Ep. 49: Express Yourself: Hand Pumping and Night Crying

June 10, 2019

Listen Now:

Shanna and Laura discuss sleep training, and Shanna describes her plan for getting her baby to sleep through the night. Laura talks about her baby’s four-month checkup and gives an update about his sleep regression. Also, in the special segment “Never Have I Ever – Parenting Edition,” the new moms share hilarious incidents they never thought they would experience until they became parents. Finally, they reveal their BFPs and BFNs for the week. Shanna’s baby is 21 weeks old, and Laura’s baby is 17 weeks old.| This episode’s show notes – https://bigfatpositivepodcast.com/ep-49/ | 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/

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Episode Transcript


Laura Birek: Hi. Welcome to Big Fat Positive with Shanna and Laura. This week we have our weekly check-ins. We have our special segment, Never Have I Ever: Parenting edition, where Shanna and Laura do strange things in dark places and we do our BFPs and BFNs for the week. Let’s get to it.


Laura Birek: Hey, everyone. Welcome to the show. This is episode 49. Shanna, hello?

Shanna Micko: Hi.

Laura Birek: How are you doing? What’s going on with you? How old is your baby? Tell me everything.

Shanna Micko: Oh my gosh. Okay, so CeCe is 21 weeks old now.

Laura Birek: Ready to drink lots of breast milk.

Shanna Micko: What? I thought you were asking me if I was ready to drink. I was like always, yeah, sure. Why not?

Laura Birek: At any given point in the day?

Shanna Micko: Anywho, as I mentioned last week I think I started work. I’ve been feeling extremely tired, waking up a lot at night and I am now very determined to get my baby to sleep through the night. I’m on a mission. I didn’t have to do this with my first as you know, because she just magically slept through the night by herself.

Laura Birek: At six weeks. I got to keep bringing that up, because it’s fucking crazy, Shanna.

Shanna Micko: It’s so crazy. It did not feel crazy at the time. I was just like, baby’s sleep and now in hindsight, of course, I’m like, oh my God, that was a definite unicorn baby. This is definitely different, so I’ve been reading a lot of different books, a lot of different sleep training resources. Definitely I’m going the sleep training route. Nothing against it.

Laura Birek: Tell us a little bit about what sleep training is and what it means, because I feel like it’s a term that’s thrown about a lot. But what does it even mean? Is it a Rocky montage with your baby?

Shanna Micko: Ta ta ta ra ra. Is that the Rocky theme? Oh God, I don’t even know.

Laura Birek: It’s fine, because if it wasn’t then we don’t have to pay a licensing fee, so you’re good.

Shanna Micko: Perfect. Good. I’m just making up tunes.

Laura Birek: La la la. La la la. Weird.

Shanna Micko: I think that’s the Rocky theme. Lots of lalas in the Rocky theme.

Laura Birek: Yes, so what is sleep training?

Shanna Micko: Oh my God, sleep deprived delirium. So sleep training is a lot of things. I’ve read a lot of books and first of all, it’s a lot of stuff I’ve already been doing since the pretty much the beginning. Like since she was about six weeks old I started the evening routine: starting to wind down and get those things in place, starting to practice putting her down awake and the SNOO actually helped a lot with that. I almost always put her down awake in the SNOO and then she would be shimmed to sleep.

Laura Birek: Really? Okay.

Shanna Micko: Yeah, so she’s got that down and apparently that’s a huge part of sleep training and then once you kind of establish those things if they’re still waking up in the night, first of all, you’ve got to night wean if you want to. Some people don’t mind waking up and nursing and they like that time with the baby. I’ve been looking forward to cutting that out of the routine now that she’s five months old. That’s when the doctor told me to think about doing that. That’s part of it. So they don’t wake up as much during the night.

Laura Birek: Did you ask your doctor specifically or was that just something your doctor offered up?

Shanna Micko: No, I asked. At the four month appointment I was like, so I’m good to night wean and do sleep training, right? He’s like, I suggest waiting till she’s five months old and 15 pounds. She was not there yet. I was disappointed, but willing to go with it, because I want to make sure she’s really ready for it. I guess the theory is at that age and at that weight, they’re really able to go through the night without eating.

Laura Birek: They’ve got those fat stores ready to go. They can make it all the way through.

Shanna Micko: Exactly. Beyond that then it’s the, how do you get them to fall back asleep? Part of it is giving them time to work it out, which means crying and fusing and you know that my girl cries like the best of them. She will scream and wail. That’s what hard. So that’s a big part of it. For me, the first step is the night weaning. We’ve got to get rid of the feed. She’s doing one or two per night and I just want to cut those out.

Laura Birek: Do you consider a dream feed or is that not part of it?

Shanna Micko: No, dream feed, because it’s before bedtime no one has to wake up out of a deep sleep to go do it. Also, Steve is in charge of it. So he’s fine with it and I go to bed a little bit earlier and he goes in and does it, because he does it with a bottle.

Laura Birek: I like it.

Shanna Micko: So he has been taking charge of this night weaning process, because I’ve noticed that when I go in to comfort her, if she wakes up and is crying at a time that’s not feeding time, she gets upset. She seems like she wants to nurse and I don’t know what to do and so I just give in automatically nurse her.

Laura Birek: It’s such a crutch, isn’t it? Because you have the thing that will make them happy. You have two of them.

Shanna Micko: Two of them. Exactly.

Laura Birek: You can sit and listen to them scream where you can just be like, here you go kid and make them happy.

Shanna Micko: It gets them quiet. I’ve been just this whole time very much about like, I need to get her quiet as soon as possible. She’s going to wake up the other daughter and I can’t handle the crying and blah, blah, blah. So she’s gotten in a habit of waking up at certain times at night wanting milk and so the whole theory…

Laura Birek: Wait, what times? I want to know. I’m all about specifics, so what time is she waking up? Is it always the same time?

Shanna Micko: No, it’s been here and there, but generally it’s around 2 and 4:35 ish.

Laura Birek: Okay. Not 4:35, but 4:30 to 5:00 a.m.

Shanna Micko: It’s somewhere around there.

Laura Birek: She wakes up at 4:35 a.m. exactly.

Shanna Micko: Every single day like an alarm clock. One of the books I’ve been following and I read this one for my first daughter too and wasted my time obviously that time around, because I didn’t need it. The one I followed the first time around and I’ve been reading this time too is the Sleepeasy Solution.

Laura Birek: Oh, okay.

Shanna Micko: I love that. So that book definitely taught me about their routines, getting started early with all of that and they have a whole section on how to night wean and the whole idea is that you wake them up before they usually wake up, because you want to kind of jostle them out of their habit. They’ve been in this habit of waking up at two every day and needing milk and so you go in at 1:30 and it’s almost give them a dream feed.

Laura Birek: Like an additional dream feed.

Shanna Micko: So you can fill their tummy and so Steve has been doing this. He’s awesome. He’s my BFP this week, except I’m already talking about it now. So I won’t do it at the end also, but Steve, you are my BFP. You have been a rock star. He wakes up, goes in at 1:30 with a bottle of milk and we’ve been tapering the amount of milk every night. The first night, because I think we started with five ounces or something and then the next night was four ounces. The next night is three, et cetera. The idea is eventually they’re out of the habit of waking up and they’re out of the habit of getting those calories and they get them during the day instead. They’ll nurse more or if you’re bottle feeding, you’ll give them a little more bottle milk during the day.

Laura Birek: Okay.

Shanna Micko: So we are in the middle of that. Steve’s a rock star. I have no idea how this is going to go.

Laura Birek: I have a question. Have you started tapering off the milk amounts for Steve?

Shanna Micko: Yes.

Laura Birek: I want to know does she flip out when you don’t give her the full amount.

Shanna Micko: No, because it’s kind of like a dream feed.

Laura Birek: Oh, okay.

Shanna Micko: I know right. I’m so skeptical of this. I’m just like, okay, so then the milk you do what ounce and the next day nothing and then what do you do? I’m telling this to Steve. I’m like, “I don’t get it. What do these sleep consultants want me to do after this? Is this going to be magical work?” I’m so skeptical and I’m also frustrated with the sleep training books too, because my girl is not the typical case I don’t think. She goes to bed at night like a dream. I put her down awake and she goes to sleep.

Laura Birek: That’s amazing.

Shanna Micko: It is amazing. The problem is when she wakes up in the middle of the night. Even when it’s not milk time, she’ll wake up many times and scream and scream and cry and it’s these nighttime things that I’m trying to tackle and everyone wants you to tackle the putting them to bed. It’s like, put them to bed awake. I’m like, I do that. How do I figure out the middle of the night stuff?

Laura Birek: Well, not that you’re suffering is making me feel better right now, because I have failed miserably at the putting the baby down awake. I tried at the beginning. I’ve done it a couple times. It’s worked a couple times, but my problem is that he falls asleep nursing most of the time and then it’s like, shit, I guess it’s since we put him down and I have all this guilt about it thinking that I’m ruining him for the future, but he actually is okay to save the four-month sleep progression, which we will talk about in a second. But he is okay in the middle of the night. So I’m glad to know that they’re all so different. I keep getting this feeling like I’ve failed already, because I don’t put him down awake.

Shanna Micko: I don’t know. I think it’s super common. I remember a thread in my mom’s group, which has like 900 members. Someone was like, “Putting your baby down awake is a big joke, right?” Everyone chimed in. They were like, “Yeah, that’s such a joke. No, always nurse to sleep, blah, blah, blah.” So I think everyone does it. I just happen to have a kid who actually does not like being nurtured to sleep. She almost cranes her body begging for the bed.

Laura Birek: Wow.

Shanna Micko: So I’m like, okay.

Laura Birek: Gift horse mouth. Don’t question it.

Shanna Micko: I know right. Just go with the flow, but I will say one last thing is I found a piece of advice digging deep on the internet trying to find something that fits my specific situation and I found a sleep consultant give this advice and I am trying this and so I will give an update next week. She said, “If you have a baby that’s waking up and having a hard time falling back asleep in the middle of the night. It’s because they’re not being put to bed fully awake.” That’s one thing. I’m like, but I am. She’s like, “But you think you are. But if you’re nursing the baby and they fall asleep and then they kind of wake up and you put them into bed, that’s not really. They’re relying on the nursing and comforting to go to bed.” So that I do. I’ll nurse her. She’ll wake up a little bit and then I’ll set her down and she’ll be awake and go to sleep. So she suggests that I actually get up, maybe change her clothes, read a book.

Laura Birek: Wow.

Shanna Micko: Like fully wake her up.

Laura Birek: It’s terrifying.

Shanna Micko: It is. I’m trying it. I get her up. I put her on pajamas. I sit in a completely different chair, lights on. I’ve been reading her books and putting her down and here’s the second thing I’m trying. She said a pacier is another thing. It’s a crutch. These things are crutches and they rely on them in the middle of the night and again, I’m like, I give her a pacifier and she plays with it for 30 seconds and spits it out. The consultant was like, even if they spit it out, after 30 seconds doesn’t matter. They are familiar with it and they know it. She’s like, don’t do the pacifier and put your kid to bed truly awake. She’s like, try it for a week and if your middle of the night wakings aren’t better, I don’t know. You get your money back or whatever, but it was a free article. So she convinced me to try it and I was like, all right. I’ll try.

Laura Birek: Give it a try. More power to you, because all that sounds horrible to me.

Shanna Micko: It does. It’s totally horrible. But I am like, I don’t want to say I’m at my wits end, because it’s not that bad. I’m just determined. I really want to solve this situation. 

I really want to sleep through the night. I love my baby and I love nursing and I love being with her, but I really, really need more solid sleep. The fragmented sleep is just getting to me big time.

Laura Birek: I hear you 100%.

Shanna Micko: So we’re in the middle of it and I will update you next week and that’s all I have for my check-in.

Laura Birek: Oh, man.

Shanna Micko: What about you?

Laura Birek: My baby is 17 weeks old.

Shanna Micko: All right.

Laura Birek: Which means he’s four months old.

Shanna Micko: Our babies are getting so old.

Laura Birek: I know. They’re old dudes and ladies. So being four months comes with a bunch of stuff, right? Like one thing is the four month checkup with all your shots.

Shanna Micko: Yeah, how did he do this time?

Laura Birek: Better. I think one thing that’s better is that you only get two shots instead of three with this one or at least we did.

Shanna Micko: I was going to say I only got two and a little mouth thing last time. Are they coming up short on us?

Laura Birek: No. No. No, so two months shots, you get three shots and a mouth thing.

Shanna Micko: I didn’t.

Laura Birek: Oh, you didn’t. Huh?

Shanna Micko: No.

Laura Birek: I don’t know. So for his two months he got mouth and three shots and for his four months he got mouth and two shots. It might be whatever brand they use, because they combine different vaccines and different shots. But anyway, he cried of course, but it wasn’t quite as traumatic as the last time. He was basically calm by the time we left the office, so that was nice.

Shanna Micko: Yay.

Laura Birek: We asked our doctor about solid foods, because I know your doctor gave you the go ahead at four months.

Shanna Micko: Yes.

Laura Birek: My doctor said wait until six months.

Shanna Micko: Whoa. Whoa. What?

Laura Birek: I think we’re just going to ignore that.

Shanna Micko: Why are you choosing to do that?

Laura Birek: First of all, my mom is a big influence. My mom is a pediatrician. As listeners know, she was a guest on this podcast way back. Gosh, who knows? Weeks and weeks ago. She’s been saying, oh gosh, he’s ready for solid food. Look at this guy. He’s ready for solid food and he shows a lot of readiness signs. First of all, he has very good trunk control. He doesn’t sit up on his own yet, but if you are holding him low on his sort of waist, he sits up really well. He is watching us eat so intently. It’s a little scary.

Shanna Micko: Oh, so cute.

Laura Birek: He watches you take a spoon or a fork from your plate to your mouth. 

The whole way he’s tracking it. It’s amazing and totally reaching for our food and for our drinks. My mom also says that like your doctor said, the recommendations are changing. They used to be six months. Everyone said six months and now people are saying between four and six months and Emily Oster’s book, Cribsheet, says anywhere between four and six months is fine too and I trust her and I trust her research. The final thing is that a few episodes ago we talked to Dr. Robert Hamilton if you remember and he talked about trying to get early allergen exposures, right?

Shanna Micko: Yes.

Laura Birek: You’re trying to get those peanuts, the wheat, the dairy as early as possible. Not as early as possible. You’re not giving this to a two-week-old, but starting around four months and I was really eager to get that started. So I talked to my mom about it and I decided to go against medical advice and I think we’re going to start him on solid foods this weekend coming up.

Shanna Micko: Cool.

Laura Birek: My mom is actually coming to town. So I think we’re going to do it when she’s here. I ordered some baby spoons on Amazon.

Shanna Micko: Cute.

Laura Birek: So I’ll check back in with that.

Shanna Micko: Okay.

Laura Birek: But also because your doctor said it was okay, it made me think it’s a recommendation, because she said the AAP, the American Academy of Pediatrics says six months. That’s their recommendation. The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends that you room share for 12 months. There’s a lot of recommendations that the AAP gives that are a little bit if not questionable, just sort of open to interpretation, I should say.

Shanna Micko: It feels like they err on the side of caution. They want to be as cautious as possible, because they’re trying to cover the basis of every baby ever. We use our judgment on our own baby and their abilities and stuff.

Laura Birek: Exactly.

Shanna Micko: I get it.

Laura Birek: He really seems ready. He really does. So we’re going to try. I’ll check back and tell you how that cheating went next week.

Shanna Micko: Baby’s first cheating.

Laura Birek: Just to go back to the four months sleep progression, I know we talked about it last week. I don’t want to get too much into sleep, but I think we might be on the tail end of it. It’s gotten better.

Shanna Micko: Oh, good.

Laura Birek: There were like three nights that were just hideous. Like being a newborn again, literally waking up every 60 to 90 minutes. It was crazy.

Shanna Micko: My jaw just like fell open. I was just like, ugh.

Laura Birek: I think last week I was in the thick of it. It was so hard. But so then he’s now waking up two to three times a night, which is much better. But he used to only wake up once a night to nurse. We’ll see what’s happening. But it seems like it might be tapering off. I’m just crossing my fingers, because this is unsustainable.

Shanna Micko: Yes, it is. Are you nursing him all the times he wakes up or are you comforting him back to sleep?

Laura Birek: No, so one tip that I got from my Mommy and Me teacher who, if you remember from last week, she tried to call it the cognitive leap instead of the sleep regression to try to reframe it. She said one reason she does that is, because she wants us to understand that when they’re waking up it’s because the world is so interesting to them.

Shanna Micko: Oh, right. Right. Right.

Laura Birek: It’s not necessarily, because they’re hungry and if they’re getting as much food as they normally do during the day, then they probably don’t eat extra feedings at night. So I have been really good about just calming him back down without resorting to the boob. Actually, I feel very proud of myself. I’ve kept to only one feeding a night this whole time.

Shanna Micko: That’s fantastic. That’s good. It’s not easy, because like we’d mentioned earlier, the impulse is just like, they’re crying. Just feed them and then put them back.

Laura Birek: I do that during the day. I am definitely the person who’s like, it’s been an hour and 45 minutes, but you look hungry. Sure. Here, have a boob. But also I feel like I’d much rather him get his calories during the day than at night. Anyway, so that’s how we’ve been doing with the sleep front. I’m still very tired, but I think we’re getting better.

Shanna Micko: Good.

Laura Birek: Then the final thing is it’s not my BFN for the week. We’re both doubling up on these, but it should be, which is it was my three year wedding anniversary. Is that right? You were one of my bridesmaids. That sounds right.

Shanna Micko: I was and I don’t know what year it was, because my first daughter was four or five months old at the time.

Laura Birek: That’s right.

Shanna Micko: It was my first big outing as a new mom.

Laura Birek: So it was my third wedding anniversary this week.

Shanna Micko: Congratulations.

Laura Birek: Thank you. I did not get Corey a thing. Did not get him a card. I did not write him a heartfelt note. I put on a dress and went to dinner with him that he paid for.

Shanna Micko: You are a tired, tired mother. That’s something.

Laura Birek: I felt bad though. I feel bad. I feel like I should have been able to do something. Honestly, it snuck up on me and I also feel bad, because Corey’s been such a hero this month. I just feel bad, because he has my birthday and then our anniversary really close together and it’s just a lot. He’s great with it. So I’m thinking I might need to go big for like father’s day slash.

Shanna Micko: You could do something for father’s day.

Laura Birek: I think I need to overcompensate. That was kind of a bummer, but we did go out for dinner. We went to a very fancy restaurant downtown.

Shanna Micko: Ooh.

Laura Birek: Actually, one of his friends was a Somali there who paired us with wine for every course.

Shanna Micko: Oh my God, that sounds like a dream.

Laura Birek: It was so good.

Shanna Micko: That’s awesome.

Laura Birek: Yeah.

Shanna Micko: Anyway, that’s fun. There’s so much pressure on us as humans, women, mothers to give, give and I get it. You want to also give so much to your husband on the anniversary, but I relieve you of any of that guilt, because you have a tiny baby and you have given your heart and soul to this baby and your sleep hours in the middle of the night and your breast milk.

Laura Birek: And my body.

Shanna Micko: Yes, your boobs. Your everything. If any year you get a pass on a heartfelt note, it’s this year, girl.

Laura Birek: Thanks, Shanna.

Shanna Micko: I’m sure Corey agrees.

Laura Birek: I know. He said he didn’t care. This is a whole topic to introduce. But for anyone who’s read the Five Love Languages, I am a person who receives love by acts of service. But I think I give love through gift giving. That’s one of mine, so I feel bad when I don’t do it, because I feel like I’m failing. But I don’t think he feels that way.

Shanna Micko: Well, what’s his love language? How does he like to receive gifts?

Laura Birek: To mix our personality types or personality quizzes, if we’re going with Gretchen Rubens four types, what is it?

Shanna Micko: I don’t know if this is getting worse or is getting real.

Laura Birek: The point is for anyone who’s familiar, he’s a questioner. So that means that he doesn’t believe in this sort of crap.

Shanna Micko: I see what you’re saying.

Laura Birek: So I haven’t even bothered asking him to take the quiz to find out what his love language is.

Shanna Micko: Okay.

Laura Birek: I’m pretty sure it’s either words of affirmation or quality time or a combination of both.

Shanna Micko: Dude, words of affirmation. Talk about the easiest love language around, Just be like, “I love you babe,” and they’re fulfilled.

Laura Birek: But that’s if you’re a person who isn’t emotionally stunted like me. I have to work really hard at it. It doesn’t come naturally to me.

Shanna Micko: I see.

Laura Birek: I have to work really hard to actively praise and it’s not that I’m mean. It’s just that I feel like it doesn’t feel sincere for me to say it and so I don’t say it. So I’ve actually actively had to work to just say the nice thing that my heart is feeling off at the time.

Shanna Micko: Yeah.

Laura Birek: It’s interesting, because I’ve heard that from many peoples like, what an easy love language. But for me I find it very hard to express. This went in another direction.

Shanna Micko: Interesting.

Laura Birek: Five Love Languages. Interesting book.

Shanna Micko: Big tangent. I’ve only ever read articles about it online. I should read the book.

Laura Birek: I enjoyed it. I listened to the audio book and I found it very helpful.

Shanna Micko: Cool.

Shanna Micko: Should we move on?

Laura Birek: Yes.

Shanna Micko: Are we done?

Laura Birek: Maybe we should talk about our Myers Briggs personality tests first. I kid.

Shanna Micko: I don’t know.

Laura Birek: That’s another topic.

Shanna Micko: Let’s move on after this break.

Laura Birek: Let’s do it.


Shanna Micko: Welcome back to the show. Our special segment this week is Never Have I Ever: Parenting Edition. The fun game that we play where we talk about the things we never thought we would say, do, experience in life until we had children. Laura, I can’t wait to hear your Never Have I Ever this week. What do you got?

Laura Birek: All right. Never have I ever expressed breast milk into the sink of a very hip restaurant.

Shanna Micko: Whoa. What is going on there?

Laura Birek: If you remember last week, one of my things in my check-in was that I went to a concert with my friend Marilyn.

Shanna Micko: Right.

Laura Birek: The concert started at 10:00 p.m. If I recall your reaction to that was like, go fuck yourself, Hot Chip. I think is what your reaction was.

Shanna Micko: I think it was and that’s not cool.

Laura Birek: It was fine. They only played for an hour. So it actually turns out I maybe didn’t need to do this, but it was about 9:30 and Marilyn and I were at a very hip restaurant on La Brea in Mid-City Los Angeles. It was a very cool restaurant, small plates that kind of thing. Lots of high top tables and thankfully they had individual stalls for bathrooms because it…

Shanna Micko: I was going to say I really hope you did this in an individual stall.

Laura Birek: I don’t think I would’ve had the balls to do this in a communal bathroom, but the desperate time. So it was 9:30. I hadn’t fed my baby since 6:30. I think I pumped right before I left. Usually, I dream feed around 10, 10:30. So my boobs were starting to feel it and I was like, shit, I’m going to this concert. For all I know I could go to one and the El Rey Theater is definitely not a place you want to express breast milk.

Shanna Micko: I guess you could do it into the toilet.

Laura Birek: Oh my God, with a line of 30 women waiting for you. What are you doing in there?

Shanna Micko: I think I have done weirder things in those stalls.

Laura Birek: That is true. So I find myself in this bathroom and also, can I just for a moment talk about the joy of when you have to go to the bathroom and then you discover it’s a single stall?

Shanna Micko: Love it.

Laura Birek: It’s yours. Peace and quiet. So I go there and go pee. I’m washing my hands. I’m like, you know what? I’m feeling my boobs weighing them. I’m like, this is a little dicey. Recently, I actually had watched a video on how to properly hand express.

Shanna Micko: Actually, how do you do that? I wouldn’t have the first idea.

Laura Birek: I had read all this stuff about how you should hand express after pumping. It gets more out and it helps fully drain the breast, so you make more breast milk. Not that I’ve had any problem with supply, but I have eternal paranoia about having problems with supply and so I didn’t know how to do it. I asked my friend, Teresa, who was also a guest on the show. She was the pregnant midwife if you remember, gosh, way back. It was probably in the teens of our episodes when we were both still pregnant, so I asked her. I was like, “How do you hand express?” She sent me a video that I will post a link to on bigfatpositivepodcast.com. It’s a very medical video that’s by the Stanford Perinatal or postnatal lab, blah, blah, blah about how to properly do it and so I watched it and I had started practicing by trying to express after I pumped and it is actually pretty amazing. Once you have the technique down, you actually can get a lot more out.

Shanna Micko: What? Really?

Laura Birek: It was a lifesaver in theory if this concert was going to go long, because I actually was able to get probably an ounce or two out just by squeezing it like I’m a cow into the sink.

Shanna Micko: Oh my God, it’s so funny, because so many people are like liquid gold. Don’t spill it out! You’re just squeezing it down the drain.

Laura Birek: Well, to be fair, I had had three cocktails at that point. So I probably wouldn’t have wanted to actually have my baby drink that. I was definitely a little drunk at that point, so not by the time I got home. But I was like, woo-hoo. No baby. I can drink as much as I want and just squeeze it down the sink.

Shanna Micko: Hilarious.

Laura Birek: But I did check the door to make sure it was locked about five times.

Shanna Micko: Someone would’ve walked in. Hilarious.

Laura Birek: Then Marilyn was like, what took you so long? She didn’t actually say that, because that’s a rude thing to ask when someone comes back from the bathroom.

Shanna Micko: Everyone assumes number two.

Laura Birek: Yeah, exactly. But I was like, “I just expressed a bunch of breast milk. I’m ready to go.” She was like, “What?” So that is the thing that I did that I never could have imagined I’d do before I had kids. Shanna, do you have something for us that you never thought you’d do and now is totally normal?

Shanna Micko: But of course. I love that yours came with an amazing story and I feel like I have a few that are just kind of small little things. Why don’t I just share them all?

Laura Birek: Okay. The more the merrier. Let’s hear it.

Shanna Micko: All right. So here are some of the never have I evers from my life recently. Never have I ever been locked in a dark closet holding a crying baby.

Laura Birek: What? Is this at home?

Shanna Micko: Yes, could you imagine if it were at Ikea in a fake closet?

Laura Birek: Quick why.

Shanna Micko: Really quick. So this is because I was playing hide and seek with my three-year-old and if you have a three-year-old, you know how demanding they are. 

It’s like, play hide and seek with me. You’re like, okay. So I’m holding the baby and Elle, the three-year-old, is closing her eyes and so I sneak into a closet and I’m in there and she starts crying and the three year old’s like, I can’t find you. She’s just oh my God, but she knows where I am.

Laura Birek: Of course.

Shanna Micko: She’s playing this game.

Laura Birek: Suspension of disbelief. Yes.

Shanna Micko: So I’m in the dark coat closet at the front of our house with my baby.

Laura Birek: Amazing.

Shanna Micko: Never thought I would be in that position. Here’s another one. I have never said the phrase, “Stop licking your butt on the baby blanket,” so many times in my life.

Laura Birek: I hope this isn’t about Steve.

Shanna Micko: His butt licking habit is so annoying. He’s always like, I got to get down on the baby blanket. No, these are my dogs who I’ve talked about so many times who I just love and also annoyed by. I spread out a huge baby blanket in the living room, especially when I’m working so that CeCe can roll around and play and if I don’t set up a little gate to separate them, I call it their grooming parlor. They just go to whatever rug or blanket is cleanest and lay down, lick their anus, lick their paws, lick their junk, their genitals and it’s just like, stop it. This isn’t the grooming parlor. So I have been like, “Stop licking your butt on the baby blanket.”

Laura Birek: At least they don’t do that butt scoot thing.

Shanna Micko: They do that too. Girl, they do it all. But you know I try to model polite behavior for my children. So I’m like, “Chili, Sasha, stop licking your butt on the baby blanket,” instead of get your ass off the blanket, which is kind of what…

Laura Birek: That’s what your heart is saying.

Shanna Micko: Oh God, yes. I do love my dogs. I have two more.

Laura Birek: Okay.

Shanna Micko: Never have I ever played catch with a diaper full of urine.

Laura Birek: Oh, boy.

Shanna Micko: So some of these definitely have a little more to do with my older kid. If you have older kids, just like the wacky shit you get into, because they come up with these ideas and you’re like, okay. She still wears a diaper to bed, my older one, and in the morning it’s full of pee. So I take it off and wrap it up and I took it off in the morning she’s like, “Throw it to me,” and I’m just tired and I’m like, okay and I toss it to her. She catches it and she throws it back and I catch it and I’m just like, holy shit. It’s 6:00 a.m. and I’m dead tired and I’m playing catch with a diaper full of urine.

Laura Birek: Amazing.

Shanna Micko: So there’s that one and then here’s the last one. This one also has to do with Elle my three-year-old. Never have I ever been jealous of a three year old’s abs. Her abs are killer. She is active all day.

Laura Birek: Does she have a six pack?

Shanna Micko: Pretty much. I’m just like, girl, I want your six pack and I’m like Shanna, she’s three. She’s physical like 12 hours per day. She comes home after a long day and runs back and forth in the house. That’s what she does. She just runs. She’s like, look at me. Run. I can barely walk to the bathroom without like collapsing.

Laura Birek: She also hasn’t had two babies.

Shanna Micko: Or lived 40 years or had an addiction to chocolate chip cookies and Jersey Mike’s Subs.

Laura Birek: Girl, I got a gallon of ice cream and I don’t think I put a single scoop of that ice cream in a separate bowl. I ate the whole thing not in one sitting, but I’m beyond bowls at this point.

Shanna Micko: That’s the point. So I feel this is extra dishes. So anyway, those are my never have I evers.

Laura Birek: Amazing.

Shanna Micko: I feel very vulnerable right now.

Laura Birek: I think they’re hilarious and relatable and everyone’s going to love them.

Shanna Micko: Oh my gosh.

Laura Birek: Plus I’m the one who was in a hip restaurant squeezing my boobs like a freaking cow. Nothing makes you feel more like a cow than manual expression though I will say.

Shanna Micko: Yes, I can only imagine.

Laura Birek: All right. Well, shall we wrap this episode up after a quick break?

Shanna Micko: Let’s do it.


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

Shanna Micko: This week I have a BFN. I don’t know if I mentioned this on the show. I think I’ve mentioned it to you. I did move my baby CeCe to her crib and I moved her to her own room. So she’s in her own room in her own crib now and this crib is a hand-me-down from my older daughter and I wanted to get her a new mattress. So the crib is fine.

Laura Birek: Can I clarify real quick? It was a hand-me-down as in your daughter used it, but it was new then, or it was a hand-me-down that your daughter used and now it’s again being handed down.

Shanna Micko: It was new when we got it for Elle and so it’s about three years old and the mattress that’s been in there, she used that for about two and a half years and the last year I guess she just stood, jumped all kinds of things on the mattress and it was cracking and blah, blah, blah. So I wanted to get a new mattress in the used crib for CeCe.

Laura Birek: Makes sense.

Shanna Micko: So this is kind of a little BFP tag on here. My mom recently won $100 gift card to Walmart.

Laura Birek: Oh, nice. Wow.

Shanna Micko: She gifted it to us.

Laura Birek: Aww.

Shanna Micko: So she gifted it to us to spend on the kids, which is awesome and I was like, we need a new mattress for the crib. So I went online and I got a mattress called the Sealy Ortho Rest Crib and Toddler Mattress. I’m like Sealy, I’ve heard of that. It had some recent reviews. It had like a hundred reviews, not a million. It was available in Walmart and so I was like, okay, cool. So we got it and I used it for I’m telling you not even one week and it started developing a permanent indentation where my daughter’s head rested.

Laura Birek: Really?

Shanna Micko: Yeah, she sleeps in a Merlin sleep sack, so she doesn’t roll. She doesn’t move very much when she sleeps, but still when I would get her out of the bed, the indentation where her head was would just remain.

Laura Birek: That’s crazy, because one of the things about crib mattresses is they’re supposed to be so firm that they don’t create any dips or anything like that.

Shanna Micko: Of course, that’s how they market it. They’re like super firm, extra coils, blah, blah, blah. I used it for a couple days and I’m like, I don’t think that indentation is going away. This is terrible.

Laura Birek: Wow.

Shanna Micko: So I’m like, that feels really, really unsafe, because she’s going to be rolling soon and putting our face in this mattress and so I was like, I have to return this mattress, which was a whole rigmarole, because returns with Walmart are so annoying. I’m used to Amazon, which you just click online that you want to return it. They give you your money back, you send the thing back. They get it. You just keep the money, so I had to package it up, send it back. That took like a week and then it took three weeks for them to process and finally got the money back on the gift card. But anyway, so it was a big fail and I was so bummed, but we got the money back finally and I bought another mattress, which is the same one we used for my first daughter. I ended up just getting it on Amazon and this one’s great. I love it. So this one I’m going to share with you guys, too. This one is the Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams Crib Mattress and I used it for Elle and even though she jumped on it and stuff and it kind of started cracking at the end, t was super firm, never had an indentation, was perfectly great and safe for years and it was only $50.

Laura Birek: Wow. That sounds fun.

Shanna Micko: Has like 3000 positive reviews. So I recommend that one and not the Sealy Ortho.

Laura Birek: That’s a bummer. This is making me think, because we have a crib that’s a third generation hand-me-down and I don’t know how new the mattress is. It started with my five-year-old niece and it’s now been used with my five-year-old niece, my four-year-old niece and my two-year-old niece. But I don’t know. I feel like maybe they bought the mattress more recently. It still looks like it’s in really good condition, but now I’m all paranoid. Now I need to think I need to go check it out.

Shanna Micko: I would check it out or ask them, because when I got this new mattress that was the same brand as the previous one, I could tell instantly how much wear and tear that old one had gotten.

Laura Birek: Really? Interesting.

Shanna Micko: Yeah, it was way flatter, way spongier and that didn’t occur to me until I saw it side by side with a brand new super firm version that hadn’t been stomped on.

Laura Birek: I’ll have to look.

Shanna Micko: Take a look.

Laura Birek: Anyway, he’s sleeping in his crib yet, but he does take naps in it.

Shanna Micko: It’s definitely a good thing to think about. What about you? Do you have a BFP or BFN?

Laura Birek: I have a BFP.

Shanna Micko: Cool.

Laura Birek: It’s a product again, but I just feel like when you have a new baby, when you find something that makes your life easier or is more fun, you want to share it. I feel like we share a lot of products and I feel like, oh God, are we always just sharing products? But I love these things and I’m not even that big of a shopper. I don’t know about you, but I never buy anything for myself. But I feel like I’m buying things constantly for this baby. So here’s my most recent one. It’s the Dr. Brown’s Fresh Firsts Silicone Feeder.

Shanna Micko: What even is that?

Laura Birek: I know. So it just looks like a really big pacifier and it has this silicone end that has little holes in it and it’s probably two or three inches long and what you do is you put fresh food like fruits or veggies or whatever into it and you give it to the baby to numb on and they can’t get big particles, because it just can only go through these little holes.

Shanna Micko: Ooh.

Laura Birek: So it’s supposed to be for your first foods and it’s supposed to make it easier for you to give them food. Like if you have a bunch of blueberries, you can just stick it in there and you know they’re not going to choke, because they have to chew on it and it’s good for teething, which is why I bought it.

Shanna Micko: Awesome.

Laura Birek: But here’s what I’ve been doing with it and this was a tip that I got from my friend, Keri, who was also a guest on the show.

Shanna Micko: We’ve given a shout out to every guest.

Laura Birek: All of our guests, yes. She got this from an Instagram user called can do kiddo, I think.

Shanna Micko: I follow them.

Laura Birek: What you do is you can put frozen breast milk in the feeder and then they can chew on it and it slowly melts, but it soothes their little gums. I think the baby is just starting to pre-teeth. He’s really drooling a lot more and really wants to chew on things all the time, so I got some breast milk. I actually took one of my smaller bags, like a two ounce bag that I had frozen that was some random size that I couldn’t freeze the full whole six ounces or whatever and because breast milk is full of sugar and fat, it was easy to sort of chip off pieces and put it in and he loved it. He couldn’t get enough of it. I had to refill it like three times and I finally had to be like, look, you can’t get all your breast milk from this frozen feeder thing.

Shanna Micko: Does it make a big mess though?

Laura Birek: Oh, yes. Do not do this on a nice carpet. He had a bib on and I just assumed that, because half of it ends up on his shirt or on his hands, but he was really excited by it. So it was just a big win and I think it made his mouth feel better.

Shanna Micko: I love that. That sounds awesome.

Laura Birek: So that’s my BFP. I’ll put a link to it at bigfatpositivepodcast.com. You can also find us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at BFP Podcast and make sure you subscribe in whatever podcast platform you listen to, whether it’s Anchor or Spotify or iTunes and leave us a review and a rating if you can. It really helps people find us.

Shanna Micko: Big Fat Positive is produced by Shanna Micko, Laura Birek and Steve Yager. Thank you for listening, everybody.

Laura Birek: Thanks. See you next week.

Shanna Micko: Bye.