?
Shanna Micko: Oh, yeah. You guys can hear some of her first cries and then you could hear my doctor saying goodbye to my assistant, Dr. Howie Mandel. Just take a listen.
Steve: She’s yawning. I was trying to get her to cry.
Doctor: Thank you so much. Just doing this together and then we’re done.
Steve: Now that I have the voice recorder she doesn’t want to cry.
Doctor: Thank you so much, Howie.
Dr. Howie Mandel: Welcome.
Laura Birek: Oh my God. That is so cute. The little like dolphin squeaks. I love it. I love it. I love it. I love it.
Shanna Micko: Anyway, the details that people love to know: she was seven pounds, four ounces.
Laura Birek: That’s good size.
Shanna Micko: She was 20 inches long.
Laura Birek: Is that long? I don’t know what’s the average. I don’t know what’s normal.
Shanna Micko: Oh, I don’t know. I just meant she’s 20 inches in length.
Laura Birek: No, I know. I just don’t know if that’s tall or short.
Shanna Micko: It’s longer than my first baby.
Laura Birek: Okay.
Shanna Micko: I had a doctor before based on ultrasound tell me she was going to be tall based on her bone length. So I don’t know. We’ll see.
Laura Birek: Cool. Sounds great.
Shanna Micko: She has dark brown hair.
Laura Birek: Which is bonkers I think because I was just expecting her to be a carbon copy of your first daughter who came out with like strawberry blonde, right?
Shanna Micko: Yeah, it’s funny because this one is a carbon copy in every way except the hair it seems like. Their faces look really, really, really similar.
Laura Birek: Obviously, I couldn’t wait to record to get this info. Shanna sent me pictures right after the birth and I was just like, oh my God. She looks exactly like your other daughter. It’s creepy. I couldn’t see the dark hair because she had her hat on, but genetics are strong, man.
Shanna Micko: After that, I’m all done in the OR and they wheel me to the recovery room and I am just out of it. I completely forgot what the hours after surgery are like, because you’re coming off the anesthesia, I guess. I guess I figured, because it affects my waist down like the drugs don’t affect my brain or something, I thought I would be more coherent. But I was really woozy, really, really loopy, extremely tired, and nauseous, even though I asked the hot anesthesiologist to please give me something to keep that at bay because I know I get nauseous from anesthesia.
Laura Birek: Oh, yeah.
Shanna Micko: It didn’t really do the trick.
Laura Birek: Didn’t work.
Shanna Micko: Not really. But in the recovery room, I was able to do more skin-to-skin and nurse the baby and Steve was sending out announcements to people with that limited reception we have. It took me a long time to come out of the funk of anesthesia. Even once I was in my postpartum room, I was still really, really, really out of it.
Laura Birek: Was that a bit of a bummer?
Shanna Micko: Yeah, that was kind of a bummer because it’s hard because you still have to do everything to take care of the baby. You need to nurse her every few hours and of course, everyone is just champing at the bit. I always forget that saying.
Laura Birek: I think it’s champing. I don’t know.
Shanna Micko: Anyway, everyone is super eager to know this baby’s name. It’s the number one question and I get. I’m always curious to know baby’s name too, but it’s just like, people! My brain cannot even focus on a coherent sentence right now let alone the name of a child. Just wait, wait, please.
Laura Birek: Are these people in person or are they texting you?
Shanna Micko: Oh, texting like people do.
Laura Birek: I think if I recall, I waited until the next day to prod about the name.
Shanna Micko: I think so. Which seemed respectful. It seemed more reasonable. In my haze, I was just cracking up at people’s desperation to know and I was like if you only could see me right now, the name of this baby is the last thing on my mind because we had some ideas, but we weren’t 100% and I wasn’t ready to make a commitment when I still had whatever they gave me in that spinal tap running through my system.
Laura Birek: It’s so funny. I literally just had this conversation with Corey. I said, “We are not allowed to make a decision about a name until 12 hours after I have the C-section if I end up having the C-section because I’m going to be out of it,” and he was like, “Really?”
I was like, “Yeah,” because he’s like, “I want to look in his eyes before we settle on a name,” and I was like, “Sure. But I’m not making that decision when I’m in the haze post-surgery.”
Shanna Micko: That’s so smart and so good because you will look in your baby’s eyes, but it’s going to be a different experience than Corey who’s fully coherent in that moment looking in the baby’s eyes. I didn’t connect with her at first.
Laura Birek: It got to be hard because you’ve just gone through this big surgery. Although I imagine that people who go through vaginal birth probably have a similar experience because it’s so draining too, you know? Every birth is different obviously. I remember our friend, Jen, who we talk about a lot. She says that she was so out of it after her C-section. She doesn’t remember agreeing to hyphenate her son’s last name.
Shanna Micko: Oh, no. I didn’t know that.
Laura Birek: That’s what she says. She says she has no recollection of agreeing to it and now he has a hyphenated last name.
Shanna Micko: See, that’s the danger. You’ve got to wait 12 hours. Do it.
Laura Birek: Okay.
Shanna Micko: Learn from those who have gone before you.
Laura Birek: He will be nameless for the first 12 hours and that will be okay. That sounds really nice and then you were in the hospital for the standard three nights.
Shanna Micko: I was there for three nights and it’s exhausting because the nurses come every couple hours for various things: check your blood pressure, temperature, check the baby, do a bunch of tests on the baby, hearing tests, hepatitis shots, and first bath. There’s just so much that goes on at the hospital, so I was very excited to come home.
Laura Birek: Did you have any visitors?
Shanna Micko: My mom and Steve’s mom. They came twice.
Laura Birek: But not with your daughter.
Shanna Micko: No, they took her pre-school. We tried to keep her routine the same and they dropped her off at school and then came up to the hospital so that they could meet their granddaughter.
Laura Birek: That’s so fun. I’m so happy for you guys.
Shanna Micko: Thank you.
Laura Birek: I’m so bummed that I got sick because I can’t come meet her.
Shanna Micko: I know. What the heck, Laura! You got to get better. She needs to meet her auntie.
Laura Birek: I’m trying. Back to the name. I know we keep the names private on this podcast for personal reasons and privacy reasons. But is it the name you thought you were going to name her?
Shanna Micko: The first name, yes. Remember way back in the summer or something we recorded and I was like, I think we have the name. I ran it by my friends and I’m unsure of it because it’s kind of different and blah, blah, blah. That is the name we ended up choosing. It starts with the letter C. That’s all I will say and then probably in the last few weeks, we were thinking, okay. We’ll probably name her that. Let’s think about middle names and we chose the middle name as well.
Laura Birek: I love it.
Shanna Micko: Thank you.
Laura Birek: Sounds like it went as well as it possibly could have. Think about all the things you were worried about and not a single one came to fruition.
Shanna Micko: I know. I’m so grateful. I’m just so, so happy. I feel like I maybe sound a little more energetic than I actually am because she’s about a week old now and I have been home from the hospital and I’m not sleeping a lot, but for some reason, I’m really lucky. I’m one of the people that gets filled with adrenaline post-delivery. Same thing happened last time and so I actually have a lot of energy that’s carrying me through. We went to the pediatrician today and he’s like, “Are you sleeping?” I was like, “Oh, I’ve gotten some two-hour stretches” and he’s like, “You need to sleep at least four hours straight.” He’s like ordered me to.
Laura Birek: Wow.
Shanna Micko: He’s like, you need to take care of yourself to take care of this baby, so I must not look good because he was just point blank, “You need to take care of yourself.”
Laura Birek: What? I’m fine. Everything’s fine.
Shanna Micko: Exactly.
Laura Birek: Oh, that’s awesome though. All right. Well, new chapter begins.
Laura Birek: We close every episode with our big fat positives or big fat negatives of the week. Shanna, I have a real strong suspicion in what you have, but I’m going to ask you, do you have a BFP or a BFN this week?
Shanna Micko: Oh, I have a BFP.
Laura Birek: What?
Shanna Micko: But here’s the thing. Obviously, we know my BFP is that I have a new beautiful daughter and I’m grateful for my doctors and my husband who helped through it all. So I thought I would actually do a little something different for my BFP, which is tell you the things I brought to the hospital from home that I found really useful.
Laura Birek: Oh my God, I need this so bad. Lay it on me.
Shanna Micko: I packed a ton of stuff.
Laura Birek: Like one of those giant rolling suitcases. Oh really? That joke was cruel.
Shanna Micko: I did pack a lot of stuff just because I was like, you never know. But here are the things that I used and I found really useful and I recommend if anyone wants to toss them into their hospital bag.
Laura Birek: Okay.
Shanna Micko: This is Shanna’s hospital bag BFP.
Laura Birek: News you can use right here.
Shanna Micko: Well, first I brought my own really soft, fuzzy blanket and I loved having that and I didn’t use the hospital blanket after I came out of my anesthesia funk. I just used my own fuzzy.
Laura Birek: Smart. Good check.
Shanna Micko: I brought my own pajamas, which I tried to buy some that were easy for breastfeeding, like button up the front and I was really, really happy to have a couple of pajamas so I didn’t have to wear the hospital gown the whole time.
Laura Birek: Great.
Shanna Micko: I brought my own slipper socks, which I like because I’m not a fan of hospital socks. They never fit right and they’re weird. So I like that.
Laura Birek: These are grip socks?
Shanna Micko: Yeah, I also brought my slippers thinking I might like slippers, but then I got really grossed out just by the hospital. I didn’t want to wear my personal slippers in the hospital on the floor.
Laura Birek: Because you can easily wash the socks but not the slippers.
Shanna Micko: Yeah, I don’t know. My own toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, face wash, stuff like that so when I was allowed to take a shower and wash my face, I could use my own products because what they give you is sucky. It’s bare-bones and toothpaste, toothbrush. This is going to sound so anal, but I love it and I loved that I brought this so much. I brought a small organizing basket to put on my bedside table so that I could put my earplugs like nipple cream, ChapStick, headphones, my phone, like little things that just the first time around either just rolled around off the table on the ground or I had to store them in like a vomit tube that the hospital gives you and I’m such a vomit phoebe but I was just like, you know what? I don’t want to keep my stuff in the vomit tube this time. I brought a little basket from home and kept all my stuff in it and a couple nurses were like, “I’ve never seen anyone do that. That is such a good idea and I know this.”
Laura Birek: That is so genius. Hats off to you. That’s smart.
Shanna Micko: A Bluetooth speaker so we could listen to our own music.
Laura Birek: Very nice.
Shanna Micko: We brought a little nightlight so that we didn’t have to have the harsh lights at night. I brought my pillow, which was wonderful, and an extension cord so that I could have my phone plugged in, but still be able to use it. That is a big one too. I really loved that I had that.
Laura Birek: That’s smart. Like a power strip almost or just an extension cord?
Shanna Micko: It wasn’t. It’s just an extension cord. I didn’t bring the strip and it was enough to plug in my phone and the speaker if we needed to or whatever.
Laura Birek: That’s awesome. That’s so smart.
Shanna Micko: Those are my hospital hacks. If anyone can take anything useful from that, I hope you do.
Laura Birek: Oh my gosh. I am.
Shanna Micko: Maybe we’ll share this list on our website.
Laura Birek: It will be on bigfatpositivepodcast.com for sure maybe even on Instagram. Stay tuned to the end if you don’t know what our Instagram handle is.
Shanna Micko: What about you? BFP or BFN?
Laura Birek: Well, despite being sick, I have a BFP.
Shanna Micko: Oh, nice.
Laura Birek: Which it had to have a BFP. It’s the week of my shower, so generally, the BFP goes out to all my friends and family who showed up for the shower and made just such a lovely, fantastic time. But I want to especially call out our friend, Jen, who we talk about constantly and we will get on the show and interview her at some point. But Jen really went above and beyond planning my shower. She had planned your shower just a few weeks prior and our other friend Jenny’s shower. After that, she had three baby showers. She also was doing charity work for gathering up Christmas presents for kids and, oh my gosh, she was doing so much that weekend and she still managed to come up with all these adorable decorations and activities for my shower. I couldn’t be more grateful for you, Jen. If you’re listening, I love you. You couldn’t ask for a better friend.
Shanna Micko: I know. She’s the best.
Laura Birek: It’s a continual BFP.
Shanna Micko: Awesome.
Laura Birek: That is our show.
Shanna Micko: It is. Thanks for listening, everybody.
Laura Birek: Thanks for listening.
Shanna Micko: Let’s see, do you guys have any comments, questions? Let us know.
Laura Birek: Tell us what your C-section was like.
Shanna Micko: Oh, please, please do. We want to know, so feel free to reach out. Laura, where can they find us?
Laura Birek: We are on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at BFP Podcast. We also have a Facebook community group you can join. We also have a website, bigfatpositivepodcast.com where you can find the show notes and links to anything we talked about in the show.
Shanna Micko: Big Fat Positive is produced by Laura Birek, Shanna Micko, and Steve Yager.
Laura Birek: Thanks for listening.
Shanna Micko: Bye.
Laura Birek: Bye.