Ep. 34: Holy Sheet! Should I Co-sleep?

February 25, 2019

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Laura and Shanna dive into bed sharing and baby hormones in this week’s special segment, “OMG I’m Freaking Out!” Also, Shanna discusses the joys of receiving baby smiles, and Laura reports on her baby’s impressive growth stats. Finally, the new moms reveal their BFPs and BFNs for the week. Shanna’s baby is six weeks old, and Laura’s baby is two weeks old.| This episode’s show notes – https://bigfatpositivepodcast.com/ep-34/ | Get social – Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/bfppodcast/ | Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/bigfatpositivepodcast/ | Email – [email protected] | Our mom-tested ultimate baby registry list – https://bigfatpositivepodcast.com/registry/

Show Notes:

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Episode Transcript

Laura Birek: Hi. Welcome to Big Fat Positive with Shanna and Laura. This week on the show we have our weekly check-ins, we have our special segment, Oh My God, I’m Freaking Out, and we have our BFPs and BFNs for the week.

[Music]

Laura Birek: Hey, Shanna. Welcome to episode 34.

Shanna Micko: Hey.

Laura Birek: Can you believe we’ve been doing this for 34 weeks?

Shanna Micko: No, that’s awesome.

Laura Birek: I know.

Shanna Micko: That’s almost like a full year now. Well, not really, but I don’t know. It’s close to a full year.

Laura Birek: It feels like a full year. A lot has changed; two new lives have been introduced into the world.

Shanna Micko: Yes.

Laura Birek: But tell me what’s going on with you this week.

Shanna Micko: So much. When you have a newborn kid so much happens and changes in one week. I feel like I could have six different check-ins, so I’m going to try to just focus on a couple things. My baby’s six weeks old now, which is wild. It’s gone so fast and the really cool thing is that she’s smiling now like actual, social smiles, not just the little bodily reflexes. Oh my God, I love it. It’s just so cute to just tickle her chin and be like, uchuchuchu and she’s just like, hihihi.

Laura Birek: I can’t wait for that.

Shanna Micko: It melts my heart. It’s great. I was in a questionable mood the other day, just really tired and it was a long day and then I sat down and had a conversation with her. I was like talking to her and she was reacting and smiling and it made everything better. Just everything melted away and I was just zoned in on her.

Laura Birek: I bet. Right now, I’m living off of those reflex smiles, which are still really cute, but it’s sort of like, I’ll try to have a conversation with him and I just get that blank stare.

Shanna Micko: The blank baby stare.

Laura Birek: Like mom, what are you doing? So skeptical and judgmental. I’m like, I’m taking care of you.

Shanna Micko: Thinking you want to talk.

Laura Birek: That’s awesome.

Shanna Micko: That’s really cool. Another thing is a follow up to last week where I was having some struggles with my daughter. By the way, I want to have some pseudonyms for my kids because I have two kids and they’re both girls and I’m always like my daughter, my daughter, my daughter. So I think since this daughter’s name starts with the letter C, I’m going to call her CeCe. How’s that?

Laura Birek: I like that.

Shanna Micko: Okay. The other one, her name starts with L and so I’m going to call her Elle, because Elle is kind of like a name.

Laura Birek: This is easier.

Shanna Micko: It is a name. Anyways, CeCe has been having a lot of trouble at night sleeping, grunting, a lot of pain and I was at my wits end and so you suggested I talk to your mom who is a pediatrician.

Laura Birek: Yes.

Shanna Micko: So I did. She was so gracious to get on the phone with me and talk about what was going on and she requested a butt pic of my baby.

Laura Birek: I was the intermediary of this.

Shanna Micko: Which I obliged. I sent her a pic to look at what was going on down there and she thought it was probably like a yeast problem, because I had been on the antibiotic, the amoxicillin, for strep throat and so she suggested I put some yeast fungal cream stuff on there, which I started doing. That was great. I think that cleared things up.

Laura Birek: Oh, good.

Shanna Micko: Then she thought that the problem with her grunting and crying, having a really hard time with gas and pooping is that she probably had an anal fissure.

Laura Birek: Sounds painful.

Shanna Micko: Really painful. She’s like, you got to look at her butthole and check and see if there’s like a little tear and I was like, okay, okay. Of course, I tried to do this. Last week I talked about how I couldn’t find her butthole when I was trying to do the Windi so I couldn’t find it again. It’s just so tiny down there. It all just looks like a squished little crack. Oh my gosh, I hope my daughter doesn’t listen to this one day when she’s older and be like, mom, what are you talking about my butt? But anyway, all that to say it was really hard to tell. I didn’t know. So I just went ahead with your mom’s advice, which was to put some Vaseline on there every time I changed her diaper and that would help heal everything. I started doing that too and she seems to be better. She still cries at night from like 3:00, 4:00 a.m. on, but it’s more like I want to be held and less like I’M DYING BECAUSE FARTS ARE COMING OUT. That kind of thing. So it seems like she’s in less pain, which is awesome.

Laura Birek: That’s good

Shanna Micko: I think she’s happier.

Laura Birek: I’m glad to hear that. I’ll report back to my mom. She was curious.

Shanna Micko: Of course, I just got too tired and overwhelmed and forgetful to write her back and tell her that. But one unusual thing is when you mess around with your kid’s butthole like that with a Q-tip, stuff does come out.

Laura Birek: Okay. So if you do it, be warned.

Shanna Micko: Be warned. I have to say I never in my life thought that I would feel the wind of another person’s fart cross my skin. But I felt the wind of her fart coming out and crossing my skin. That was very surreal and very bizarre.

Laura Birek: You probably never thought you’d be happy to feel the wind of another person’s fart cross your skin.

Shanna Micko: Even more accurate, I was overjoyed. I’m like I’ve released the wind. It was very successful. It didn’t whistle like the Windi, but it made me as a mom very, very happy.

Laura Birek: The mom wins.

Shanna Micko: Yes, that’s pretty much it for me. What about you?

Laura Birek: My baby’s two weeks old. I can call him W although, God, that makes me think of the president I don’t like. Well, he’s my only son, so I can just call him my son.

Shanna Micko: Okay.

Laura Birek: If I have another one, then I’ll have to come up with a cute nickname for him. He had his two week doctor’s visit, which basically is just a weigh in. It’s like the biggest loser weigh in and he passed with flying colors. He gained a pound above his birth weight.

Shanna Micko: Woo-hoo!

Laura Birek: So not only has he gained his birth weight back, which was the goal, but he’s also a pound over. Now, he’s seven and a half pounds.

Shanna Micko: Amazing.

Laura Birek: He’s doing great. You can see it in his cheeks. His cheeks are getting a little more roly-poly. I just really want to get some of that baby fat on him. So he’s good. He’s also grown an inch and a half since birth and I thought about that.

Shanna Micko: Wow.

Laura Birek: Can you imagine if you grew an inch and a half in height in two weeks?

Shanna Micko: I feel like that would hurt. Everything is being stretched out. No wonder they are grumpy.

Laura Birek: I know.

Shanna Micko: They’re being stretched out.

Laura Birek: That must hurt. I remember growing pains from when I was like a tween and I remember them being really achy, like your bones are achy. So poor guy. He’s probably super achy all the time. But no, he’s doing great in that respect which is good. I’m doing better. My blood pressure is totally under control, which is good.

Shanna Micko: Woo-hoo!

Laura Birek: The other thing that’s going on is that I think we’ve decided, we being my husband and I, that it’s time for him to go back to work next week, which seems really, really soon. It’ll be when he’s three weeks old, which is not ideal for me, but the thing is he’s going to have to go back eventually. It’s one of those things where he doesn’t have a job and as I explained I think in the last episode where it’s like a cut and dried leave that he gets, and I think his job is starting to get a little restless and he probably could have put it off as long as he wanted. But I realized that they’re starting to get restless. So in reality it would either be like next week or the week after or else people are going to get real grumpy. My mom is in town for another week, so I realized I should probably bite the bullet and have him go back to work on a week where my mom’s in town full-time, so I can have that backup help in the transition, because it’s not going to be that different with a 3-week-old and a 4-week-old. I don’t think.

Shanna Micko: No.

Laura Birek: At least this way, my mom will be around and I can utilize her in the transition.

Shanna Micko: That’s smart. I think that’s a really smart plan.

Laura Birek: Ideally, I’d love to keep him around for another like four weeks, but there’s only so much you can do. The good news is that I think it’s possible that he might actually be back sooner than I expected, because the way that his writer’s room works is that they might actually end up splitting up and writing all their scripts on their own and that he might not actually have to go in every day. So it might work out just fine, but we’ll see.

Shanna Micko: Good.

Laura Birek: I’m a little nervous about it, but again, it has to happen at some point. If only we were independently wealthy.

Shanna Micko: Wouldn’t that be nice?

Laura Birek: But instead we have to work for a living and I shouldn’t complain. I’m very lucky, but it is a weird country too where you expect dads to go back right away. I think it’s more common than not. I think that in most of the country, most dads have to go back pretty quickly.

Shanna Micko: Really quickly. When I had my first, Elle, Steve went back to work two weeks.

Laura Birek: Yeah, I remember that and you were still healing. You had some complications from your C-section, right? I remember that being really hard for you and luckily, my so far knock on wood, I’m feeling really well and I feel pretty good. I’m actually at the point where I feel sort of dangerously good. I think I can do everything. I have to remind myself I can’t do everything. Like I want to take the trash out and I have to be like, no, remember you’re not allowed and I’m like, but I feel like I could pick it up.

Shanna Micko: Then if you do do it, you end up feeling it at the end of the day. That was me. I’m like, I’ll do everything and then by the end of the day, I’m like, why does my midsection hurt so bad? I wonder why.

Laura Birek: Same. But anyway, I think that’s my check-in. Shall we pick up with our special segment after the break?

Shanna Micko: Let’s do it.

[Music]

Shanna Micko: Welcome back to the show. We are moving into our next segment called, OMG, I’m Freaking Out, where we talk about whatever things about parenthood, new parenthood, newborns, whatever in our life we have been freaking out about this week. Laura, you’re up.

Laura Birek: I feel like this is a special segment that we could fill 10 hours with probably.

Shanna Micko: Yeah, basically.

Laura Birek: What are we not freaking out about? But so my specific OMG I’m Freaking Out this week is sleep.

Shanna Micko: Okay. I’m with you on that one.

Laura Birek: It’s a broad topic. Let me get more specific. I might have been a little cocky with my sleepy one-week-old newborn thinking he was a great sleeper.

Shanna Micko: It’s okay, Laura. We’ve all been there. We get duped.

Laura Birek: Duped by their sleepiness. He was a great sleeper. I was really impressed. He was sleeping for like 2 and a half hour stretches and I was like, wow, that’s great. That has changed.

Shanna Micko: No, tell me more.

Laura Birek: Well, okay. The first thing that happened was he started getting fussier at night. For instance, he would be super sleepy. We’d be getting ready for bed. He’d fall asleep in our arms. The minute you put him in the bassinet eyes wide open and not crying. Just being like, hey, guys. I’m wide awake now and will be for the next 90 minutes. So my Google search this week has just been like everything, how to make baby sleep in bassinet? Should I pick him up? Should I not pick him up? I’m doing all these different things. We’ve now started implementing a very early bedtime.

Shanna Micko: What time?

Laura Birek: Seven, which isn’t early for a little kid. But for us, it’s early and he hasn’t mastered sleeping alone in the room in the bassinet. 

So that means we are kind of stuck in the bedroom from that point on.

Shanna Micko: He can tell if you guys leave the room?

Laura Birek: I think he just doesn’t sleep and he’ll start crying. I don’t know. It’s weird. We’re trying different things. Also, I’m still just not super comfortable with leaving him alone in the room. Even though I know it’s safe for him, I’m just like, he’s so far away.

Shanna Micko: I get that.

Laura Birek: At that point, I’m kind of tired anyway. So it just gives us a good excuse to read before bed. But it doesn’t matter, because we start it and then it takes two hours to really get him to finally fall asleep, because he’ll fall asleep in our arms instantly no problem, like dead asleep. Put him in the bassinet, wide awake. Try the pacifier, try picking him up when he is wide awake to rock him back to sleep, put him back down, wide awake again.

Shanna Micko: No.

Laura Birek: Then when I finally get to the point where he’s asleep and I put him in the bassinet and he sleeps, he’ll sleep for like 10 minutes and then he starts grunting and fussing and kicking around. So we’ve tried like three different swaddles. We’ve tried like a regular swaddle blanket that you fold in the fancy way. But I don’t love that, because I always feel like his hips are not quite as mobile in those and because he was breach, he has a higher risk of having a hip dysplasia. So I’m being really careful to make sure he has really free movement of his hips. You know when you do the hospital swaddle blanket, they are kind of like scrunched up a little more. I think their legs are supposed to be free, but they’re not totally free. So swaddle blankets are a no go. We tried the SwaddleMe, which has a sock that you like Velcro twice. He full on rigged out of that already.

Shanna Micko: Oh, man. Strong little dude.

Laura Birek: He’s so strong. He has really strong muscles and it’s funny, because I had tried that. I actually tried it after I tried the Ollie Swaddle, which we had gotten as a hand-me-down, which is a big stretchy square with a bunch of Velcro that I thought he liked it first. But then he just fussed and fussed and fussed every time we put him in it. So then I go back to the SwaddleMe, he wriggles out of it and then of course, I notice that the one time he slept for like a good chunk a couple nights ago was the night he rigged out of his SwaddleMe. So I was like, oh, well, shit. Maybe he doesn’t like swaddles, because I could tell he never liked getting the swaddles on. But I thought that’s just how babies were, but then I realized he actually slept soundly for two hours when he had his arms out and he wasn’t swaddled. So then now I’m like, okay, we’re done with swaddles then. But he still is kicking and squirming all night. We tried the pacifier. The pacifier works for 20 minutes until he falls asleep and then it falls out of his damn mouth and then he is like, where’s my pacifier? I’m going to cry. That doesn’t help me get any sleep.

Shanna Micko: You’ve relieved your mom of night duty. So this is all you and Corey. Right?

Laura Birek: We have. She has offered, but part of me is thinking that it’s going to help us get a good night’s sleep, but it’s not going to help him figure out how to sleep.

Shanna Micko: You need to figure it out, because she’s going to leave.

Laura Birek: We’re trying to figure it out and I’m not working right now, so it’s not like I have to have the most rest. I can nap during the day and she’s been helping by coming over and watching him if I need to nap during the day, stuff like that. But anyway, last night was really special. He literally just squirmed and grunted and did all his movement all night and he’s also cluster feeding. So he’s like wanting to eat every hour. Oh, Shanna.

Shanna Micko: This is requiring a lot of your time and attention I can see.

Laura Birek: Here’s the specific thing that I’m actually freaking out about, because call up anyone with a newborn and they’ll probably give you the exact same story or some version of it. But the thing I’m dealing with right now is to share a bed or not share a bed. We all know that the safe sleep guidelines by the American Academy of Pediatrics and everyone says, baby should be in its own bed in your room on his back with no other bedding or anything for the first six months or actually forever. If they roll themselves over to their stomach, it’s fine because they can roll themselves back. But we all know that’s the case and there’s no like wiggle room. If you look at the instruction manuals for any of the pack and play rocking sleepers, bouncers or any of that, they all say, “Do not let your child sleep in this,” which everybody in the world lets their baby sleep in it. But I think it’s supervised. You’re awake. You’re checking on them every once in a while, but there’s no middle ground. It’s either that or you’re trying to kill your baby. I feel like everything that’s written is like, well, if you want your kid to get SIDS, sure. Share that bed with them.

Shanna Micko: I know. When you talk about sharing your bed, are you talking about using a DockATot or some sleeping thing that you would put in the middle of you guys, you would just put it right on the mattress? I don’t know how co-sleeping works. So I’m not sure.

Laura Birek: This is what I’ve been researching, because it’s unclear. My mom got me not a DockATot, but it’s like a foldable thing that opens up and a little bassinet that has low sides that you put between you. We tried that last night. I thought maybe just having him in the bed even closer to me, we’re talking like six inches closer than he is in the other side, but maybe between me and Corey he’d be even calmer. It has the low sides, so I could more easily put my hand on his chest.

Shanna Micko: Right.

Laura Birek: Didn’t do anything. He still squirmed around and the problem is that it’s really easy for it to be not level. So he kind of slid over to the side. That was weird. I’ve looked into the DockATot and then there’s another brand. It’s called SnuggleMe Organic. But all of those very explicitly say, “Not to be used for sleeping,” because they don’t want to get sued.

Shanna Micko: So what’s its use for?

Laura Birek: Exactly. The other problem is that we only have a queen size bed, so we don’t have a lot of room.

Shanna Micko: That’s like hardly any room.

Laura Birek: It’s not a lot of room.

Shanna Micko: Have you thought about renting a SNOO? Maybe it would work for you guys.

Laura Birek: The renting a SNOO has come up. So we might do that just, because we know it’s safe. I have a lot of friends who are advocating for me to do some version of bed sharing. They call it breast sleeping.

Shanna Micko: Why? What is that?

Laura Birek: Because it’s basically you’re in bed with the baby and then the baby just gets free access to your boob whenever he feels like it. There’s a lot of alternative medicine type people who advocate for this stuff, but those are also the people who are anti-C-section and sometimes anti-vax. Not completely, definitely not across the board. But what I’m saying is it’s hard for me to know who to trust basically.

Shanna Micko: Okay.

Laura Birek: Anyway, this is what I’m struggling with right now.

Shanna Micko: What’s your motherly gut instinct telling you?

Laura Birek: That he wants to be snuggled up really close to me all the time, but I know that there’s evidence. The research I’m doing shows that if you don’t smoke, if you don’t drink, if you do it safely on a firm mattress without extra blankets and all that stuff, it’s pretty darn safe. But it’s still one of those things where it’s like, I just know it’s not the safest. You know what I mean? It’s so hard.

Shanna Micko:
It’s really hard. Especially if he’s feeding constantly, I’m sure you just want to be able to give that to him. What if you just try the SNOO? It’s like $125 to rent it for a month and you could try it for a few nights and see if it’s something. Maybe he would like the motion and the sound and stuff would comfort him.

Laura Birek: Yeah, I think he might. It’s worth the try for us at this point and if that doesn’t work, then I know that something else has to change.

Shanna Micko: I have to say I gave it a BFN yet last week, but I feel like it’s gotten a lot better.

Laura Birek: Oh, really?

Shanna Micko: Because one of the things, it doesn’t work when she’s in pain. I think one of the reason she wasn’t sleeping in it was because she had backed up gas and wasn’t pooping and stuff, because she probably had an anal fissure so she was in pain. Now, that that’s alleviated, she’s been sleeping like maybe three to four hour stretches at a time and in it. I put her down to go to sleep and it kind of rocks her to sleep and she stays asleep. I know she’s older than your baby.

Laura Birek: But he does love getting rocked. If I rock him, he’s out.

Shanna Micko: I like it.

Laura Birek: I’m going to have to get the name of the specific place you rented from because something’s got to give.

Shanna Micko: Then in the place that doesn’t work, then maybe you’ll feel better about choosing the bed sharing if you would feel like you’ve exhausted your options.

Laura Birek: That’s a good point.

Shanna Micko: Just an idea.

Laura Birek: I think this is a good course of action and I appreciate you thinking this through with me. I’m not freaking out so much anymore. All right.

Shanna Micko: Yay!

Laura Birek: Anyway, that’s what I’m freaking out about. How about you Shanna?

Shanna Micko: I’m freaking out about baby acne.

Laura Birek: Shit. I get that.

Shanna Micko: Not on me, but on my baby.

Laura Birek: Yes, on the baby.

Shanna Micko: Which is so crazy. My first one, Elle, didn’t have this.

Laura Birek: Really?

Shanna Micko: Maybe she did and I don’t remember. God, there’s so much I don’t remember about that time of my life even though it was only three years ago. But this feels really new to me and she’s had it probably since week three or four. All of a sudden, it just popped up and it looks like a mad, crazy rash on her face. It’s wild. Does your son have it too?

Laura Birek: Yeah, he does. He got it one week out. My mom say it’s the maternal hormones basically that cause it.

Shanna Micko: Is it going to go away soon?

Laura Birek: It should. It doesn’t last that long and my guy is already starting to heal up. What I was told is just take a damp cloth and just gently wipe. That’s all you can do and then just leave it alone obviously. I have to say wiping with a damp cloth has really helped him get cleared up. But it’s just the same reason teenagers get acne apparently. It’s the hormones are all out of whack. We had all of our estrogen in their bodies and they’ve got to get rid of it somehow and their skins are skins. It’s in silence of the lamps. It’s so sad. He was so broken out and it made me so sad. Now, he has little dots, but he is all flaky. It’s all dried up and he got flaky skin. It hurts my heart. He doesn’t even care. It doesn’t even bother him.

Shanna Micko: Same.

Laura Birek: But you want to take all these cute pictures and they look like a freaking hormonal teenager.

Shanna Micko: I know. Steve’s just like just Photoshop them.

Laura Birek: That’s what Corey said.

Shanna Micko: All right. We’ll do a big presentation photo maybe.

Laura Birek: Facetune.

Shanna Micko: Does he spit up a lot and get spit up on his face, because I’m wondering if that’s making it worse, because she spits up a ton and it gets on her cheek and her ear and her neck and everything?

Laura Birek: I’d say he’s a moderate spit-upper. It’s not all the time. It’s not like after every feed, but he still gets some and it does get on his cheeks. I’m not sure if it makes it worse, because honestly his was mostly on his forehead. He even had someone along his eyelids. But I do think you should wipe. If you get the spit up on the face, it can get crusty. My pediatrician did say it can make the skin irritated. So you want to wipe it with the damp cloth afterwards.

Shanna Micko: All right. I hope she clears up soon. It’s on her little soft baby skin, but like you said, they don’t care and it’s sounds like it doesn’t matter. It’s not harmful to them. It’s totally normal.

Laura Birek: Super normal.

Shanna Micko: Okay. Phew. Thanks, Laura. Let’s take a break.

Laura Birek: Let’s do it.

[Music]

Laura Birek: For our final segment, we always have our big fat positives and big fat negatives, our BFPs and BFNs for the week. Shanna, what do you have for us this week?

Shanna Micko: I have a BFP.

Laura Birek: I like it.

Shanna Micko: Doctor On Demand. Do you know this?

Laura Birek: I do not.

Shanna Micko: It’s so awesome. I don’t know if it’s its own company or through my insurance, but I think I found out about it through my insurance. Basically, you can see a doctor over the internet on your iPhone. Your insurance pays for it. You don’t have to go to urgent care and sit in a room full of ill people to wait to get seen about your sore throat or in my case, my pink eye.

Laura Birek: Wow.

Shanna Micko: Steve did it for when he had strep throat. It’s so cool. You just get the app, dial in, it connects you with a doctor in California and I talked to this doctor, because the other day I woke up with like a pink eye again.

Laura Birek: Great.

Shanna Micko: I had that a couple weeks ago after my daughter and I was like, maybe I should get my own prescription since I used hers last time. Maybe that wasn’t a good idea. I was like, that’s not something so bad that I feel like I need to see a doctor in person.

Laura Birek: Is it like drops?

Shanna Micko: There’s the first line of defense. Within one minute, this doctor was on video with me and he talked about all my symptoms and he’s like, “Hold the lens of your phone up close to your eye.” I held it up close to my eye to show him. He looked at it. He is like, “Okay, it doesn’t look like there’s a lot of drainage right now. So I actually think it’s bacterial conjunctivitis.” It’s viral most likely, because I also have a little sore throat. Laura, I’m never going to meet your baby, because no one in my house or me is going to be well until this summer.

Laura Birek: I know. You’ve been so sick. Oh my God.

Shanna Micko: It’s so annoying. Anyway, he’s like, “Really there’s nothing I could do for you,” which is the worst thing you ever want to hear from a doctor. I was like, give me a prescription. He gave me a prescription to stop the itching and irritation, but that’s basically all he could do. But it was so nice to not have to drag my butt down to the urgent care, sit in a waiting room full of people with a flu or whatever and just get it taken care of like that in literally like five minutes and it was done and my insurance pays for it 100%.

Laura Birek: That’s amazing. I should look into. Are you willing to say what type of insurance you have?

Shanna Micko: I have a PPO and it is UMR. I don’t know what that is.

Laura Birek: Never heard of that.

Shanna Micko: It’s UnitedHealthcare Plan.

Laura Birek: Okay.

Shanna Micko: Look into it. If you can’t get out of the house for whatever reason, first line of defense, just do it online real quick. It’s awesome.

Laura Birek: That is awesome. I have to say I’m spoiled because you say Doctor On Demand. I’m like, you mean calling my mom?

Shanna Micko: For those of us who don’t have doctor parents.

Laura Birek: I know. I’m so spoiled.

Shanna Micko: Although your mom was my doctor on demand this week. 

That was also very helpful. Anyway, what about you? What do you have?

Laura Birek: I also have a BFP.

Shanna Micko: Cool.

Laura Birek: Which is the Owlet monitor. Do you know what an Owlet monitor is?

Shanna Micko: You guys went for that. Huh? Tell me how it’s been going or what it is first for everybody.

Laura Birek: Sure. So for those who don’t know, the Owlet is this little sock that has a heart rate and blood oxygen level monitor that you put on your baby when they’re sleeping and it monitors their heart rate and their oxygen and if it the oxygen level goes below 80% or if the heart rate goes above or below a certain threshold, it alerts you. I was on the fence about getting one because I was like, is this a gimmick? People have lived their whole lives without having continuous monitoring of their babies on their feet. Is this going to make me extra paranoid? But I put it on my registry anyway and they’re not cheap. They’re I think more than $200. I don’t remember. But I put it on my registry, just like, okay, if someone wants to buy this for me, I guess I’ll have it. It turns out my mom actually bought it for me. My mom saw it, had never heard of it and she was like, “This is super cool. I want my grandson to have this.”

Shanna Micko: Cool.

Laura Birek: That was enough for me to be like, okay, well this is worthwhile, because she’s a doctor. So the fact that she thinks it’s worthwhile to have. I actually thought she was going to be like, “That’s silly. You don’t need that. You’ll know if they stop breathing.” But she was just like, “No, this is awesome. That’s what we do in the NICU. Why wouldn’t we do that with a baby that’s out of the NICU?” So we’ve been using it since the day we brought him home from the hospital and it’s a little fiddly at first to get on, especially with little itty bitty babies like mine was, but we figured out how to get the sock on. He doesn’t mind it at all and it’s just so reassuring. It has this base station that glows different colors depending on what’s going on. It glows soft pulsating green if everything’s okay and then it’ll glow yellow and give you a warning if the sock comes off. Then I’ve never had a red alert, but if there’s a red alert, it’ll glow red and make a louder alarm if the heart rate goes too low or whatever. I have to say, it’s been giving me such peace of mind. It’s another one of those things where this should not be used. Safe sleeping practices should still happen and it should not be used for preventing SIDS and all that stuff, all these like legal disclaimers. But it’s just really nice. When they start grunting and you’re like, oh my God, are they choking? Instead of having to turn the light on, what I usually do is just get my cell phone and have it glow near his face to see, I can look at the monitor and it’s glowing green and I’m like, okay. I can even go on the app on my phone and see specifically what his heart rate is and what his oxygen level is.

Shanna Micko: That’s cool.

Laura Birek: So I’m into it. I’m really happy we have it. It just makes me feel good and something I discovered. We’ll link to this on our website where you can buy it if you’re interested. But one thing that was bothering me was that the base station was glowing really bright at first and it was really driving me crazy. I would have to drape a burp cloth over it, so it wouldn’t be so bright. Then I finally with a lot of Googling realize that you can dim it. So for anyone who’s struggling with this, I want you to know what I found out, which is that you can dim the base station, but it only works if the sock is plugged in and charging, and then you press and hold the top of the base station for a couple seconds and it’s a very visible diming. It goes from a very bright light to a very dim light.

Shanna Micko: There you go.

Laura Birek: Once I figured that out then it was perfect, because it was just a really nice dim green light and it just makes me feel safe. I can wake up and just see, oh, green. Okay. I don’t have to poke the baby. Put my hand next to his nose.

Shanna Micko: The scariest time for me is when she is asleep. I’m like, why is she so quiet? What’s going on? I’ve just gotten comfortable in bed and I have to get up and look and I’m like, oh no, she’s just sleeping.

Laura Birek: She’s just sleeping.

Shanna Micko: It’d be nice to just glance over and see a green light. That’s like okay.

Laura Birek: It’s an expensive gadget that’s probably unnecessary, but it gives me peace of mind.

Shanna Micko: How old can you use it up till?

Laura Birek: I’d have to look, but they give you three socks to grow with. So I think it might be up to a year.

Shanna Micko: Oh, cool. So maybe it’s not too late for me to get one.

Laura Birek: Just give me two seconds I’ll actually go look. Okay. I just grabbed it out of the closet. You can get replacement socks too. The sizes go up to 15 to 25 pounds. So the largest size goes 4 to 18 months it says so. So it’s definitely not too late.

Shanna Micko: Cool.

Laura Birek: It’s a cool hickey. I love it.

Shanna Micko: I guess that’s it for us this week.

Laura Birek: It is. Yes, thank you everyone for listening and tuning in. If you love our show, we’d love it if you went and left a review on iTunes and rated us. You can do that by going to your podcast app on your iPhone, or going into iTunes on your computer and finding us in the iTunes store.

Shanna Micko: If you have any questions or comments for us, definitely feel free to reach out. We love hearing from you guys. Laura, where can they find us?

Laura Birek: We’re on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at BFP Podcast. We also have a Facebook community group and we have a website, bigfatpositivepodcast.com, where we post links to our episodes and our show notes.

Shanna Micko: Big Fat Positive is produced by Shanna Micko, Laura Birek and Steve Yager.

Laura Birek: Thanks for listening, everyone.

Shanna Micko: Bye.

Laura Birek: See you next week.

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