Ep. 41: Fur Babies

April 15, 2019

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Shanna and Laura discuss life with babies and pets. They also report on taking their babies on adventures outside of the house. Also, in the special segment, “What I Googled This Week,” Laura and Shanna reveal the funny and embarrassing things they asked the internet recently, including a very pressing question about losing baby weight. Finally, the new moms reveal their BFPs and BFNs for the week. Shanna’s baby is 13 weeks old, and Laura’s baby is nine weeks old.





Show Notes:

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Episode Transcript

Laura Birek: Hi. Welcome to Big Fat Positive with Shanna and Laura. This week we’ve got our weekly check-ins, we have our special segment, What I Googled This Week, where Shanna wonders where does all that baby fat go after you give birth and we have our BFPs and BFNs. Let’s get to it.


Laura Birek: Hi everyone. Welcome to episode 41.

Shanna Micko: Hi.

Laura Birek: Hi, Shanna. How are you doing this week? What’s going on with you and your baby?

Shanna Micko: Okay. So the weather has been nice in LA right now and it’s awesome, because it’s been so rainy and cold, which I love. But I really like the warm weather mostly, because I can put my baby in all the cute outfits, like summery outfits that she has in her closet.

Laura Birek: Yes.

Shanna Micko: They’re so cute. She’s just been living in these long sleeve jammies, which are cute-ish, but she’s got some killer outfits. So she’s been wearing her little dresses and her little like bubble onesies and it’s been fun.

Laura Birek: That’s awesome.

Shanna Micko: Yeah.

Laura Birek: My baby also has a bunch of short sleeved outfits and shorts and stuff. It’s just like, I don’t think he’s ever going to get to wear them, because they were like newborn size. Anyway, but I’m glad you’re getting some use out of your cute little outfits.

Shanna Micko: Then it’s just nicer to go out. I’ve went hiking a couple times with the baby and well, I met up with you and our friend, Jenny. We all have babies that are like three weeks apart. It’s what we call our babypalooza: all get together and put the babies in a little pile and it’s so cute.

Laura Birek: Oh my God, it was so fucking cute. I nearly died. I wish we had a video of us. We have a video of the babies for sure. But we were all just freaking out hovering over our babies and be like, “Oh my God, they’re all so cute.”

Shanna Micko: They really are and so many pictures were taken.

Laura Birek: There were a lot of pictures.

Shanna Micko: Yeah, so just out and about more with the baby, which is fun, but also leads to more naps on the go. We’ve been trying to establish a routine at home and so now when you go out, it’s more like, okay, cat naps in the carrier, or in the car seat or she napped at Jenny’s house and in the car we had to nurse. So nursing, all this stuff is on the go and that kind of makes me nervous, because I get really attached to my routine and I feel comfortable about it and then I go out in the world and I’m like, yeah, trying to juggle everything and figure it out on the go and I need to relax, because it’s fine and really what we did was have a great time, even though I nursed in the car while eating cookies from Trader Joe’s, because I needed a snack and she needed a snack and it was like, yes, exactly. So that’s what the good weather in LA leads to.

Laura Birek: Leads to eating Trader Joe’s cookies in your car while nursing naturally.

Shanna Micko: Yes, exactly and of course, I took a selfie of this. So if anyone’s interested in seeing me do that I can share.

Laura Birek: Who’s not interested in that?

Shanna Micko: Everybody. But that also reminds me that I’m doing this thing that I did with my first daughter too. I call it selfie a day.

Laura Birek: Aww.

Shanna Micko: Like with my baby, because when my first daughter Elle was small, something that was kind of in the zeitgeist at the time was this idea that moms don’t get in the picture enough with their babies and kids. They’re usually the ones taking the pictures and I was reading some articles about that mom’s groups we were talking about it. I felt kind of sad about that and I’m like, well, if no one else is going to take a picture of me and my baby, I’m going to do it myself.

Laura Birek: That’s right.

Shanna Micko: So I made a project out of it and I took a selfie every day with her and then for mother’s day the next year, I did it for one year, my husband Steve put together a video compilation of all of the selfies that we took and so I got to watch her grow per year.

Laura Birek: Oh, that’s so sweet. Can I steal that? I totally want to steal that.

Shanna Micko: Yeah, you totally should. I’m sure you’ve probably taken a selfie most days anyway at this point, so just keep it going.

Laura Birek: I have to say maybe not most days, because there are days when you accidentally flip the camera around on yourself and you go, whoa!

Shanna Micko: You’ve got hair of nightmares.

Laura Birek: It’s always great when it’s at the very low angle, so it gets all the chins and you’re just like, oh God, you see what your hair actually looks like.

Shanna Micko: Sore show.

Laura Birek: I think that’s happened to me a couple times and I’m like, nope. Flipping that one back around, but it’s a good exercise. I’d be like, you know what? It’s okay.

Shanna Micko: Exactly. That’s what I was going to say is I do it anyway even on days I don’t shower, when I look terrible and I try to make a point of just capturing all the moments. When I look back at all of my selfies with my first daughter, obviously I’m like, that’s a nice shot and it’s the shot where I got ready that day and put on makeup and stuff and in general, I look a lot better in those pictures just because I was a) younger b) the mother of only one child and not as sleep deprived. I’m looking through the selfies now and it’s like, half the time I’ve got the same old baggy sweatshirt on and no makeup, no shower. So I need to up my selfie game. But anyway, it doesn’t matter. It’s about just the mom being with the baby and being in the picture and being present. I’ve done 88 so far and counting.

Laura Birek: Wow. That’s so cool. I think I’m going to steal that.

Shanna Micko: Cool.

Laura Birek: Thanks for the inspiration. You’re so inspirational.

Shanna Micko: Aww, I try. The last thing I was just going to mention is that I love my dogs. 

I really do. But Laura, they are driving me bonkers.

Laura Birek: Oh, no. What are they doing?

Shanna Micko: God, having dogs and kids is just so hard. They were my babies. You know this: I got my dog Chili eight, nine years ago. He was my first baby. I was in love with him and then we got our second dog Sasha and they were like a little team of cutie, little fluffy blonde Chihuahua Pomeranian mixes.

Laura Birek: Yes, these little long haired, essentially blonde. When you think Chihuahua, I always would think of the Taco Bell dog that totally dates me, right?

Shanna Micko: You care about Taco Bell. They’re not like that because that’s a full breed Chihuahua. Mine have something in them. But the point is they’ve got like the pointy nose, big eyes look. They’re not like a smash-faced dog.

Laura Birek: No, definitely not and they’re very cute.

Shanna Micko: They’re really cute. But once I had kids and my attention just had to go all on the kids and I could see that they got jealous really and they’re anxious, little dogs, they just want so much attention and now they just bark constantly and Chili acts out by peeing in the house.

Laura Birek: Oh, Chili.

Shanna Micko: Oh my God, I’m just like, you guys. They’re driving me nuts.

Laura Birek: It’s crazy. I feel you, because I’m a cat person. I do like dogs. I love your dogs. I love that Chili is like a total lap dog and I love that anytime I come to your house, you can’t crouch down on the floor without him jumping up onto your lap.

Shanna Micko: If you crouch, he will jump on your knees as you’re crouched on your tip toe.

Laura Birek: Yes, it’s very sweet. He’s a nice little guy, but I like dogs. Don’t get me wrong, but I am definitely a cat person. They are my primary first love and I have two little blonde cats too actually.

Shanna Micko: Yeah.

Laura Birek: Our dogs and cats are kind of like aesthetically similar. They’re both kind of long haired, gingery blondie animals.

Shanna Micko: Totally.

Laura Birek: I love my cat. So I have Magnus who is a 13-year-old. I think he’s actually a purebred Birman. He’s from a rescue. But I think he’s purebred, because he’s like a freaking lemon. From the day I got him, he’s had messed up gums. He only has four teeth left because of this.

Shanna Micko: Oh, buddy.

Laura Birek: He has a chronic viral problems that makes his eyes all goopy. But he’s just like the biggest sweetheart.

Shanna Micko: Wait, we got to tell everyone when he gets congested, what you do with him in the bathroom.

Laura Birek: I was like, what do I do with him? Yes.

Shanna Micko: Because I find it really cute that you do this.

Laura Birek: So he gets really congested and he has his little tiny nostrils and you can’t neti pot a cat. I was reading online, because he starts coughing and sneezing so bad and so I was like, what can I do? People suggest that you steam up the bathroom and sit in the bathroom with the cat or I think a lot of people just stick their cat in the bathroom, but I feel bad. So I will sit in the bathroom. I’ll turn the shower on as high as it goes and get the bathroom all steamy and sit in the bathroom with the cat.

Shanna Micko: That’s so sweet. Good for your skin too.

Laura Birek: Yeah, actually every time I do it, Magnus will come out and I’ll be like, “Your fur is so luxurious,” but I also felt bad about the environment doing it. So I ended up getting a warm mist humidifier to try to fix that and it was really, really effective. I have a small guest bathroom, so I would put him in there with the humidifier and I’d walk in and it would be like, you’re in a sauna at the spa. You couldn’t see across the room.

Shanna Micko: Oh my God, that’s awesome. He’s just got cucumbers on his eyes laying back in the tub.

Laura Birek: He needs it with the eye goop. But thankfully, he’s been pretty good lately. So my other cat, Cal, he’s a special story. I’ll go through it very quickly. We adopted him thinking he was a girl and we named him Lady Bird and then we took Lady Bird to go get spay and got a text message discovering that Lady Bird was indeed a boy.

Shanna Micko: Oh God.

Laura Birek: He had something called cryptorchidism, which means that his balls didn’t drop. So he didn’t know he was a boy until they went in to try to remove his uterus and there wasn’t one. His ovaries maybe. Whatever it was, it wasn’t there. So he’s a boy now and we named him Cal after the lead character in Jeffrey Eugenide’s Pulitzer Prize winning book, Middlesex.

Shanna Micko: Oh, okay. Interesting. I was wondering where you guys got the name.

Laura Birek: If you’ve never read Middlesex, it’s one of the best books I think of all time and it’s about a teenager who discovers he/she is intersex. Actually has a genetic disorder that creates ambiguous genitalia and so the character was raised as a girl. Calliope was her name then, but she then realizes, the problem is during the transition, Calliope realizes that Calliope would rather identify as a man. So he becomes Cal. So that’s why Cal is Cal.

Shanna Micko: I like that.

Laura Birek: Woo, that wasn’t a short story, but the point is Cal, I love him. He’s my little baby and he’s insane. He does cuckoo on the walls. He is a true kitten. He’s a year and a half now. But the thing that I happened to be this week was so we had just put the baby down to sleep. Thank God, he was sleeping soundly and then I look over and Cal is a very attentive cat. If you drag anything in on your shoes from the street, he tries to bury it. He’s got this super strong burying instinct. He tries to bury his food every day.

Shanna Micko: Like on the hardwood floor?

Laura Birek: Yeah, it’s really great for the hardwood floor. So he scratches. I think he’ll scratch for hours because nothing happens. It doesn’t go away. So I look over and I see Cal is scratching at the hardwood floor and I was like, there must be some schmutz on there. What’s going on? So I go over and look and I see that it’s poop.

Shanna Micko: Great. Okay.

Laura Birek: Then I look at Cal and he has poop smeared all over his butt. He’s a long-haired cat I should mention and so Corey picks him up and he is like, do we need some wipes? I was like, get him into the bathroom now. So we rush him into our guest bathroom, the same one where I would steam Magnus and we had to fully wrestle him into the bathtub and use super wet rags to slowly chip away the massive poo on his butt and that took a good I want to say an hour to do.

Shanna Micko: Wow.

Laura Birek: All I could think about was like, what if the baby wasn’t asleep? This isn’t a one person job. What if this had happened midday when I was home alone with the baby, would there just be cache all over the house? Or what do you do? Would the baby be crying? I’m guessing I would probably have just locked him in the bathroom and hoped for the best, because at least he can stay there.

Shanna Micko: Yeah, I was going to say maybe he could stay in there.

Laura Birek: That was a fun event this week. But I do have to say that how people call their pets their babies and everyone’s like, ugh, they don’t compare. It’s so rude. They don’t compare obviously in the love realm and it’s a very different experience, but I do think having pets is some good training for having a kid. I don’t know what you think.

Shanna Micko: Definitely. The love I felt for Chili, because I hadn’t had pets since childhood and even my pets in childhood, I wasn’t so bonded with them. So Chili was my first pet and I literally felt in love with him. I just loved him so much. He was so cute and sweet. Obviously, I love my kids more than I love my little dog, but that feeling of just really caring for something and wanting to take care of it. No, I get it. I think it’s good training. It’s a good sense of caring for something other than yourself and pets are awesome. When you have to deal with stuff like that Cal’s poop incident and other little things when you’re also trying to take care of a newborn and in my case also a three-year-old and I’m sleep deprived and my nerves are kind of shot, so I’m a little irritable and my dogs bark, bark, bark, bark, bark and I’m just like, oh my God, please be quieted. It breaks on my nerves.

Laura Birek: The barking would probably drive me insane. Thankfully, the cats are pretty quiet. Well, actually Cal barely has a voice. He doesn’t even meow.

Shanna Micko: What?

Laura Birek: All my cats are a mess. When he tries to meow, it like barely comes out. I don’t know what’s wrong. He’s a mess. We should post pictures of our adorable animals.

Shanna Micko: For sure. Anyway, okay. That’s my long check-in. What about you? Did I mention that my baby’s 13 weeks?

Laura Birek: I don’t think you did.

Shanna Micko: Okay. She is. What about you and your babes?

Laura Birek: So my babes is nine weeks and so a lot of my check-in was that insane poop situation with the cat. So that was kind of the biggest stress this week. But the other things that are going on this week is we had our babypalooza, which you talked about, which was very fun, but that actually was part of my grand going out plan for the week. So I have discovered that my baby sleeps really well as long as we do something every day.

Shanna Micko: Sleeps at night really well?

Laura Birek: Yes, during the day is a tossup. Like you said, he sleeps in the car when we’re on our way to places and naps sort of here and there and I also had the stress about, oh gosh, he needs a routine. But the one day this week I didn’t do anything, like I didn’t go out and have a big day with him, like a big outing, he slept like shit at night, woke up I think three times and lately, he’s been waking up once. He’s been doing four to five hour stretches and waking up once, which is totally civilized and I love. So I was like, well, you know what? I need to take him out. He needs to see the world and see bright sunlight. So on Monday we actually had our first Mommy and Me class, which was very fun.

Shanna Micko: Cool.

Laura Birek: There are 14 kids in the class and it’s a January, February baby class. 

So my guy who was born January 4th is actually one of the older kids, which is kind of fun, kind of cool. He’s the cool kid. He has a birthday twin in there, but one thing that was really remarkable about the Mommy and Me, and I should say that I’m not going to talk about stuff that goes on in the Mommy and Me too much, because part of the deal is that it’s a safe space and we don’t talk about what other people are talking about. So I’m going to respect that. But the one thing I will mention that I thought was interesting was that of the 14 babies, only two of them were girls.

Shanna Micko: That’s quite an odd ratio.

Laura Birek: It is?

Shanna Micko: What is going on?

Laura Birek: I don’t know.

Shanna Micko: Is there something in the water in that neighborhood?

Laura Birek: Yeah, I was wondering. I was like, wow, is Northeast Los Angeles only producing boy babies? What’s going on? It was kind of interesting and it’s also really interesting to see since he’s one of the older kids, there was like a four- week-old in the class and I’ve completely forgotten how much of a difference those five weeks make.

Shanna Micko: Wow.

Laura Birek: The one month of your life, which usually it’s like, that just happened a month ago. That was so recent. The difference between a five-week-old baby and a nine-week-old baby is just so remarkable. My baby’s interacting and smiling and looking at toys and tracking everything and being really into everything and then this five-week-old baby is just sort of a very cute blob, but it’s amazing how much they’ve changed just in those few weeks.

Shanna Micko: They develop so fast.

Laura Birek: That was really cool.

Shanna Micko: Their bodies grow fast too.

Laura Birek: It’s so fast. My guy’s a little small. He’s like in the 12th percentile in weight, so he’s still looks like petite. He’s not exactly the biggest guy in the class, but even though he’s one of the oldest, but it is interesting. It is really interesting to see a whole slew of other babies that are about the same age as your baby and see how it works. Even with our babypalooza, our friend’s baby was actually born a day after my baby and he’s four pounds heavier than my baby or something. He’s real big.

Shanna Micko: It’s a good reminder that every baby’s different and there’s just so much variety in the kids.

Laura Birek: Every baby’s different. So anyway, I did that as an outing. We went to the Huntington Library as an outing. I’ve talked about that before and we just had our outing. So I think it’s a little exhausting for me, because I have to pack 20 pounds of crap in my diaper backpack, because I’ve discovered I have to have ideally two changes of shirts for me, because he’s spitter-upper and as good as I am with burp cloths, he still gets me. I have to bring outfit changes for him. I have to bring a million burp cloths and bibs and then you have to think about different layers of levels of blanket: is the blanket a light blanket or the heavy blanket? The one good thing about breastfeeding is you don’t have to worry about bringing food.

Shanna Micko: That is true.

Laura Birek: Just whip it on out. I’m getting the hang of it and I have to say that even if it’s exhausting for me, the fact that he sleeps so well at night after having outings, I’m just like, well, it’s worth it.

Shanna Micko: It gets you out in the world and out totally sunshine and friends and it’s all good.

Laura Birek: Anyway, shall we move on to our special segment after this break?

Shanna Micko: Let’s do it.


Shanna Micko: Our special segment today is What I Googled This Week where we talk about the interesting, crazy, possibly embarrassing things we’ve asked the internet about recently. Laura, you’re up first. What have you asked?

Laura Birek: I typed into my search bar, “Why is my baby cross-eyed?”

Shanna Micko: Oh, buddy. I have never noticed him being cross-eyed.

Laura Birek: So here’s the thing. He’s not always cross-eyed.

Shanna Micko: Okay.

Laura Birek: But every once in a while, especially when he’s focusing on something really interesting, one eye just goes way in.

Shanna Micko: That’s so cute. Just one eye though, right?

Laura Birek: Yeah, just one eye and it’s very disconcerting to see. I’ve seen it happen a couple times and just chalked it up to being a weird newborn, especially because it just corrected itself. Actually what happened was I was about to breastfeed him and he was really upset and he was not his hysterical crying, but just letting me know it’s time and I’m not really moving fast enough. So I get him down on his side in front of my boob, bring the boob out and right when I bring the boob out, his eyes go in.

Shanna Micko: Well, I’m pretty sure I know what they’re focusing in on.

Laura Birek: It was really funny, but at the same time I was like, oh my God, something’s wrong. It turns out totally normal. Apparently, baby’s eyes suffer from the same lack of coordination that the rest of their bodies have.

Shanna Micko: Oh my God, funny.

Laura Birek: So their muscles just don’t work in coordination all the time and so apparently it’s totally normal and they don’t track together all the time. But if it’s still happening around four months, they say you should probably look into it with the doctor or mention it to your doctor. I think I read online that some said six months, some said four months, but it sounds like it just takes some time for your baby’s eye muscles to learn to work in unison. So it’s totally fine apparently, but it’s weird.

Shanna Micko: It makes sense though, because their arms and legs are like, boom, boom flailing all over the place, so I guess little eye muscles would be doing the same thing.

Laura Birek: He’s working really hard right now to learn how to coordinate his arm movements and you can see him doing it. But for whatever reason, the movement he keeps practicing is punching himself in the stomach. 

So he is knocking into his own stomach, almost like a drum and it sounds like a drum, because he gets gassy. So I can tell he is gassy.

Shanna Micko: He hits himself hard enough you can hear a hollow boom?

Laura Birek: Totally. I’m not talking about gentle tabs. He’s punching his stomach.

Shanna Micko: These poor little babies with their lack of control.

Laura Birek: I know.

Shanna Micko: My girl is learning to grab toys and bring them to her mouth and she is desperate to bring stuff to her mouth and chew on it. But she’s not coordinated enough yet. She can grab the toy and then kind of miss her mouth and hit her cheek and chin and she gets furious and she screams. You heard her scream at babypalooza.

Laura Birek: I did hear her scream at babypalooza. I was like, holy shit. What’s happening? You’re like, “She’s just mad that she can’t get the toy in her mouth.”

Shanna Micko: You guys were like, “Well, she’s got a special personality.” I’m like, “Yeah, she’s got determination.” So I’m very excited for her to reign in those muscle movements and get what she wants.

Laura Birek: Do you know when that’s supposed to really happen?

Shanna Micko: I think this last leap she went through the leap of smooth transitions. I think that’s where that all starts to work itself out. It’s less jerky motions and more smooth control. But once they go through the leap, they still continue to work on those things. It’s not like the leap is over and they magically there.

Laura Birek: It just gives them the ability to get that ability, right?

Shanna Micko: Yeah.

Laura Birek: Okay.

Shanna Micko: So she’s working on it.

Laura Birek: Cool. Anyway, so that’s what I Googled. What did you Google this week?

Shanna Micko: This week I Googled, “What does 10 pounds of fat look like?”

Laura Birek: Eww.

Shanna Micko: I’m 10 pounds over my pre-baby weight. I lost a lot at the beginning and so at this point I’m like, I’m pretty sure what’s left isn’t like water baby weight. 

It’s none of that anymore. It just has to be whatever fat I accumulated. Your mind gets curious. Sometimes I’m just like, what is fat? What does that look like in my body? So I Googled it to see and all the images are just a huge chunk of 10 pounds of fat. It’s about the size of a two-month-old baby. Basically, you can see a picture of it and it’s bright, yellow.

Laura Birek: If only I had a frame of reference for what a two-month-old baby looks like.

Shanna Micko: I thought that would be an appropriate analogy for our crowd and it’s glistening yellow bumpy. It’s not an attractive lump of mass and so it’s scary to see it in such a huge like chunk and obviously, I know that’s spread out through my body.

Laura Birek: It would be really terrifying if you had one 10 pound lump of fat maybe attached to your thigh. That would be terrifying.

Shanna Micko: I do feel like I have it attached to my stomach still, but I know that’s not the case. It’s spread out. I don’t know why. I guess I just wanted that visual maybe as a motivation to eat better or something, because I’ve really been eating crap. I’m putting absolute zero effort into losing the last 10 pounds and I do think it’s funny that I did not Google how to lose 10 pounds. I Googled, “What does 10 pounds of fat look like?” So I’m not motivated yet.

Laura Birek: I have zero motivation for it either. The other day, because I’ve developed a kind of bad habit of just eating ice cream after dinner every night, because it makes me feel good. Food is a drug and I like my drugs right now. 

But the other day I was like, I should really stop eating ice cream after dinner. I don’t need it every night. Make it a treat again, right? Then I went to Shake Shack the next day with our friend Marilyn and had a shake. So that didn’t last more than 24 hours.

Shanna Micko: It’s just so good. Cookies are my thing, because I’m off dairy. I got these vegan I mentioned them earlier vegan cookies from Trader Joe’s. I just love them so much. I’d stuff my face with them.

Laura Birek: So they’re actually good, because sometimes I feel like vegan cookies…

Shanna Micko: They are good. No, I prefer these vegan cookies to actual regular cookies actually. They’re so sugary.

Laura Birek: All right. I would be willing to try them. I’m so skeptical of vegan baked goods, but I’ll take your word for it.

Shanna Micko: These are awesome. So that’s what I Googled this week.

Laura Birek: You know what it makes me think of is, do you remember Oprah when she lost a bunch of weight one of a hundred times, but that one time she lost 60 pounds or something and she wheeled out was it a wheelbarrow of fat? I don’t remember what it was, but it was iconic.

Shanna Micko: I see that.

Laura Birek: It was like her season premier and she came out with like a radio flyer thing. You remember? What do you call those?

Shanna Micko: Wagon.

Laura Birek: A radio flyer wagon full of the weight she had lost.

Shanna Micko: Whoa. It puts things in perspective when you see it and then, because I’m not a sciencey person, if anyone is write in and tell me how the hell this or you could probably tell me how this works. I’m just like, when you lose weight, where does that go? I guess the fat cells shrink or whatever.

Laura Birek: You physically burn it. This is actually my mom’s real specialty. She didn’t get too much into this, but in the episode where we interviewed her, she talked about her genetics practice, but her subspecialty is she does metabolism medicine. So like errors in metabolism, inborn errors in metabolism. I grew up learning about the mitochondria, which is the organ in your cells that processes your fat. Basically, that burns energy to give you energy and so you are literally taking the chemicals out of your fat cells, burning them in your mitochondria to give your cells fuel. So you’re literally burning them.

Shanna Micko: Wow. Okay.

Laura Birek: You’re burning that weight off and then that’s where it goes. Then that’s why it’s so much more complicated than calories and calories out, but that’s the easiest way to think of it is that you have a storehouse basically and you are either using it faster than you’re adding to it. It’s like a silo.

Shanna Micko: Cool.

Laura Birek: That’s the real short version. Anywho.

Shanna Micko: Anyway, thanks for that explanation. Let’s move on to our BFPs and BFNs.

Laura Birek: Let’s do it.


Laura Birek: So we end every episode with our big fat positives or our big fat negatives of the week. Shanna, what do you have for us?

Shanna Micko: I have a BFP.

Laura Birek: Good.

Shanna Micko: That’s my bedtime routine that I started doing with my daughter.

Laura Birek: I want to hear about that.

Shanna Micko: I’ll talk about the routine a little bit. The reason it’s a BFP this week is that she was finishing up that leap and just maybe going through a gross spurt. I feel like I say this every week, but she had some really, really hard days and they were hard for me. You know the days when it just has to be on you constantly screaming, crying, wanting to eat, just so unhappy, so hard to console them and then the end of the day came and I started my routine and it’s like, it instantly relaxed her. It was just wonderful. It was like the first moment of peace in the day and we start our routine every night at six or around six o’clock with a bath. I do a bath every day with her and she just loves the bath. The second I put her in the warm water, she just smiles.

Laura Birek: What is your bath set up for the newborn is what I want to know?

Shanna Micko: I have an infant tub. I don’t remember the brand and I fill it with water and put it on the bathroom counter.

Laura Birek: Okay. So you can do it in your bathroom, but on the counter.

Shanna Micko: Yeah, because I like to be able to stand up and bathe her. I will probably eventually fill it up and just keep it in the bathtub and sit on a stool, but that’s more uncomfortable. Right now I keep it up there and I usually don’t even wash her with soap or anything. I’ll just pour water on her head and give her a soap down every couple days or something. But just the act of doing it and her expecting it every single day, I think is a comfort to her. So that’s how we start and then so that leads into some grooming activities. After that, I dry her off. I put little lotion on her, I put Aquaphor on her dry spots, give her a foot massage, comb her hair, do all of that stuff and so that’s like the next thing. So I try to do everything that’s very calming for her and it just blows my mind that it actually works.

Laura Birek: That’s awesome.

Shanna Micko: I just think succeeding at something feels good.

Laura Birek: Sorry. Can I pause for you? He’s freaking out. Okay. Sorry for the interruption. I had to go get a baby and now there’s a baby on my boob. So Shanna, I’m jealous of your routine, because I know the importance of a bedtime routine, but I have just not been able to implement one with my baby, because I don’t know what it is. It’s like every night the timing just doesn’t work out. I don’t know if that makes sense, but he’ll kind of take a last nap before his bedtime of around seven and then he’ll be up and he’ll want to feed and by the time I feed him, change him, there’s not much of a routine time. He just wants to go back to sleep.

Shanna Micko: That’s tricky. I don’t really have much advice. I guess just maybe you could try one thing at a certain time every day. Like just aim for trying for a bath if he likes a bath. Some babies don’t like. It’s not calming. I don’t know about your guy. We feed last. That’s the last thing we do before bed. So we do all of this stuff. Maybe a little tummy time, little mat time if it’s not too close to seven yet and then turn the lights low, have some milk. 

Of course, she’s got her medicine. So that’s part of the routine, her little Zantac, getting her all dressed for bed and a couple songs and lay her down. So the whole thing takes about an hour probably and I like it too, because it gives me something to do. There’s so much amorphous stuff in the day of caring for a baby that I like. It’s like six o’clock, boom! Shanna knows what she’s doing now until seven. I’m just the kind of person that I like that kind of certainty in my life. So it’s been working for us really well.

Laura Birek: That’s awesome.

Shanna Micko: If you guys have any ideas or thoughts, what you do for your bedtime routine, let us know. I’d be curious. I’m open to adding new stuff and Laura sounds like she might need some ideas and inspiration too.

Laura Birek: I need more. Help. Help.

Shanna Micko: So that’s my BFP this week. What about you?

Laura Birek: I have a BFN this week.

Shanna Micko: All right.

Laura Birek: I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve had a BFN.

Shanna Micko: I think so. Okay.

Laura Birek: Bring it on to do. So the BFN is keloid scarring.

Shanna Micko: What is that?

Laura Birek: It’s genetic, so thanks mom or dad. It’s a thing I have across my C-section scar.

Shanna Micko: The full length of the scar?

Laura Birek: Yeah, the full length of the scar. Keloid scarring I guess I looked it up is some people are just prone to sort of having more prominent, raised scars. I guess it’s like an overgrowth of scar tissue and I’m one of those lucky ones. I was trying to figure out how to explain it. Actually, sitting here I think I figured it out. You know, like Apple wired headphones, the actual cable? So I’d say that’s like a good approximation of sort of how raised my scar is sort of the size and shape of it. It’s just like having a little rope on top of where the scar was.

Shanna Micko: Okay. So the scar itself isn’t flat?

Laura Birek: It’s like really not. I thought everyone’s scar is going to be a little raised, I think at first. But we’re nine weeks out and it’s still very raised and my doctor was just like, “Yeah, so some people get it. It’s genetic.” The good thing is that he says if I ever end up having another C-section, he’ll get rid of it.

Shanna Micko: That’s what I was going to say. You could probably get rid of it next time around, but then won’t it just happen again?

Laura Birek: Yeah, but at least I won’t have two.

Shanna Micko: True.

Laura Birek: But yeah, it’s kind of a pain, because it’s just different. Your body now has a different bump that didn’t have before and it’s red and it’s just not attractive. Thankfully, it’s not visible to anyone except for me and occasionally Corey. But it’s kind of a bummer and so I’ve read that I think there’s ways to minimize it. So listeners, if you have any suggestions, I’ve read that you can massage it with vitamin E oil or maybe get that Mederma stuff. So if anyone’s had any good luck with getting rid of keloid scars or minimizing them, please let me know.

Shanna Micko: Well, it reminds me I didn’t have a keloid scarring, but with my first, I had an infection in my incision that I dealt with for a really long time and so as a result, it healed really weird. The outer edges of the scar were beautiful. You couldn’t even see them anymore, but in the center where I had to go to a wound doctor and they were packing it every week and trying to get it to heal from the inside out, that ended up healing really weird looking.

Laura Birek: Yes.

Shanna Micko: It almost healed like an indentation. It almost still kind of looked like I had kind of an open wound down there. That’s way TMI and it’s so gross, but it wasn’t an open wound.

Laura Birek: It’s like the opposite. It’s an indented scar.

Shanna Micko: Exactly. I hated it. I was really self-conscious of it and I was secretly excited about the possibility of one day having another C-section so that they could cut that out and fix it and when I told my new doctor about it and how much I didn’t like it, he’s like, “Oh my gosh, no problem. I’m just going to cut that out, cut out the old scar tissue, fix it right up.” So now I don’t have that anymore, because he fixed it.

Laura Birek: Oh my God, that’s awesome.

Shanna Micko: I have like a totally normal straight, flat incision scar now. So I was like, yay!

Laura Birek: Thanks second baby.

Shanna Micko: Exactly. So I’m just saying that so I can relate to you and like what you mean about now your body is different. It’s not what it was before and it feels weird.

Laura Birek: Hopefully, I’m cool with it. I understand that I went through this big thing and it’s going to be different, but if anyone has any tips for me, please let us know. We are on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter at BFP Podcast and you can also go to bigfatpositivepodcast.com and leave us a message and also we have a Facebook community group you could join. Sounds like we’re doing a wrap up. So maybe we should wrap it up.

Shanna Micko: Let’s wrap it up. Thanks for listening everybody. We’d so appreciate our listeners and if you would be so kind to go and review and rate us wherever you find your podcast, that would be awesome and help other people find us as well. What else? Anything else?

Laura Birek: Just think that positive is produced by Shawn Micko, Laura Birek and Steve Yager.

Shanna Micko: Bye everyone. See you next time.

Laura Birek: See you next time.