Ep. 31: Everything Is About to Change
February 4, 2019
It’s less than 24 hours ‘til Laura’s c-section, and she talks about what she’s been up to in the last days and hours before her delivery. Shanna reports on her latest attempts to get her newborn to gain weight, including a new galactagogue and a helpful support group. In this week’s special segment, Shanna and Laura discuss the best parenting and pregnancy advice they’ve received, and finally, they reveal their BFPs and BFNs for the week. Laura is 38 weeks pregnant, and Shanna is three weeks postpartum.
- Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting* by Janet Lansbury - *affiliate link
- Respectful Parenting: Janet Lansbury Unruffled Podcast about the RIE method
- Kindred Bravely French Terry Racerback Nursing Sleep Bra for Maternity/Breastfeeding* *affiliate link
- Kegel Trainer App for iOS
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Shanna Micko: Hi. Welcome to Big Fat Positive with Shanna and Laura. On this week’s episode, we have our weekly check-ins, we have our special segment, They Said What?! where we flip things on their head this week and we wrap it up with our BFPs and BFNs. Let’s get started.
Shanna Micko: Hi, everyone. Welcome to the show. Hi, Laura.
Laura Birek: Hello, Shanna.
Shanna Micko: Hi. I think I need to mention that I am currently nursing a three-week-old, so you may hear some giggles.
Laura Birek: Adorable.
Shanna Micko: Hi, honey. But she really wanted to be part of the episode, so I couldn’t leave her out.
Laura Birek: We have a third host.
Shanna Micko: That’s right. Anyways, while she gets her nutrition, Laura, why don’t you fill us in on where you are this week?
Laura Birek: Well, it’s a big week Shanna.
Shanna Micko: Why?
Laura Birek: I’m 38 weeks and I’m having a baby tomorrow.
Shanna Micko: Oh my God, I can’t believe it’s tomorrow. What time is your appointment?
Laura Birek: 9:30 in the morning, unless they call and change it tonight, which they said might happen.
Shanna Micko: Oh my gosh, that’s so soon. So less than 24 hours from now.
Laura Birek: When you say it like that…
Shanna Micko: What’s your check-in time?
Laura Birek: Two hours before that, so 7:30 in the morning.
Shanna Micko: Okay. That’s good, because then you have less time that you can’t eat. Mine was at noon. I was starving.
Laura Birek: My doctor really wanted to get me the 7:30 surgery appointment, but apparently, it was already booked. So I couldn’t quite get it. But 9:30 is okay. I think I might try to eat a really late dinner or something, even though that really messes with my stomach just so I have some energy in me, because I know I’m waking up starving these days. Although maybe nerves will take over with that.
Shanna Micko: They will. Nerves, adrenaline, energy, excitement, I think it’s all going to take over.
Laura Birek: The deadline is fast approaching and basically, this whole week has just been a frantic rush of trying to get everything I want to get done done before the baby comes. I remember you were really concerned about your nursery, making sure the nursery was all set up and how you liked it and repainting and stuff and I kind of tease you about that being like, “It doesn’t have to be perfect,” but I realized my version of that is crafting.
Shanna Micko: So you’ve got some projects you need to finish, huh?
Laura Birek: Yeah, at my baby shower, I had people decorate quilt squares and then I was going to put them together in a quilt and I actually wanted to do it earlier.
Shanna Micko: Cute.
Laura Birek: I’ll post a picture of it. Things might be a little delayed when I get around to it. Aww, listen to her.
Shanna Micko: Hi, honey.
Laura Birek: Is she having a good breakfast?
Shanna Micko: What do you think? Okay.
Laura Birek: Sorry about that.
Shanna Micko: She was asleep when we had the intention of recording this episode, but you know, hunger strikes.
Laura Birek: When we said we were rolling right into parenthood, this is what happened. But anyway, I actually wanted to work on the quilt earlier, but my brother and my sister-in-law really wanted to contribute to square and then they kept forgetting to make the squares and then they kept forgetting to mail the squares and then finally they were in town and I was like, “Just make the freaking square.” So we did. We just made the square on New Year’s Eve and reminder, we release these episodes on a delay so that we can edit them, which is why I’m talking about New Year’s Eve in I think February. Then I was like, all right. I got like three days to do this, so I made it really simple for myself. Precut squares and making the quilt wasn’t too hard. But then I also wanted to finish this cute little knit toy I was making and then of course, all these things get in the way. For example, my cat decided it was a good week to sprain his leg.
Shanna Micko: Oh my God.
Laura Birek: So yesterday I call the vet and I’m like, “My cat is limping. I’m afraid his front leg is broken,” and they were like, “When would you like to come in?” I was like, “As soon as possible, because I’m having a C-section Friday morning,” and they’re like, “Okay. How about this afternoon?” I was like, “Great.” So we bring him in and it turns out it’s not broken thankfully, but it’s painful and it’s sprained and he’s limping around. So we have to give him meds every 12 hours. I’m like, “I’m going to be in the hospital.” They’re like, “Keep a close eye on him and give him meds every 12 hours,” and I’m like, “I’m going to be in the hospital for three days. This is not going to happen.”
Shanna Micko: I hope you’ve got a good cat sitter lined up.
Laura Birek: Thankfully, my friend, Marilyn, who is awesome and also the number one fan and QA tester of the show, she’s the best cat sitter in the world.
Shanna Micko: Hi, Marilyn.
Laura Birek: Hi, Marilyn. I call her the cat aunt, because she’s more than a cat sitter.
Shanna Micko: Aww.
Laura Birek: So I was texting her through all this and she was so great, because she was like, “Don’t even worry about it. If I need to, I’ll take him to my apartment.” She was just really good at giving me that calm feeling she’s got it under control and I don’t have to worry about it because up until tomorrow, my kitties are my babies.
Shanna Micko: Good.
Laura Birek: I feel like I need to take care of them and they still will be my little fur babies. I call my boy cat because they’re both boys, but he’s little still. He’s a year and a couple months and he just has a baby face and I feel bad for him limping around.
Shanna Micko: Did you see the incident?
Laura Birek: It’s controversial. We don’t know exactly what happened. One of our things that we needed to do was put together one of these Kallax, they used to be called Expedit. Those cube bookshelves you get from Ikea.
Shanna Micko: Yes, we’ve got many of those in our home.
Laura Birek: I realized that there was space for a small one in our bedroom and it would add lots of storage space. So he was putting that together and when he was opening the box, the box opened faster than expected and the cardboard kind of hit Cal, the cat, in the side. But he didn’t think it was very hard and I don’t think it was very. It’s cardboard. You know what I mean?
Shanna Micko: Yeah.
Laura Birek: How hard can cardboard really move? But he got spooked and then ran under the futon and I think that’s where he hurt himself, because he’s done that before. He’s too fast for his own good and he has tried to jump up on tables and kind of missed and hurt his legs before, so I think that’s what happened. For instance, I wanted to edit the podcast yesterday, but I had to spend like two hours at the vet instead.
Shanna Micko: Right.
Laura Birek: Anyway.
Shanna Micko: The cat’s demanding your attention.
Laura Birek: I know. What I will say is that it’s a real distraction. I’m not sitting here dwelling on, oh God, tomorrow I’m going to have a baby. I’m like, is Cal okay? Maybe he knew what he was doing, but that’s my check-in: just trying to finish every little thing I can. I know when I get back from the hospital, the house will still be here and I will still be able to do things, but I know that my mental state is not going to be nearly the same and my rest. So I’m just trying to get it all done.
Shanna Micko: All right. I’m very, very excited for tomorrow and for you. I can’t wait to hear how it goes.
Laura Birek: I’ll keep you posted. How are you and the baby?
Shanna Micko: Good. Our big news this week, I experienced my first poop explosion with this baby.
Laura Birek: Very exciting.
Shanna Micko: Which I describe as she’s on the changing table and I take off a diaper and then here comes more poop unexpectedly, and it’s all over my hands and all over the changing table and everything. You got to cross that milestone with every kid, so we did it.
Laura Birek: You’ve crossed the Rubicon on that.
Shanna Micko: But kind of also a wrap up to my breastfeeding saga that I’ve been going on and on about the last couple weeks, we went into the pediatrician again and she only gained a couple ounces after doing all of that round the clock pumping and feeding.
Laura Birek: Oh, man.
Shanna Micko: So I was so devastated and so exhausted and the pediatrician suggested a galactagogue I had never heard of.
It’s actually a prescription medication called Reglan, which I think you said is used for some kind of stomach thing or something, but it increases the prolactin hormone in your brain, which makes you create more milk.
Laura Birek: Okay.
Shanna Micko: Maybe it’s kind of hit or miss. He’s like, “But I can prescribe that for you. The only thing is that it has a possible side effect of creating depression, because it does inhibit dopamine.”
Laura Birek: Oh, shit. Geez.
Shanna Micko: So I’m like, oh, man! Bummer. My husband Steve is really concerned about it. Doesn’t want me to nose dive in depression.
Laura Birek: Of course.
Shanna Micko: I’m just like, “Give me something to make more milk,” and so I just had him give me the prescription and I took it just in case, you know what I mean? Because I need something to relieve me of this round the clock routine. So I took the prescription and didn’t really want to fill it and read about it online and of course, horror stories, people are like, “Oh my God, it made me so depressed, blah, blah, blah, anxiety.” Then I went to my three week checkup with my OB and things were going great. He said my scar looks healed.
Laura Birek: Yay!
Shanna Micko: By the way, that’s another part of my check-in. I was so worried about getting an infection again, but he said, it looks fantastic and I’m doing well. So that’s great. I asked him about this prescription, Reglan, and he’s like, “Those side effects are really rare. Just keep an eye on yourself. If you start to feel depressed or anything like that, just stop it and it’ll go away.” I was like, “It’ll go away?” He’s like, “Yeah, it will go away. I would take it if I were you.” So I was like, okay. He’s such a great doctor and so chill and relaxed and Steve really loves him and respects him too. I think him giving us the go ahead on that made us all feel more comfortable. So I started taking it a few days ago and I think it might be helping.
Laura Birek: She’s nursing right now, right?
Shanna Micko: Yeah, she is and then the last part of my check-in is that I went to breastfeeding support group at Providence Saint Joseph Hospital in Burbank, which I would save this for my BFP, but I have another BFP or BFN or something. So I’m going to talk about it now, because if you live in LA and you’re having any trouble breastfeeding, it’s a free support group. It’s led by lactation consultants. It doesn’t matter what hospital you delivered at. You can come and join the group. It’s like two hours. You weigh your baby before you nurse and then you nurse and weigh them again. So you can see exactly how much milk they’re actually getting and you can track it week by week and the lactation consultant will help you if you’re having any problems breastfeeding. They’ll tell you how many ounces a day your baby should be drinking.
It was a lifesaver for me with my first child and I finally went with my new daughter and she finally hit her birth weight.
Laura Birek: Thank God! Good job.
Shanna Micko: So the galactogogues have worked.
Laura Birek: Go galactogogues!
Shanna Micko: Oh my God, I’m so happy.
Laura Birek: If you want to hear more about galactogogues, listen to episode 30, our last episode.
Shanna Micko: They are things that help increase your milk supply. So that’s my check-in. I was so happy. I was in a great mood yesterday, partially because I got out of the house and went to this thing and got good news and she drank a bunch of milk. I was confirmed by the weigh in, so I’m feeling good today.
Laura Birek: Yay!
Shanna Micko: Yay!
Laura Birek: I like to hear that.
Shanna Micko: But that’s it for me. Should we move on to our next segment?
Laura Birek: Yes, let’s move on that high note.
Shanna Micko: All right.
Laura Birek: Our next segment is, They Said What?! Which we’re kind of flipping on its head this week, because usually we talk about the crazy and insulting or outrageous things people tell us, but this time in honor of the end of my pregnancy, we are actually going to do a, They Said What, about the best unsolicited advice we got from people either during our pregnancies or for new parenthood in Shanna’s case. So Shanna, what is the best unsolicited advice you’ve gotten so far?
Shanna Micko: I don’t know if this counts Laura, because this is actually some advice I got with my first baby.
Laura Birek: It counts.
Shanna Micko: It has sustained this entire time and this actually comes from our friend, Jen, who is a popular figure on our podcast. We mention her so often.
Laura Birek: We got to get her on this podcast.
Shanna Micko: We really do. We definitely will and I don’t know how unsolicited it was necessarily, but I just remember I was six weeks postpartum and she and I were having lunch and I don’t even know how it came up, but she mentioned a book that she had been reading called Elevating Child Care by Janet Lansbury. Have you heard of Janet Lansbury?
Laura Birek: I have. I actually believe I have that book on my bedside table, because of Jen but I haven’t actually read it yet. Maybe I should get on that. Tell me why.
Shanna Micko: I love it. Janet Lansbury is a childcare expert who specializes in a parenting philosophy called RIE, R-I-E, which stands for Resources for Infant Educarers and it was a philosophy based on childcare research by a woman named Magda Gerber years and years ago. The basis of this parenting philosophy is that our children, even when they’re newborn babies are their own individual beings with their own feelings and personal space and it’s our job to treat them with respect and engage with them fully when we’re giving them their childcare, like diapering, bathing, things like that, which sounds like an obvious parenting technique. But there’s something about the way that Janet Lansbury writes about it that just changed my whole take on parenting. I didn’t have a parenting philosophy before. I just knew that like attachment parenting, for example, wasn’t for me, because my baby, I got a sense she was too independent. I am a little bit not as touchy-feely as some people, so that didn’t feel right for me. This feels more right for me personally. It’s about giving your baby some space, like letting them lay on their back and kick around and look at things and choose what they want to look at instead of me as the parent constantly directing what she does and where she is and stuff like that.
Laura Birek: Interesting. I like that.
Shanna Micko: Listening to your baby’s cries and coo’s and figuring out maybe what they’re trying to say instead of instantly scooping them up and wrapping them up and holding them tight or something. So you really need to read the book and she has a podcast too.
Laura Birek: Cool.
Shanna Micko: The philosophy extends into toddlerhood about really acknowledging babies and toddlers feelings and experiences, as opposed to just sending a kid time out and stuff like that. So it’s made me a really, really much more patient respectful parent and I love it. I totally give Jen and Janet Lansbury credit for a lot of how I parent my children and I recommend it to anybody.
Laura Birek: All right. I got to put that on the top of the pile. I’m not sure how much reading. Maybe I could get an audio book version.
Shanna Micko: I’m sure you can. Definitely.
Laura Birek: I should do that, because I’m with you. I’m just like, I’m going to figure it out when he shows up tomorrow. Jesus Christ.
Shanna Micko: 22 hours.
Laura Birek: There is some real cognitive dissonance going on with me right now, because I’m just looking at my giant ass stomach and being like, there is a full grown baby in there. Like literally is coming out in less than 24 hours and I just can’t wrap my head around it.
Shanna Micko: It’s so surreal. No, I couldn’t wrap my head around it the night before my C-section either. It’s just so crazy.
Laura Birek: Anyway, snap out of it, Laura, snap out of it.
Shanna Micko: That’s my, They Said What, good advice. What do you have?
Laura Birek: Mine is a little less big picture life changing. Although I will say that for me, this was like a pregnancy saving thing for me and it actually was advice I got from my friend Ariel, who I don’t see very much. We’ve been friends since middle school and she was in town and I think I was just out of my first trimester and I was talking about how I feel pretty okay except for my boobs had gotten huge all of a sudden and I didn’t know what to do about it, where to get bras and she just turned to me, she’s like, “Just buy nursing bras,” and I was like, “Nursing bras?” It never occurred to me to buy a nursing bra during pregnancy. She’s like, “Buy the nursing bras now. They’re super comfortable and you’re going to need them later anyway, so then you’ll have them.”
Shanna Micko: Brilliant.
Laura Birek: Genius. I was a little skeptical, so I ordered one from, I think it was actually my BFP one week, Kindred Bravely. I always get the name wrong. I’ll put it in the show notes at bigfatpositivepodcast.com, but it’s their French Terry Racerback nursing bra and it’s so fucking comfortable. I ordered five more and that’s all I’ve worn throughout the pregnancy. They kind of look like sports bras, but more comfortable than sports bras.
Shanna Micko: Is it the kind where one panel over one boob you can just kind pull down or is it the snap at the top?
Laura Birek: No, there’s no snaps on these ones. They cross in the front. I haven’t really tried it yet, but you can liberate one boob independently. But honestly, I didn’t have to, but I chose to wear an underwire bra. I have one underwire bra that I got at the beginning of my pregnancy that fits and I wore it to a Christmas party. I wore it for three hours and it was torture. I got more Braxton Hicks because of it. I think because it was tight on my rib cage. It was so, so uncomfortable. So if I hadn’t have gotten that advice, I don’t know what I would’ve done. I would’ve been so much more uncomfortable throughout the pregnancy. But it also reminds me of what I think you told me early on even in the first trimester was like to just give in and get the maternity clothes, just give in and get the maternity jeans, just give in and get the maternity shirts. I’m so glad I didn’t resist that for any longer, because they’re super comfortable and there’s no reason to suffer more during your pregnancy, right?
Shanna Micko: No, make your body comfortable in whatever way you can.
Laura Birek: It’s funny I was talking to Keri, our friend, who we interviewed the pharmacist earlier this season and she is seven weeks postpartum, I think. She told me she had just put away her maternity jeans and was starting to wear her normal jeans again and I asked her about maternity shirts and she was like, “Actually, I’m not getting rid of those, because I love them.” She has a really long torso and it’s really hard for her to find shirts that are actually long enough to her liking. So she’s like, “I’m actually considering going and buying more maternity shirts, because they’re really, really stretchy.” I don’t know, because I don’t have a body to model it on right now, but I think it would just go back down and just look like a slightly ruched shirt over the stomach.
Shanna Micko: I’m not a fan of wearing the ruched maternity shirts postpartum, because I feel like it draws attention to my stomach. But it is certainly comfortable and certainly around the house, my God, yes. Anything goes around the house.
Laura Birek: The length is a nice thing. It’s true that they do make them nice and generously long. But anyway, that was the best piece of unsolicited advice I have gotten so far.
Shanna Micko: God bless people being nice and giving good advice.
Laura Birek: Right.
Shanna Micko: Thank you. Bring it on people.
Laura Birek: Thank you, everyone. All right. Moving on.
Shanna Micko: We’re going to wrap up the episode like we always do with our big fat positives and big fat negatives, BFPs and BFNs. Laura, you are going first.
Laura Birek: I have a BFN and also, it feels so trivial and silly to end my pregnancy with this BFN, but I’m just going to do it because everything is about to change and my world is about to flip upside down. So literally everyone feels compelled to text me and be like, “You know your life is going to change on Friday.” It’s like, motherfuckers, I know!
Shanna Micko: Someone told me that once and I was just like, “No shit, Sherlock. You’re not psychic.”
Laura Birek: Someone told you that. Literally, everyone’s telling me that and I’m like, “I get it.” All this big shit is happening in my world, so I’m going to focus on the small and be petty for my last BFN, which is taking down Christmas decorations.
It’s not that I’m not particularly religious. I’m not religious at all, but we did a very secular Christmas. We always had the Christmas tree and Santa Claus came and my mom always decorated the house. My dad put up lights outside and we’d make a big Christmas dinner and have Christmas cookies and I just love the season. It’s so fun and Corey really loves the season, which is very endearing.
Shanna Micko: That is endearing. I didn’t know that about him.
Laura Birek: He loves Christmas. When we put up our Christmas tree, the next day I remember he walked in, he was like, “That’s a fucking good looking Christmas tree right there.” But the baby’s about to show up. We’re recording January 3rd. Correct. The trash collection is going to come around and get the trees this week and we don’t want to have to take them down with the baby. So yesterday we took down the Christmas tree and we’ve been taking down the decorations and we’re not listening to Christmas music anymore and it’s just kind of a bummer.
Shanna Micko: It’s sad. I hate putting a cap on the season like that.
Laura Birek: I know. Also I think for me, it’s just been a very cozy Christmas holiday season because both Corey and I were off. I took my maternity leave and we’ve just been hardcore nesting and nesting during Christmas just seems so appropriate.
Shanna Micko: Absolutely.
Laura Birek: It’s actually kind of chilly in LA right now. It’s like people who are not in a Mediterranean climate are probably going to laugh, but it got down into the thirties last night. It did.
Shanna Micko: That’s awful.
Laura Birek: It was like low of 37, I think. So it’s chilly for us. There’s just something when you take down all the Christmas decorations, not only for me is it like wrapping up that season, but it’s like, tomorrow you’re off to the races.
Shanna Micko: Yes.
Laura Birek: There is just something kind of extra sad about it this season.
Shanna Micko: What’s exciting is to think that the next time you are going to decorate for Christmas, it’s going to be your baby’s first Christmas.
Laura Birek: I know. He’s going to be old enough where I can sit him up and take good pictures of him.
Shanna Micko: He’ll probably be walking by then. My daughter was born in January and by her first Christmas she was walking around, throwing the ball for the dog. It was really fun. It’s a fun age to have Christmas.
Laura Birek: Good. Okay. That is something to look forward to. Next time we have a tree, he’ll be a big boy.
Shanna Micko: So exciting.
Laura Birek: Tell me about yours. Tell me about your BFP or BFN.
Shanna Micko: Once again I have a BFP.
Laura Birek: I like it.
Shanna Micko: Trying to focus on the positive. Actually, I guess the exhaustion of being a newborn is just one big BFN and I just can’t keep mentioning that. So let me just throw in some little BFPs every week. That’s my philosophy. The other day I Googled, “When can you exercise after a C-section,” because I’m just sitting around so much and I’m dying to move and exercise and stuff like that and kind of the consensus I got is you don’t want to do too much, especially like abdominal stuff for a little while, but you can start working your pelvic floor muscles right away which are your kegels and to try to strengthen those up, because they really get weakened during pregnancy and that’s what holds in your pee-pee, like when you sneeze and cough and that still happens even after you give birth, I hate to say. So I was like, you know what? I think I’ll start working on my pelvic floor muscles and I was like, there’s probably an app for that.
Laura Birek: Of course, there is.
Shanna Micko: Because I’m not going to remember to work my kegels and so I searched and of course, I found an app. So I have another app BFP. I think it’s called Kegel Trainer is what it is, but I love it. It’s so easy. You hit start and it’s has a little routine and it lights up green for five seconds and it says, “Squeeze,” and so you’re supposed to squeeze your kegels and then it turns red and it says, “Rest,” and you rest for five seconds and then it turns green and says, “Squeeze.” So you squeeze and then it has different routines. So sometimes it’s like, “Squeeze for two, rest for two, squeeze for two, rest for two.”
Laura Birek: You got to mix up those workouts.
Shanna Micko: You do. You got to mix it up and keep it interesting and the workouts are like 54 seconds long.
Laura Birek: That’s my kind of workout right there.
Shanna Micko: Exactly. It amuses the hell out of me. I like having something silly and kitschy to help me do this thing that I’m supposed to do, which I’ll never remember. So if you’re looking to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, check it out. Hopefully, it’ll help you not pee when you sneeze and cough in the future.
Laura Birek: I can’t wait for that future.
Shanna Micko: There you go.
Laura Birek: On that note, I think that might be our show.
Shanna Micko: I think that’s our show. Our last show before you have your baby.
Laura Birek: Oh my God.
Shanna Micko: Our last show as pregnant. Anybody, we started this show as two pregnant people. Next time we’re going to be no pregnant people.
Laura Birek: It’s true.
Shanna Micko: Whoa!
Laura Birek: For a while at least. You never know, because I’m not sure if I want a second.
Shanna Micko: Door’s always open.
Laura Birek: Door is open not for a long ass time.
Shanna Micko: Anyway, good luck tomorrow.
Laura Birek: Thank you.
Shanna Micko: I’m going to be thinking of you. Send me updates or have Corey send updates.
Laura Birek: Corey will send you updates.
Shanna Micko: Okay, cool. All right, love you. You’re going to do great. It’s going to be awesome.
Laura Birek: Thank you, friend. I love you too and we love our listeners.
Shanna Micko: Yes, if you guys have any comments or questions for us or anything you want to share, please get in touch. We love hearing from you. Laura, remind everyone how they can get in touch.
Laura Birek: We’re 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 show notes and get in touch with us.
Shanna Micko: Big Fat Positive is produced by Laura Birek, Shanna Micko and Steve Yager.
Laura Birek: Thanks for listening, everyone. Bye.
Shanna Micko: Bye.
Laura Birek: See you on the other side.