Ep. 40: Baby Name Shame and Nursing No-No’s
April 8, 2019
Shanna and Laura are dissed, shamed and stunned in this week’s special segment, “They Said What?!”, in which the new moms recount shocking, hilarious or offensive things people have said to them lately. Also, Laura reports on her baby’s two-month vaccinations, and Shanna talks about how her baby’s perfectly constructed sleep environment is turned on its head. Finally, the new moms reveal their BFPs and BFNs for the week. Shanna’s baby is 12 weeks old, and Laura’s baby is eight weeks old.
- Boppy Side Sleeper Pregnancy Pillow* Part 1 of Laura's pregnancy pillow strategy. A.K.A. "the scrotum" pillow. *affiliate link
- PharMeDoc C-Shaped, Full-Body Pillow* Part 2 of Laura's strategy. This is the large body pillow. *affiliate link
- hiccapop Pregnancy Pillow Wedge* Part 3. This one wedges under your stomach to provide bump support. *affiliate link
- Everlasting Comfort 100% Pure Memory Foam Knee Pillow with Adjustable & Removable Strap* Part 4. This knee pillow was essential for managing Laura's SPD pain during pregnancy. The strap was great so you could turn during sleep without readjusting. *affiliate link
- Denim Waistband Extenders* Wear your old jeans post pregnancy! *affiliate link
- Cradle Cap Comb* *affiliate link
- Mustela Cradle Cap Shampoo* *affiliate link
- How to keep a loose zipper up Such a simple hack using a spare key ring!
This episode's sponsors:
Big Fat Positive: A Pregnancy and Parenting Journey is sponsored by BetterHelp. Join over 1 million people taking charge of their mental health. BetterHelp connects people with licensed, professional therapists in a safe online environment. BFP listeners get 10% off their first month.
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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 a special segment called, They Said What?! Where Shanna’s taken to task for doing something we probably all love to do and we wrap things up with our BFPs and BFN s. Let’s get to it.
Shanna Micko: Hi, everybody. Welcome to Big Fat Positive with Shanna and Laura.
Laura Birek: Hello.
Shanna Micko: Hello. This is episode 40. Laura, we made it full term. Our podcast is a full-term baby.
Laura Birek: Oh my gosh, our podcast must be so uncomfortable right now.
Shanna Micko: What’s our podcast going to give birth to?
Laura Birek: I’m not feeling clever today. Shanna, let me ask you, what is our podcast going to give birth to?
Shanna Micko: Fame and fortune.
Laura Birek: Good answer. I was going to say an MP3 or something.
Shanna Micko: Anyway, we’re going to start with our check-ins as usual. Laura, why don’t you start us off?
Laura Birek: My baby is eight weeks. He’s two months and he is doing great. He is starting to sleep better.
Shanna Micko: Yay!
Laura Birek: He’s consistently getting four hour stretches a night and sometimes it goes up to a little over five. So I know in theory, he could be sleeping more, but also in theory, he could be sleeping a lot less. I’m just enjoying that he wakes up once a night. That’s great. That’s fun.
Shanna Micko: That’s amazing.
Laura Birek: He’ll wake up once a night and I’ll feed him and it’ll be fine and it’s amazing how just that little bit of a difference makes so much of a difference in my daily mood and how much I feel like I can get stuff done. Also, helping with getting stuff done is that my mom’s back in town for this week, staying across the street again, which is awesome. So she’s been helping me a lot. She’ll just come over and hold the baby while I run errands. I went to my first Pilates class post-pregnancy on Wednesday.
Shanna Micko: Cool. How did that go?
Laura Birek: It was actually okay. I was shocked that I could still do AB work. I credit the fact that I had a small baby I never got that diastasis recti, the separation of the abdominal muscles. I also credit that I was going to yoga pretty regularly during pregnancy and I had done Pilates for years before getting pregnant and I really think that helped. The core strength I got from Pilates persisted throughout my pregnancy, which I felt was really grateful for. So it wasn’t easy, but it was doable and it was a level one class. Part of the reason I went is because one of my favorite teachers, she gave me a free class but she’s also pregnant and so I gave her like all my pregnancy pillows that I had amassed.
Shanna Micko: All your pregnancy pillows. How many did you have?
Laura Birek: You don’t remember my pillow strategy? So I actually had four different pregnancy pillows of different types. One of them I had to throw away, because there was a mishap with some flooring that got water damage and essentially the flooring laminate grew into the pillow. I thought it was a fungus at first, but no.
Shanna Micko: That’s disgusting.
Laura Birek: It was really gross. It’s been raining a lot here as you know and we have a little bit of water damage and it was sitting on the floor where the water was seeping in, I guess and it became one with the floor. Unfortunately, that was probably the most expensive one. It was the big C-shaped pillow that I got as a hand-me-down, so that had to go on the trash. There was just no salvaging it, but I had three different pillows. I had the wedge that you wedge under your belly when you’re sleeping on your side. I love that one. I had the knee pillow that helped with my SPD pain and then I had something else I got from our friend, Keri. She called it the Scrotum pillow. It’s like these two lobes and you put it under your back or under your side when you’re sleeping and it supports your back and your belly. I love that one too.
Shanna Micko: Cool. I never had a Scrotum pillow.
Laura Birek: Anyway, I gave her all these pillows, because she’s pregnant and she was like, “You want to take my class as an exchange?” I was like, “Okay.” She was like, “I have the level one at 11 and then I have the core burn class at 12,” and I was like, “I’m going to go with the level one.”
Shanna Micko: You didn’t want to jump back in with core burn.
Laura Birek: Considering my core was cut open eight weeks ago, I think it’s okay I’ll pass. But that was fun. The big thing that happened this week was that we got our two month shots and by we I mean my little baby, and that was hard.
Shanna Micko: What was that like?
Laura Birek: It was just sad, man. I am fully, fully supportive of vaccines. I don’t believe in the delayed schedule. I don’t believe any of that. Give him all the vaccines he needs on the schedule recommended by doctors. I’m all for it, but I totally can see why people get weird about it because he was clearly in so much pain. It hurt so bad. The poor little man was crying so bad when he got his three little jabs and actually they’re not that little. They’re intramuscular, so they were kind of long needles. They didn’t look like they hurt and so I was holding his arms by his head and next to his head trying to soothe him, Corey was holding his legs down and then the nurse was giving him his jabs and he was just screaming. I ended up almost totally full on bawling. I did well-up a little bit, because he was so sad.
Shanna Micko: That’s so hard to see.
Laura Birek: It’s just hard to watch.
Shanna Micko: After they were done, did you nurse him or anything to comfort him or how did you calm him down?
Laura Birek: That was my big plan, but then one of the vaccines they give is an oral vaccine. It’s liquid and they gave it at first and he didn’t mind that. I guess there’s sugar in it, so he was like, this is delicious. But I asked, I was like, “He’s a big spit upper. What happens if he spits this up?” The nurse was like, “I don’t know.” I was like, “Great.”
Shanna Micko: So no one’s asked that question before?
Laura Birek: I’m sure the doctor would know. She was just like, “No.” So I was like, “I should probably should wait to feed him then until it’s settled.” She’s like, “I’d wait like half hour at least just in case.” I was like, “Great.” So I couldn’t nurse him, but he calmed down fairly quickly just by rocking him and hugging him real close.
Shanna Micko: That’s good.
Laura Birek: But it was sad.
Shanna Micko: That reminds me that my doctor gives the jabs first and then ends with the tasty one. So it’s like she was upset and then she got a taste of sugar and she was like, yum. Maybe your nurse should employ that strategy.
Laura Birek: Maybe for the next round I’ll ask if they’ll switch it up. Maybe they don’t want to do it, because the kids are normally screaming and they think they can’t get it in their mouths or something.
Shanna Micko: That could be.
Laura Birek: I can see how that’s good, because also that was her first taste of sugar ever. So she’s like, woo.
Shanna Micko: Exactly. Yummy.
Laura Birek: Then afterwards, he didn’t get a fever, but he was so sleepy. I don’t know if it’s because of the energy that was expended crying and the pain. But he definitely was sleepy for a good 24 hours. I think all week is he’s a little fussier and I don’t know if it’s because he is going through his second leap or because his immune system is all ramped up from the shots. But something’s going on.
Shanna Micko: It’s always an ongoing mystery with these little ones. It’s like, what is it? All we can do is really just roll with it.
Laura Birek: I know like, what are you trying to tell me, kid?
Shanna Micko: No, I want answers.
Laura Birek: He’s fine and I’m fully aware that the short amount of suffering he went through is just so much better than him coming down with any of these diseases that he got immunized for. I’m very grateful for the presence of vaccines. I’m very grateful that we can protect our kids from these totally preventable diseases.
Shanna Micko: You’re here.
Laura Birek: You just have to suffer through watching them be sad. Anyway, how about you Shanna? What’s going on with you this week?
Shanna Micko: My baby is 12 weeks old now.
Laura Birek: That seems such a big milestone.
Shanna Micko: She’s almost three months, which once she reaches that point, it’s like that fourth trimester is over and she’s not a newborn anymore.
Laura Birek: That’s right. She’s not a newborn.
Shanna Micko: She still is. She’s not three months yet, so she’s still a newborn.
Laura Birek: You stop being a newborn for the next week. Aww.
Shanna Micko: I know. So it is a big milestone and I’m starting to see some changes. Her sleeping like you mentioned is also starting to get better for her. Some nights are hit or miss, but in general I’ve got a system. Laura, you know me.
Laura Birek: Please tell me about it.
Shanna Micko: I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I like to try to get things in order and I think I’ve established a really good sleeping situation for naps and bedtime and here’s what it entails. Of course, the SNOO, which is connected to the Wi-Fi and plugged in and everything and I’ve got my white noise machine. Even though the SNOO does white noise, when you stop the SNOO, the white noise ends. So I like to have something going. I’ve got my white noise machine. I’ve got a cool mist humidifier near her bed.
Laura Birek: A humidifier, interesting.
Shanna Micko: Which helps me too. Especially when we’re running the heater so much, I really like keeping it a little moist. So that’s the next one is the heater. Of course in the house, I’m super anal about the temperature. We set it to 69 at night and that’s like enough for my older daughter to be warm and it’s good enough for the baby to not get overheated, but then that’s not quite enough. So then I have a space heater in the bedroom too.
Laura Birek: Wow.
Shanna Micko: I have that set to 69, because that’s the perfect regulated temperature and it’s kind of bright so it’s also my nightlight. So I’ve got all this stuff in place and knock on wood, she’s been going down pretty easily. I do my routine with her, like the bedtime routine and she goes down pretty easily and stays asleep at the beginning of the night for a pretty good amount of time.
Laura Birek: What’s a pretty good amount of time?
Shanna Micko: She’ll usually go about five or six hours at first before waking up.
Laura Birek: That’s good.
Shanna Micko: That’s nice. But then the other night, Laura, it all went to hell.
Laura Birek: Tell me why.
Shanna Micko: Because we had a big storm in Los Angeles.
Laura Birek: Yes, you did.
Shanna Micko: At about 8:30 p.m., a huge crack of lightning hit near our house and killed the electricity.
Laura Birek: No.
Shanna Micko: My literal first thought was the SNOO. My baby had already gone to bed. She goes to bed at seven. She was in the SNOO rocking away with her white noise and the electricity killed it. I was like, no! She’s going to wake up. How am I going to get her back to sleep? She’s so reliant on this SNOO. I was freaking out and it killed my noise machine. It killed my humidifier. It killed the heat in the house. It killed my space heater, which is also my nightlight. Everything was dead.
Laura Birek: Your whole system was shot.
Shanna Micko: My whole system was shot. I was a nervous wreck. I was mostly anxious about the heat of course, because it was a cold night and I was like, my kids are going to get really cold and I can’t put a blanket on the baby and everything. So I was anxious about that. Then, is she going to wake up? Is she going to be able to sleep? How many times am I going to have to wake up with her tonight? I could not sleep because by the time I went to bed, the electricity was still off and it was just pitch black, silent, nothing.
Laura Birek: It’s so eerie. You don’t realize how much noise electricity and all the things around you create until the electricity goes out. It’s like the fridge, the heater air conditioning: just the general buzz of the house.
Shanna Micko: It was disconcerting.
Laura Birek: So how’d it go? What happened?
Shanna Micko: It actually went okay. I couldn’t believe it. She did not flinch at the SNOO stopping.
Laura Birek: Wow.
Shanna Micko: She slept in there until about 12:30, which is a little earlier than she usually gets up.
Laura Birek: No, I hear that.
Shanna Micko: Dang it! She usually sleeps longer for a nap. All right. Sorry. I had to take a quick break to grab the baby from her nap. So she did pretty well. She slept until like around midnight or so and then woke up to nurse and then that’s when it was really scary like, how am I going to get her back to sleep with no white noise, no swaying, no heat? It was so cold in there and so I did have my phone. I was trying to preserve battery just in case the outage was long, but I was like, I can play white noise at least on my phone. So I played my white noise and hoped for the best and she was pretty sleepy. I couldn’t believe it. She went back down. I set her in the SNOO, which was still totally still.
Laura Birek: Did you strap her in?
Shanna Micko: I did strap her in, because I didn’t know when the electricity came back on, would it automatically start again? I didn’t really know, but she did. She fell back asleep. I couldn’t believe it and it made me think, maybe I don’t need this contraption and keep paying for this thing. Maybe she is able to finally start sleeping better with a still surface. So there’s some stuff to consider, but it was a night of terror, Laura.
Laura Birek: I get terror watching the video monitor like, “He kicked his legs. Is this the beginning of the end? He just went down. What are we going to do?” Corey’s always like, “Okay, calm down. He’s just moving like you move in your sleep.” I’m like, “All right.” It’s like you have PTSD, especially from those first few weeks that are so fucking hard, you’re just like, please, dear God, let this child sleep.
Shanna Micko: Yes, the little cries and they’re mostly like settling noises and stuff. I know that now, but like you said PTSD, automatically my stomach goes ooh and I can feel it viscerally like the anxiety of it.
Laura Birek: During that thunderstorm, around eight o’clock too we had massive lightning and thunder, which was really cool. We live up on a hill, which you know is not great when you’re in a thunderstorm, but it does give you a great view of all the lightning. My husband got a great video. I’ll see if I can steal it from his Instagram with his permission and post it to our Instagram, because he got a really cool video of the lightning. But at about 1:00 a.m., another storm cell came through and it was so loud and so close. It was one of those things where you see the flash and the flash up woke me up and instantly the thunder hit, so it’s like right on top of you.
Shanna Micko: Oh my gosh.
Laura Birek: You know when you put your baby down, you tip toe around, you very gently close the door, you’re trying not to make any noise to wake them up.
Shanna Micko: 100%. Yes.
Laura Birek: Massive clap of thunder did not budge. My baby did not twitch. He did not move. He just stayed quietly sleeping and I’m like, huh. So maybe I don’t need to be quite so quiet at night.
Shanna Micko: That’s hilarious. So ironic. Oh my God.
Laura Birek: Also, my husband didn’t wake up and I’m lying there. One of my paranoid moments was, if lightning hit our house, would it go through the electric wires and zap him in his SNOO? I was like, he’s in an electric bassinet. Is that safe? Of course, that helped keeping me up. I like to think of all kinds of problems.
Shanna Micko: I was going to add to that, that one of my anxious thoughts during the storm was, I have a lot of tall trees around my house. The lightning’s definitely going to hit a tree, create a fire. We’re going to have to escape, because like a year and a half ago I had to escape a fire outside my baby’s nursery window.
Laura Birek: I do. It’s not theoretical for you. It actually happened.
Shanna Micko: It did and I have a little bit of trauma from that memory and so I was like, what do I do? Where are the dog leashes? How do we get out of here? What do I take? That’s everything I was thinking about while trying to sleep and of course, the baby was sleeping peacefully and fine. I was the one that was a complete mess.
Laura Birek: On that note, should we wrap up this check-in and maybe finish up the episode when Steve can take your sweet little one?
Shanna Micko: That sounds like a good plan to me. Let’s take a break.
Laura Birek: Okay.
Shanna Micko: Laura, I saw you the other day and you were wearing the cutest coziest pants.
Laura Birek: Thank you. They are the Surf Sweater Jogger Pants from Faherty. They’re made of the super soft cotton cashmere blend and I love that they feel retro yet modern.
Shanna Micko: It seems like they’re warm enough for cool mornings, but also light enough for the warmer days.
Laura Birek: Totally. They’re perfect for our spring weather and actually Faherty makes fabulous clothes for all seasons.
Shanna Micko: Let me send you a pic of my current Faherty favorite.
Laura Birek: That is so cute. I love the pastel ombre rainbow across the chest.
Shanna Micko: Thanks me too. It’s the Mollie Crew and it’s perfect for casual zoom meetings or going out to lunch
Laura Birek: Listeners, we think you will love Faherty as much as we do and right now they’re giving all BFP listeners 20% off.
Shanna Micko: Faherty is a family-run brand making high-quality timeless clothing with modern design and functionality.
Laura Birek: It’s that kind of effortless style you want every time you go digging in your closet. Maybe it’s in a gorgeous print and it looks like it might be vintage, but it fits so well that it feels like it was made just yesterday just for you. That’s Faherty.
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Laura Birek: Head to fahertybrand.com/bfp and use code BFP at checkout to snag 20% off all your new spring staples.
Shanna Micko: That’s code BFP at Faherty, F-A-H-E-R-T-Y, brand.com/bfp for 20% off: fahertybrand.com/bfp
Laura Birek: Shanna, we are both homeowners now, which means…
Shanna Micko: Loud house parties that go until 3:00 a.m. anytime we want.
Laura Birek: I have so many of those with my three and one year old. No, I meant house repairs.
Shanna Micko: Right, expensive house repairs like the roof repair we keep putting off, because it costs like a zillion dollars.
Laura Birek: Exactly. But you don’t have to put off important repairs when you can use Credit Karma to help you look for a low-interest personal loan.
Shanna Micko: True. I can save money on a low-interest loan while also enjoying a roof that doesn’t leak. While I’m at it, I’ll also paint the house, landscape the yard.
Laura Birek: Install a hot tub for those loud house parties.
Shanna Micko: You get me.
Laura Birek: Credit Karma uses credit data to find loan offers that are personalized to you.
Shanna Micko: They will show you your chances of approval so you can choose between loan offers that you’re more likely to get approved for.
Laura Birek: Comparing loan offers on Credit Karma is 100% free. Won’t affect your credit scores and could save you money.
Laura Birek: Hi. Welcome back. So our special segment this week is, They Said What?! Where we talk about all the interesting, outrageous, offensive, whatever weird things people have said to us recently. Shanna, do you have a, they said what?!
Shanna Micko: Yes, I have a couple. I’m going to throw one out there first. Maybe we can take turns.
Laura Birek: Cool.
Shanna Micko: Okay. So you know I’ve been going to a breastfeeding support group at the hospital in Burbank and it’s up wonderful and the lactation consultants there, there’s three of them, they’re wonderful. They’ve been really, really helpful and I’ve talked about them before. There’s one woman there that I haven’t connected with as much, a lactation consultant, hasn’t worked with me as much. But she said this to me on multiple occasions now. Everyone sits on the ground with My Brest Friend nursing pillow with your baby on it and while I’m nursing, I always like look at my phone, either listen to a podcast or I hit my timer to time the sessions, whatever, just passing the time. She looks over at me and I look up she’s like, “Multitasking. Huh?”
Laura Birek: No.
Shanna Micko: The first time she said it I was like, “All the time,” of course like a joke or something. She said it to me in the next two classes.
Laura Birek: Did you think she remembered that she said it to you?
Shanna Micko: I felt like it.
Laura Birek: So she’s like, again.
Shanna Micko: She’s like, “Multitasking. Always multitasking.”
Laura Birek: Fuck you, man.
Shanna Micko: I felt so ashamed and embarrassed for looking at my phone while nursing, rather than staring not even into her eyes, because her eyes are shoved into my boob. So I guess staring lovingly into her ear.
Laura Birek: That leads to me over grooming him. Whenever I look at him while I’m nursing, I end up being like, “Someone hand me the baby hairbrush, someone hand me a Q-tip. He’s got gunk in his ear.” So you’re probably saving yourself from that.
Shanna Micko: Although that’s multitasking in a different way, I guess.
Laura Birek: True.
Shanna Micko: So I found myself at the end of this. Third time she said that to me hiding my phone down, because I tried to not look at my phone for a while and be a good mom and I was just too bored. I just wanted to text someone and so I put the phone down next to my thigh on the ground and was tapping, typing with one finger and I’m like, Shanna, you’re a 40 year old woman. Why are you hiding your phone like you’re in an eighth grade classroom?
Laura Birek: That’s amazing.
Shanna Micko: Ridiculous. So I don’t know what her thing is if she says that to everyone as a joke, a conversation starter or if she really is trying to shame me into connecting with my baby, but I was just like, shut up. I don’t want to hear that. I want to do what I want on my phone and I’m fine.
Laura Birek: Okay. I have a couple thoughts. One is I just looked at my baby tracker app and saw that for me, my average duration all day, the amount of time I’m sitting there breastfeeding is an hour and thirty-three minutes, which I actually think is like low.
Shanna Micko: That is low.
Laura Birek: It’s because he’s super-fast. He’s a super-fast eater. I know. It’s getting longer though. He’s starting to really demand. It used to be he only wanted one boob now he wants both boobs, so it’s going to creep up, but he’s still a very fast eater. But still, that’s an hour and a half of your day. What are you supposed to do? Like stare and think about how much you love your baby? Maybe you’ll produce more breast milk that way.
Shanna Micko: Probably.
Laura Birek: But also like that is an hour and a half of my day that I get to just do what I want. My hands are generally free and I can’t go or do anything else, so yeah, I’m going to look at my phone and answer emails and scroll on Facebook and Instagram because screw you. This is my time. If I have to be responsible for keeping another human alive solely on the juice that comes out of my boobs, let me listen to a damn podcast.
Shanna Micko: I’m going to watch a damn Netflix show.
Laura Birek: All right.
Shanna Micko: 100%. I would say my total time breastfeeding every day is probably more upper on three to four hours.
Laura Birek: I think that’s way more typical. I think it’s because my dude is voracious and fast and it probably is bad, because he eats like way too much and then spits it all up. So who knows?
Shanna Micko: Mine is slow and lingering and I do love to snuggle her and bond with her, but I guess I also love bonding with my phone. Anyway, so that’s mine. What about you?
Laura Birek: I also have a few, so I’ll start with my first one, which is lately my thing when I can’t go out on like a real walk but I want to bring my baby out into the world, I’ll walk around my backyard a little bit. I have like an herb garden and stuff and I have a ton of Rosemary bushes, so my thing is I’ll crush up Rosemary leaves and put them under his nose and then basal leaves and tell him what’s what.
Shanna Micko: That’s so cute. Aww.
Laura Birek: I don’t know if he really registers it, but I’m like, he is an obligate nose breather so he has to smell. So we get outdoors and I’m doing this and I see my neighbor who’s a very nice man who’s probably in his sixties, I’m guessing say, “Hey. There you are. I didn’t know if you had brought the baby home.” We were having like small talks. This is a few weeks ago and we’re talking and Corey was still home at this point. Corey comes out and we’re chatting and he turns to Corey and he says, “Hey. You got your boy,” and we were both like, “Yeah, what?” At first we were like, what does that mean? Then we’re like, because that’s the end goal for men. It was really off putting and weird and also it was funny, because I think Corey actually kind of wanted a girl.
Shanna Micko: Really?
Laura Birek: You guys are responsible for this because when we got the sex chromosomes revealed to us, both of us were like we don’t really care. Healthy is best. I don’t care if it’s a boy or a girl, but Corey did admit. He’s like, “I was a little bit hoping for a girl, because Steve and Shanna’s daughter is so cute.”
Shanna Micko: Aww, really?
Laura Birek: Yeah, he’s like, “L is so sweet and amazing. That made me want to have a girl, but it’s fine I guess.” So if anyone was disappointed by the baby being a boy, it’s so interesting to hear this. I don’t know about you. I think every once in a while you get a little glimpse into the patriarchy or you get a little glimpse into the world of man to man talk that usually doesn’t happen in front of us. But that was a tiny little glimpse of the male mind being like, this other man must be just so proud that he has a boy and then now his life is complete because he has a boy.
Shanna Micko: I wonder if a little bit of that is an older generational thinking. I just remember that was so common when I was a kid my aunt and uncle trying to have kids and everyone knew that the uncle was dying for a boy. He was going for that boy. They kept having kids, so they were trying to have a boy and my dad kept telling me, “You got to give L a brother.” I don’t really hear younger guys talk about that. I’m sure it’s everyone, but I don’t know if it’s a generational thing too.
Laura Birek: Maybe. My neighbor couldn’t be nicer. Honestly, not to besmirch his name. I would never name him either. But it was just interesting to me, because it had never occurred to either of us that this was some kind of victory. It was just a baby. The baby is the baby and also maybe he won’t want to identify as ‘he’ when he’s older. There’s all kinds of things that could happen and we just love him the way he is. It’s weird.
Shanna Micko: How did you respond in the moment? Just the awkward, “Yeah?”
Laura Birek: You know the typical smile and nod thing where you’re like, “Yeah.” I’m not very good at confronting people in those situations. I feel like the next day I’m like, I should have had a talk about the patriarchy. But it’s not actually going to happen. You got your boy. What else have people said to you?
Shanna Micko: My other one is actually something my daughter L said to me, because she’s three and three year olds are sassy and funny and sometimes offensive. So the other day, I don’t even know where this came from out of. Maybe I had my hair down that day, which I hardly ever do because I’m at home on maternity leave and I’m lazy and I’m showering not that often and wearing my hair and I guess I had my hair down that day and she goes, “Mama, your hair looks bad when it’s not in a ponytail.”
Laura Birek: From the mouths of babes. Thank you, sweetheart.
Shanna Micko: It stings because you know there’s just pure honesty coming off. I’m like, “Girl, I know I haven’t cut my hair in way too long. I really need to touch up the color.” Already, I’m a little insecure about it, because I just really need to do my hair and for her to just zing it like, “Your hair looks bad when it’s not in a ponytail.”
Laura Birek: She cuts straight to the heart.
Shanna Micko: Which is also sad too, because I think I mentioned before my hair also looks bad in a ponytail because of my postpartum hair loss. I’ve got all these baby hairs ringing the top of my forehead like a crazy looking chicken, so I just feel like I don’t look good any which way and that was just a funny thing for her to say.
Laura Birek: That is very funny. I’m sure she didn’t mean it to hurt you.
Shanna Micko: No, of course not.
Laura Birek: She’s on observation. “Mama, your hair looks bad.”
Shanna Micko: But I tried today. I actually tried. Silly, girl. I love her.
Laura Birek: I can’t wear my hair down, because my baby’s been grabbing it not intentionally. But he’s making fists a lot and it just happens to get in the way and then he is like, uh. He’s really strong.
Shanna Micko: Yes, those little fists are really strong and soon you won’t be able to wear, I don’t know if you’re a dangly earring wearer, but I am. I had a period where I could not wear that kind of thing with L at all. She would just rip them, grab them.
Laura Birek: I’m lucky because I have never gotten into the habit of wearing jewelry unless I’m going out. If I go out, I make a point and I won’t have them on when I come home. That’s good at least.
Shanna Micko: All right. What’s your second one?
Laura Birek: Okay. My second one is actually something my mom has said to me not once, not twice, like pretty much every time my son’s name comes up. My son, his name starts with W. As listeners know, we don’t say our children’s full names on the podcast for privacy, but it starts with W and we did the thing where we didn’t actually know the name before he was born. We had a list and we kind of narrowed the list down, but we decided to wait like 24 hours after he was born to make our decision, because I wanted to be a little bit recovered from the anesthesia and we wanted to take a look at him and figure out what his name was. So on that list, we had narrowed down to a handful of names and one of the front runners was the name August, which was not what we named him and it’s not his middle name either. When he came out, we looked at him and we’re like, “He just doesn’t look like an August. We still really like the name, but it just isn’t right.” So we picked the other name. Anyway, we made the mistake of telling my mom what our runners up were and now literally, anytime his name comes up, she goes, “I am so glad you didn’t name him August. Oh my God, I can’t believe you are ever going to name him August. I hate that name.” It’s so funny because actually she’s here. She’s the one holding, not August, right now and I asked her, I said, “We’re doing this segment and I was thinking about using the thing you say about how you’re always upset that we even considered the name August. Is it okay if I use that in the show?” She goes, “Yeah, oh my God. August, I can’t believe you ever considered that.”
Shanna Micko: Why is she so offended by the word August? Did some man named August do her wrong?
Laura Birek: For some reason, she thinks it’s a girl’s name, which is empirically wrong. I looked up the statistics. The statistics don’t lie. In America, August is a boy’s name right now. Maybe it’ll change. I think maybe she had a patient named August that was a girl, like some outlier.
Shanna Micko: Is she thinking of autumn?
Laura Birek: No, August. Her son was born in August. She should like it. She doesn’t have anything against the word. She just thinks it would’ve been a bad baby’s name, which I hate to tell her, it’s becoming a more common baby name. So she’s going to have to get used to it seeing all the babies in her practice. She just really does not like the name August and I am also really glad. Today she was like, “What would I have done if you had named him August?” I was like, “You probably would love him the same amount.” She’s like, “I know.” This is what she said, “August, Alexander. Then I can name him Alex.” I was like, “Where did you come up with Alexander? That’s not his middle name either.” She’s like, “I just came up with it. So I would call him Alex, probably.” I’m like, “All right, in this alternate reality.”
Shanna Micko: Oh my gosh, that is a big reason why I didn’t tell anyone our names. I ran Cece’s name by a couple people, but I just didn’t want to tell anybody any possibility names, because I don’t want to hear opinions that will deflate me about my ideas.
Laura Birek: Totally. It’s sort of like when you create a piece of writing and you show it to someone too soon, it doesn’t matter especially if it’s someone you care about like your husband or parents or someone you actually care about, not a critical reading partner. I find that if you show it too soon or you’re not ready for feedback, or you just really like what you wrote and you don’t want it to change, you’re cool with it, send it to someone. They could say that this is the best thing they’ve ever read, it should win all the prizes in the world, but maybe you should just change this one tiny little thing. All I can hear is you should change this one tiny little thing and then you’re fixated on it and you can’t even focus on the rest of it. So even if someone was like, “That’s such a cute name. I like it. I had an uncle who was a jerk with that name, but such a cute name.” Then you’d be like, “Shit.” My best friend’s uncles has that name and now every time she sees the kid, she’s going to think of her jerk uncle.
Shanna Micko: People usually reserve those thoughts once you present the child with their name.
Laura Birek: Yeah, no one’s telling you about their asshole third grade teacher with that name or whatever. Although who knows their third grade teacher’s first names? I had Miss Osterberg.
Shanna Micko: No clue.
Laura Birek: I want to say Janet.
Shanna Micko: That’s a good name. That’s my mom’s name.
Laura Birek: That’s true. My best friend loved it.
Shanna Micko: See, people love to opine on names.
Laura Birek: Janet’s a good name, but no, I’m just kidding. I like Janet. It’s a good name.
Shanna Micko: That was fun. People do say the funniest things.
Laura Birek: Listeners, if you have any amazing, They Said What, stories of your own, please let us know. You can contact us on our website, bigfatpositivepodcast.com or on any of the socials. We’re at BFP Podcast.
Shanna Micko: All right. Let’s move on to our BFPs and BFNs after this break. Let’s do it.
Shanna Micko: We’re back and it’s our lovely BFP and BFN segment, big fat positive or big fat negative of the week. Laura, what do you have for us?
Laura Birek: I have another BFP.
Shanna Micko: Cool.
Laura Birek: You could go in on the positives. This is a real good one: waistband extenders.
Shanna Micko: For pants?
Laura Birek: Yes.
Shanna Micko: You don’t just use like an old hair tie and put it around the button and stick it through the hole?
Laura Birek: That’s also a good hack, but no. So I found on Amazon a waistband extender. They look like jeans and they have a little jean button and you just thread it through the existing button and then put it through the hole and you just can get an extra inch or two in the waistband.
Shanna Micko: Brilliant.
Laura Birek: They’re so cheap at least on Amazon. I think I got like a nine pack for $5 or something. I’ll go look. I got way too many I didn’t realize. I thought like, I need all these different colors. I need them for all my jeans. I got way too many. I only need like three. So I got Corey to get my pre-maternity clothes out from the storage unit and I was trying on all my old jeans and the smaller ones don’t fit. But basically, I go between like an 8 and a 10. Before pregnancy I did and like the 8’s I forget about right now. But the 10’s, I can still get up all up to my waist and zip it up. But I couldn’t get the waistband comfortably buttoned even with my stretchy jeans. So I got these waistband extenders and then the other thing is I remembered I had watched one of those, “Nine hacks that will improve your life dramatically,” video at some point on Facebook and I remembered this trick to help keep your zipper up, because obviously if your waistband isn’t as close as it’s supposed to be, the zipper will slide down.
Shanna Micko: What’s the hack for that?
Laura Birek: So you take a key ring, like one of those split rings that you put keys on or key chains and you put it through the little hole and at the end of most of the zippers, the zipper pulls and then you thread it through that and then when you zip it up, you loop it around the actual button before you button it through the button hole. So it stays secure.
Shanna Micko: That’s cool.
Laura Birek: I’ll try to find a video for that and post it on bigfatpositivepodcast.com, because it works actually really well and if you get the right size split ring, you can’t see it. It’s just hidden behind the buttonhole.
Shanna Micko: Cool.
Laura Birek: Now I can wear jeans again.
Shanna Micko: That’s awesome. That’s so ambitious of you to bust out the pre maternity clothes already. I’m staying a healthy arms distance from all of that stuff. I’m scared.
Laura Birek: Most of it does not fit, but the problem was that I only had like one pair of maternity jeans that was really fitting me. Still I don’t mind wearing the maternity jeans. But it has a hole where the soft part that goes over your belly meets the jean and so unless I was wearing a really long t-shirt, it was the out for everyone to see. So I needed to do something. I was like, before I go and buy new clothes, I’m going to see what I can do with my old clothes. So waistband extenders exist in all different colors.
Shanna Micko: Awesome.
Laura Birek: How about you? What do you have? A BFP or BFN?
Shanna Micko: I have a BFN this week.
Laura Birek: All right.
Shanna Micko: That is cradle cap.
Laura Birek: Oh God. Yes.
Shanna Micko: So for people who don’t know, cradle cap is a skin condition on top of your baby’s head. It’s a mostly newborn condition. I don’t know what it’s specifically called dermatitis or something like that.
Laura Birek: It’s seborrheic dermatitis. I don’t know if I’m saying it right.
Shanna Micko: That sounds right.
Laura Birek: It’s like dandruff.
Shanna Micko: It is like dandruff, except it’s dandruff that doesn’t fall off the head. Skin flakes build up and stay on the scalp and so the skin flakes were all over the top of her head and the pediatrician mentioned it at her two month appointment. I was just not focused on this when she was two months old as she had baby acne.
Laura Birek: The least of your problems.
Shanna Micko: The literal least of my problems and I was like, “Cradle cap,” and he is like, “No big deal. It’s fine. Doesn’t bother her.” Weeks went by and I started focusing on it a little bit more. I’m like that looks bad. To kind of bring out my superficial mom’s side, maybe there is something I can do about that, because it doesn’t look very cute. I feel bad every time I talk like this.
Laura Birek: No, my baby has it too. It’s not cute. It’s like you have this cute little soft baby skin. They also get them on their eyebrows a little bit. I’ve had to pay really close attention to my baby’s eyebrow area.
Shanna Micko: Amazing.
Laura Birek: He’s gotten these little flakes. I don’t know if you watch Game of Thrones, but it looks like he has a gray scale.
Shanna Micko: It can look like that. It can be bad. So finally I was like, maybe there’s something I can do about this, because the hole doesn’t bother. The whole damn thing wasn’t flying for me anymore. So this BFN kind of turns into a BFP actually. I bought this shampoo. I found it at Target just on the shelf. It’s called Mustela. It’s for cradle cap and I was like, I’ll try that. You wash their hair with it and it was supposed to take care of it and it didn’t take care of it the first time, so I was like, maybe there’s something else I could do. I was looking online and people are like, “I use Mustela and then I comb it with a cradle cap comb,” and I was like, what is that? I looked it up on Amazon and it’s a special thing just for getting these scales off of baby’s heads and all of the people who left reviews for this little comb, just had to put pictures of how many baby skin scale they got stuck in the comb. It was the most horrific thing I’d ever seen, but I also couldn’t look away. I was just like, daydreaming about scraping all these flakes off her head. So I didn’t actually end up getting that. If anyone is looking to help with their baby’s cradle cap, here’s what I did that helped. I put a little baby oil on her head and this was a few minutes before her bath and then let that kind of soak in to loosen up the flakes and then I’d give her a bath and then scrub her head with this cradle cap stuff that has like salicylic acid or some gentle exfoliant and then rinse that and I did that maybe every other day for like two or three times and then it was just gone.
Laura Birek: Good.
Shanna Micko: I didn’t have to scrape off like crazy scary comb flakes.
Laura Birek: That’s something I could get very into. Though I very much enjoy grooming my son.
Shanna Micko: I think you would like it. I imagine people that don’t like popping pimples, that kind of obsession, I think they would really like this. I’m not that person, by the way.
Laura Birek: I am that person.
Shanna Micko: I had a feeling you were. Anyway, that’s my BFN turn BFP and I still wash her hair with that shampoo every other day or so and it’s supposed to prevent any other outbreak. So, so far so good. She’s got a clean, fuzzy little head. It’s so cute now.
Laura Birek: Cute. All right. I’ll have to try that.
Shanna Micko: I think that wraps it up for us this week, Laura.
Laura Birek: Yeah, we would love to hear from you. If you have any of your own, They Said What? Or any tips for cradle cap, let us know. You can reach out to us at BFP Podcast on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and we also have a Facebook community group you can join. We also have a website, bigfatpositivepodcast.com, and we would love it if you left us a review and a rating on iTunes, if that’s your podcast listening venue of choice.
Shanna Micko: Big Fat Positive is produced by Shanna Micko, Laura Birek and Steve Yager.
Laura Birek: Thanks for listening, everyone. See you next week.
Shanna Micko: Bye.