Ep. 56: Tiny Babies, Mom Dreams and Getting Nap Trapped
July 29, 2019
In this week’s episode, “Today I Learned,” Shanna and Laura discuss tiny babies and thirst while breastfeeding. Also, Shanna talks about her recent parenting nightmare, and Laura gives an update on her sleep-training journey using the Taking Cara Babies method. Finally, they reveal their BFPs and BFNs for the week. Shanna’s baby is 28 weeks old, and Laura’s baby is 24 weeks old.
- Aquaphor for Babies* Shanna swears by this miracle product to prevent diaper rash, help dry skin, and basically just work like magic for her baby! *affiliate link
- Taking Cara Babies* This is Laura's sleep guru -- she posts great articles on her blog, and her baby-sleep courses are GREAT! *affiliate link
- Tiniest Babies Registry Check out the teeny tiny smooshes that Shanna discussed in this episode! Content/trigger warning: these are micropreemies, so some outcomes listed aren't happy.
- Thirst induced by a suckling episode during breast feeding and relation with plasma vasopressin, oxytocin and osmoregulation. AKA "Does Oxytocin make you thirsty?"
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Shanna Micko: Hi. Welcome to Big Fat Positive with Shanna and Laura. On this week’s episode we have our weekly check-ins. We have our special segment, Today I Learned, where we answer the question, why does breastfeeding make us so thirsty? We wrap it up with our weekly BFPs and BFNs. Let’s get to it.
Shanna Micko: Hi. Welcome to episode 56. Laura, how are you? You want to give us your check-in?
Laura Birek: Yeah, hi. We’re great. My baby is 24 weeks old, which is about five and a half months. I know that you kind of stopped keeping track at some point. I should mention that now I have to look on my little baby tracker app every week to know how many weeks he is.
Shanna Micko: Right. Around like 19 weeks I feel like it’s when it starts to just go away.
Laura Birek: It starts becoming less. Every week is not this big monumental thing anymore. When your baby is four to five weeks old, the difference between four weeks and five weeks is huge. But the difference between 23 and 24 weeks, it’s less huge. So he’s about five and a half months. My week has been interesting. The first thing that I want to talk about is I want to follow up on sleep training, which, as you know, last week we talked about my first week of sleep training, where we ended the week with him sleeping entirely through the night on his own.
Shanna Micko: Please do. Crossing my fingers so hard. That’s been the status quo.
Laura Birek: I got my logs and he woke up one time the entire week in the middle of the night.
Shanna Micko: That’s amazing.
Laura Birek: That one time was when our stupid, I shouldn’t say stupid, I like it a lot. When the Owlet monitor had a bad reading, something went wrong and it couldn’t get a reading and so it started alarming.
Shanna Micko: Oh gosh.
Laura Birek: It woke him up.
Shanna Micko: Did that freak you out?
Laura Birek: No, because the nice thing about the Owlet alarm is that there’s different alarms for the different things. So if there’s like a low oxygen or a low heartbeat, it has a different sound than it can’t get a reading or the sock is misplaced on the foot. I knew this one, because it used to happen a lot before we were really good at getting the sock on him. Or you’re used to it, because sometimes you forget to turn it off before you take the sock off of him in the morning, and then it’ll start making the song. It’s hush little baby. It’s like, na-na-na-na. It’s a really terrible little tone. So I knew what it was and I was just like, oh my God, it’s waking the baby up.
Shanna Micko: Why does it wake him up, because it doesn’t the alarm go off by you?
Laura Birek: Here’s the thing. The base station for the Owlet has to be within I think it’s like 50 feet of the baby. It’s because it’s Bluetooth. The idea is that if your Wi-Fi goes out, it’s still working and so I can’t have it in my room and still pick up the baby. So it’s in his room.
Shanna Micko: But you have to have it loud enough so you can hear it in your room.
Laura Birek: It gets picked up by the monitor. There’s no different sound levels. It’s just what it is.
Shanna Micko: I see.
Laura Birek: So it woke him up and I was a little pissed, but I actually that night nursed him back to sleep in the middle of the night, even though that’s not on plan. But I decided it was okay, because it’s not his fault. He woke up. It’s the alarms fault.
Shanna Micko: Justifying you breaking the rules, Laura.
Laura Birek: I know. I’m all about exceptions. But the good news is that the next night he slept straight through. I have his first wake. He slept from 7:47 to 6:01 a.m. and I had to call 6:01 a middle of the night wake, because you’re supposed to hold them to that 11 hours. It says he woke up and cried for one minute, then went back to sleep. So he’s doing great sleeping through the night.
Shanna Micko: Yes.
Laura Birek: His naps are still crap, but we’re thinking about nap training, but I think we need to wait because you’re supposed to get your nights under control first and Cara says it’s usually too much stress to have both daytime sleep and nighttime sleep training at the same time. So I’m still booming him to sleep during the day.
Shanna Micko: Booming him to sleep, oh my God, that’s a great phrase. Put that on a t-shirt.
Laura Birek: But I’m hoping we’ll be able to nap train, because I still can’t do anything during the day because I’m nap trapped.
Shanna Micko: Another great phrase. Well, one step at a time. I am so proud of you guys for doing the sleep training and the success with that. So that’s awesome and a huge win.
Laura Birek: Yes.
Shanna Micko: Just let’s celebrate that right now.
Laura Birek: I’m celebrating. I cannot believe how good it feels to sleep through the night and I’m starting to actually sleep instead of constantly waking up and checking the video monitor and the Owlet to make sure he’s okay.
Shanna Micko: Good.
Laura Birek: Maybe once a night I’ll wake up to pee. I haven’t slept through the night since my third trimester, I think. My brain has not adjusted either.
Shanna Micko: Yes, it does. It takes a while to get back in the rhythm for sure.
Laura Birek: One thing that hasn’t gotten back in the rhythm is my boobs. They’re not used to going all night without feeding a baby. So that’s been a challenge. I’m lucky, because I don’t leak really. I don’t know why I’ve never really had a problem with leakage. I think I must have really elastic boobs.
Shanna Micko: You’ve had no problems. You don’t leak. You have enough supply. You’re just like the breastfeeding unicorn. That’s what I decided.
Laura Birek: Thank you. I like being a unicorn. I’m very grateful that my boobs have performed this well.
Shanna Micko: 10 out of 10! Good job boobs!
Laura Birek: I have to say that you got in the way during jogging in middle school, but you’re doing your job now.
Shanna Micko: They’ve come around.
Laura Birek: But I think I have big boobs. They’ve always been fairly large and I think they’re very elastic. So they fill up before they start leaking. Oh, but they are sore in the morning. So sore. Hopefully, they say as you night wean your body gets used to not feeding at night and your supply sort of regulates. It’s kind of magical. How does your body know to produce during the day and not at night? I don’t know.
Shanna Micko: I don’t know either, but it is totally true. For the first I’d say week or several days after CeCe was sleeping through the night, same thing with me. But now, not a problem to the point where you’re like, do I even have anything in there, because it just feels like nothing?
Laura Birek: It’s so weird.
Shanna Micko: It just feels so normal now, but she still seems satisfied.
Laura Birek: It’s fascinating. The whole thing, I could not imagine what breastfeeding was like before having a baby. It’s such a weird, unique experience and I guess it’s not unique.
A lot of women in the world do it, but I just didn’t know what to expect from it and it’s so bizarre. But also I’m also one of, like you said, a unicorn. I actually kind of enjoy it.
Shanna Micko: Good.
Laura Birek: I don’t have pain and I have no real supply issues, so I just kind of have enjoyed being able to do it. But whew, that first thing in the morning after a full night’s sleep I feel bad. I shouldn’t complain. I feel like there’s a lot of moms out there who probably would give anything for a full night’s sleep. So I just want to say it’s possible. It will happen again and your boobs will be sore AF.
Shanna Micko: Yes.
Laura Birek: That was my week. We’re smooth sailing over here hoping this nighttime sleep stays good and we’re officially done with the sleep training. We’ve done our 14 nights, so now we are just in past tense sleep trained world.
Shanna Micko: That’s so awesome. Yay. Welcome to sleep land, Laura.
Laura Birek: Oh my God, I’ve missed it so much.
Shanna Micko: Feels so good.
Laura Birek: One interesting thing about getting my sleep back is that I’ve gotten my dreams back too, more or less. I’ve always been a very vivid dreamer and I’ve always remembered all my dreams and while I’ve been so sleep deprived, I’ve had dreams here and there, but they haven’t been my like long, epic, vivid dreams that I’ve had my whole life basically. Now they’re back and I’m like, oh yeah, I remember what this is like.
Shanna Micko: Wow.
Laura Birek: My brain must be recovering slowly.
Shanna Micko: I think so.
Laura Birek: Anyway, that’s my week. What are you up to this week?
Shanna Micko: CeCe is 28 weeks old, which means she’s about six and a half months and since you just mentioned dreams, I’m going to start with this part of the check-in. It’s so funny you mentioned it because I was going to talk about a crazy dream I had.
Laura Birek: Oh, yeah.
Shanna Micko: Because same with me, I guess my dreams have come back. I’m not an intense dreamer like you are, but I have noticed that the dreams have come back and occasionally I have really stressful dreams about the kids.
Laura Birek: Oh, God.
Shanna Micko: I think maybe I just need to get this off my chest. This is not going to be an amazingly up positive story. So fast forward, if you don’t want to hear this. But I dreamt that our friend Jen was in this dream with me and we were doing something with work, because Jen and I work together and the crux of it is I realized halfway through the work day that I had left CeCe in the hot car in her car seat.
Laura Birek: Oh my God, that is a nightmare.
Shanna Micko: I went home and I was like, “Oh my God, Steve. I left CeCe in the hot car.” So we were running back to work, which is hilarious, because I live like 20 miles from work.
Laura Birek: Not a big run.
Shanna Micko: No, we got there in a jiff in my dream and the terror I felt inside, dreams can be so visceral and so real and so scary sometimes. It was horrible. I remember this one piece of my dream. I was like, “Steve, are you going to divorce me over this?” He’s like, “Hell yes. I’m going to divorce you over this. But first let’s get that baby,” and we were running and running and then I woke up.
Laura Birek: So you didn’t get to have a resolution?
Shanna Micko: No, I got to tell you, I was really, really happy, because I don’t like resolutions in dreams that may or may not be good news.
Laura Birek: That’s a good point.
Shanna Micko: I did not feel like that dream was going in a good direction. So I woke up and was panicked and I dealt with that emotional experience for quite a while. Still just thinking about it it’s just like, oh my gosh.
Laura Birek: It’s so interesting how dreams have an effect on your waking life. You think you would wake up and just be like, well, that was a dream. But they really emotionally affect me. I think they affect a lot of people. I remember back before I had my son, my worst nightmares were always like Corey cheating on me or something or saying he doesn’t love me and you wake up and you’re mad at them.
Shanna Micko: Yes.
Laura Birek: You try not to be, but you’re just like, God, you were such a jerk in my dream last night.
Shanna Micko: Last night I had a dream I had an affair with Paul Rudd.
Laura Birek: Oh my God, that’s a good dream, Shanna.
Shanna Micko: It was good on one hand. But I was so guilty and the guilt was part of the dream. It’s like, oh my God, Paul Rudd likes me? This is me in my dream, “Oh my God, I’m such a special woman.” Then in my dream I’m also, “But Steve, I love Steve so much and I would never do this to him. Why did I sleep with Paul Rudd?”
Laura Birek: This is a really good sign about your marriage. But in your dream, the ageless Paul Rudd who is so adorable is interested in you and your first thought is Steve.
Shanna Micko: Yes.
Laura Birek: It’s a good side.
Shanna Micko: Hopefully, he’ll be happy to hear that: Steve, not Paul Rudd.
Laura Birek: Sorry, Paul Rudd. If you’re losing, we do love you, but we’re not going to leave our husbands for you.
Shanna Micko: That’s right. Anyway, that was my big emotional dream thing for the week. My other emotional check-in for the week is so things have been smooth sailing and CeCe’s been really happy, but the shrieking and, how do I say this?
Laura Birek: Pterodactyl noises?
Shanna Micko: The shrieking and the pterodactyl noises have returned. Oh my gosh, I just love her. But when she is working on something, I assume she’s working on crawling and getting frustrated and so it is just screaming and crying or the teething. I often don’t know what’s going on exactly and so I’m pulling out all the stops, trying to comfort her and it often doesn’t work well and so that just puts me in a tailspin. But the weird thing is that I checked Wonder Weeks, which talks about the developmental leaps of the babies, which I assumed she’s acting like she’s in a leap. But I’m pretty sure she’s not, because there’s a big gap between leap five and six. So I’ve been so confused and I checked the app just being like, well, we’ll see how far we are to the next one and here’s what it says. So CeCe is 29 weeks and this is what it says, “A big disclaimer,” the first note I see when I open it, “Fussy and irritable behavior at around 29 or 39 weeks is not a telltale sign of another leap. Your baby has simply discovered that her mommy can walk away and leave her behind and as funny as it may sound, this is progress. It’s a new skill and your baby’s learning about distance.”
Laura Birek: Aww.
Shanna Micko: I was like, I know she’s also going through crawling and probably teething, but I’m like that gave me another level of awareness and understanding about what she’s going through. Like when I walk away, she’s like, wait, where did mom go? Whereas before I was like, didn’t even register on her radar.
Laura Birek: Huh. That’s so interesting. Is that the beginning of separation anxiety?
Shanna Micko: Probably. I think right around here they kind of learn that you’re a separate person from them and that you can leave and go away and come back. We have a lot going on in our household. Her progress toward crawling is improving every day. She’s getting stronger and stronger and I think that’s coming soon, but not yet. So it is a source of frustration for her and even though it seems like she’s teething, no teeth anywhere in sight.
Laura Birek: No?
Shanna Micko: Just not out of the draw. All this stuff is just taking forever. It’s so funny you think it’s going to happen, happen right away, right away and it’s a progress.
Laura Birek: My mom has been predicting my baby teething for months now. Corey keeps saying that she’ll be right eventually, because he’s always been big on chewing things and he drools a lot. I think when he was two months she’s like, I think he’s teething. I’m like, wouldn’t that be early? She’s like, it happens and it does. I know it does. Some babies are born with teeth. Did you know that?
Shanna Micko: One of my friends claimed she was born with teeth.
Laura Birek: Crazy. Can you imagine? Anyway, but we just continue with the baby who enjoys chewing things and lots of drool. One day they will show up.
Shanna Micko: One day it’ll pop through and you’ll be like, hey. Congratulations.
Laura Birek: Then it continues for like 18 months.
Shanna Micko: What a great time, but that’s all for me this week. Should we move on to our special segment?
Laura Birek: Let’s do it.
Laura Birek: Hi. Welcome back to the show. So this week’s special segment is Today I Learned where we talk about new and cool things we’ve learned about. Shanna, what did you learn recently?
Shanna Micko: Today I learned that there is something called the Tiniest Babies Registry.
Laura Birek: What?
Shanna Micko: Did you know about this?
Laura Birek: No, how tiny are these babies?
Shanna Micko: They’re tiny. They’re called micro preemies and the reason I came across it is I was struck by an article that came out recently about the world’s tiniest surviving baby. She was recently born at 8.6 ounces.
Laura Birek: Oh my God.
Shanna Micko: I know. She’s so tiny. She was born at 23 weeks in California.
Laura Birek: Wow.
Shanna Micko: She’s so tiny and she survived, which is the good news.
Laura Birek: Very good news.
Shanna Micko: She was just recently released from the hospital. She was in the hospital for five months after being born so tiny, but she survived and she’s doing great, which is wonderful and she’s super cute. They have a picture of her after she’s leaving the hospital. They put a little graduation cap on her like she’s graduated from the hospital. So adorable. That in itself I thought was fascinating and interesting.
Laura Birek: Totally. 23 weeks. Oh my gosh. What is to have a baby at 23 weeks?
Shanna Micko: No, obviously it was an emergency C-section. There were complications and the mom’s life was at risk and so they did the procedure and the fact that a baby that’s like half a pound: that’s so small. So that blew my mind and just made me really happy and then within the article I found out that she’s the number one tiniest baby on the Tiniest Babies Registry, which is something that the University of Iowa Health Care Center manages.
Laura Birek: Okay.
Shanna Micko: They have information going back to the 1930s.
Laura Birek: Wow.
Shanna Micko: They gather information from parents of tiny babies, micro preemies or doctors, healthcare facilities, et cetera and then they’ll track as best they can the development of the babies through time. For example, there’s a baby here that was born in 1938 in the United Kingdom. Her birth weight was 283 grams. I don’t know how many ounces that is off the top of my head.
Laura Birek: I’m going to Google it: 238 gram in ounce.
Shanna Micko: 283.
Laura Birek: Let me strip that. Did you know that you can just Google that: you can say 283 grams of ounces and it pops up with the answer?
Shanna Micko: I love Google.
Laura Birek: That’s almost 10 ounces. So 9.98 ounces.
Shanna Micko: Okay. Still super small, less than a pound, but bigger than the micro preemie was just talking about and this one was actually born at 34 weeks gestational age. So a little much older actually. I don’t know the story. It’s not like it comes with an article or anything, but that’s the info and then you can click on the most recent information about this person and find out that at one year old, the baby weighed 13 pounds, 14 ounces and at 21 years old she weighed 106 pounds.
Laura Birek: So maybe a less little lower than average, but still within the range of an average person.
Shanna Micko: Yeah.
Laura Birek: I bet that’s a really interesting thing for parents of micro preemies to be able to look at too, because if you have a really small micro preemie and you’re in the NICU for months and you’re trying to figure out what’s going to happen to my baby, you can go to this registry and find similar babies and see how they did.
Shanna Micko: Yes, oh my gosh. There’s photographs.
Laura Birek: That’s cool.
Shanna Micko: Here’s one that the baby was born in 1998 in Iowa City, Iowa 387 grams, which 10-ish ounces, 11 ounces.
Laura Birek: 378 did you say?
Shanna Micko: 387.
Laura Birek: Why do I keep transposing them in ounces? 387 is 13.6 ounces.
Shanna Micko: Born at 24 weeks and what we know about this person now she’s 18 years old, 100 pounds. She loves animals. She likes to write poetry.
Laura Birek: Aww.
Shanna Micko: I know. Oh my God, there’s a picture of her age three. She’s as cute as a button.
Laura Birek: That’s adorable.
Shanna Micko: Then here’s a picture of her at age 18.
Laura Birek: Still cute as a button?
Shanna Micko: Still cute as a button wearing an adorable leopard print shirt.
Laura Birek: That’s good. Not piercings and tattoos.
Shanna Micko: No, she looks slightly more emo than she did at three.
Laura Birek: Not that there’s anything wrong with piercings and tattoos, but there’s cognitive dissonance when you see a cute little baby and then you’re like, oh my God, they’re an adult now.
Shanna Micko: Nothing. So it’s a very interesting thing. Something I never knew existed. If this is something you’re looking to check out, just a little warning, not all the outcomes are positive. It does list any conditions or struggles the person may have had in life. You might want to avoid it if it’s a potential trigger for you, but I will post that link on our show notes. So if anyone’s interested in the tiniest babies, you can check it out.
Laura Birek: That’s so cool. I want to look at the little itty bitty babies.
Shanna Micko: Super cute. So what about you, Laura? What have you learned recently?
Laura Birek: All right. You breastfeed. I breastfeed. A lot of our listeners breastfeed.
One thing I have noticed is that when I sit down to feed my baby, if my very large Hydro Flask bottle full of ice water isn’t right next to me, I am livid because I get so thirsty when I’m breastfeeding. Does the same thing happen to you?
Shanna Micko: I can relate. Not so much anymore, but maybe that’s because I’ve cut out a bunch of feedings, but yeah.
Laura Birek: Oh my gosh, if I sit down and the minute he starts feeding, I’m just like parch like I’ve never had water before. I was mentioning this to someone and they were like, oh yeah, that’s the oxytocin.
Shanna Micko: Huh?
Laura Birek: I was like, what? You know that oxytocin gets released in your brain when you start breastfeeding.
Shanna Micko: Isn’t that the feel good hormone?
Laura Birek: Yeah, oxytocin is the feel good hormone as you mentioned that gets released when you’re breastfeeding also like when you’re having sex and stuff like that.
Shanna Micko: If you’re lucky.
Laura Birek: That’s true. If you got a good partner and I didn’t realize, but someone told me that it is the cause of your intense thirst when you’re breastfeeding.
Shanna Micko: Why?
Laura Birek: I don’t know. I decided to fact check this and I found this article. Actually, it’s a paper in clinical endocrinology from 1995 that the title of this, get ready, I’m going to see if I can say this in one go: thirst induced by a suckling episode during breastfeeding and relation with plasma, vasopressin, oxytocin, and osmo-regulation. Thrilling.
Shanna Micko: Say what?
Laura Birek: Basically, they took 10 healthy breastfeeding women who were between 28 and 52 days postpartum and measured their serum, oxytocin and different levels of other stuff. But we’re just paying attention to the oxytocin. Then compared it with their reported levels of thirst and it was one of those like, so you need to study to do this? Conclusions, this study confirms that suckling is a potent stimulus to thirst in the mother. Really. But what they don’t know is actually how it works, why it happens and their conclusion is that the oxytocin does go up while the thirst goes up, but they don’t know if it’s just a correlation or what. I’m ready to say that it’s a causation. I think that it probably makes sense evolutionarily that something would cause you to be thirsty when you breastfeed, because you need that water to replace the fluid that you’re losing breastfeeding.
Shanna Micko: Absolutely.
Laura Birek: So as you’ve said many times, the water is a great galactagogue. I just thought it was interesting that people have been doing studies on it and I am now blaming my thirst on my oxytocin. But I was also glad to hear that other people had the same problem, because I actually kind of thought it was just like, I’m just a water bottle kind of person. I always love having my water bottle with me.
Shanna Micko: I’m addicted now.
Laura Birek: Oh, man. I think I made my Hydro Flask a BFP ages ago. I freaking love that thing. So I’m glad to know that it’s not just me.
Shanna Micko: I wonder is it really related to the oxytocin necessarily or just the fact that our body is like, liquid going out, liquid needs to go in.
Laura Birek: Sure. Maybe it’s more complicated than just the oxytocin. But I guess there’s no good way to know. I guess you could pump people full of oxytocin and then see if they get thirsty. But that doesn’t seem. I do think people get thirsty after having sex.
Shanna Micko: There you go. Just get a room full of people, make a little orgasm, see how thirsty they are on a scale one to 10.
Laura Birek: Just measure the water consumption on porn sets.
Shanna Micko: There you go. I think we should be scientists, Laura.
Laura Birek: Definitely. We’re definitely coming up with some good models.
Shanna Micko: Some good hypotheses.
Laura Birek: But I thought it was cool to learn that there’s a physiological thing that’s going on. It makes sense if you think about it logically, but I think I was kind of self-conscious about my addiction to my water bottle. So I just feel good about it being not just me.
Shanna Micko: There’s a reason.
Laura Birek: There’s a reason for the season that is oxytocin.
Shanna Micko: Is what they say.
Laura Birek: That is what everyone says. Well, what do you think? Should we move on to our BFPs and BFNs after a quick break?
Shanna Micko: Let’s do it.
Laura Birek: I need to drink some water. I don’t know about you.
Shanna Micko: We’re back with our weekly BFPs and BFNs. Laura, what do you have for us this week?
Laura Birek: I have a BFN.
Shanna Micko: What?
Laura Birek: One thing I didn’t talk about during my weekly check-in was that this week I had my first overnight alone with the baby.
Shanna Micko: Why?
Laura Birek: Corey went to Vegas for about 24 hours to celebrate his best man’s 40th birthday. I knew this was coming. He made the plans I think right when the baby was born and he was smart to make it only like a 24 hour trip. I think he flew from Burbank to Vegas at like 11:00 a.m. and was back by noon the next day. So it’s not that different from what I have to do. I normally take care of the baby all by myself during the day. I just had to do bedtime by myself.
Shanna Micko: Well, because he is sleeping through the night now. He’s asleep at the exact time.
Laura Birek: It should be easy peasy. So my BFN is nighttime anxiety.
Shanna Micko: Oh, God. I can relate to that. Tell me all about it.
Laura Birek: I’ve never been great at being home alone. If always, I had a little bit of anxiety about people breaking in or monsters in the closet when I was little.
Shanna Micko: Because you grew up with ghosts in your house as we learned a couple of episodes ago.
Laura Birek: I do think that has something to do with it. But that again is a story for another day or another podcast.
Shanna Micko: Indeed.
Laura Birek: But I did grow up with a lot of anxiety falling asleep and being worried about all kinds of things and my dreams have been very vivid, so I’ll wake up from a really bad nightmare and when I’m home alone, I have no one to snuggle up next to and make me feel like I’m safe. The other thing that was kind of shitty about the timing of Corey going out of town was that it happened to coincide with the one year anniversary of my friend who died last year who was killed and we didn’t think about this when we scheduled the trip. It literally didn’t occur to me.
I knew that the anniversary was coming up, but I didn’t think I should look and see when it is and so that day ended up being really pretty hard for me. Then on top of it, there had been some stuff in the news. There was like a really big piece about him that was lovely and talked about his life and I had just read it, but it brought everything right up to the forefront and then I had to be home alone with the baby.
Shanna Micko: That’s hard.
Laura Birek: I barely slept, Shanna. I kept trying to fall asleep. I nearly went into the baby’s room to sleep there, because I just kept checking. We have nest cams. So we have like, outdoor cameras on the front and the back of the house and indoor and I just spent almost all night just staring at my phone watching the nest cams. Every time the motion sensor light came on outside, I panicked and had to look at the nest cam and I was trying to do all the things I normally do to calm my anxiety. I’m usually pretty good at managing it, but I just couldn’t do it and I was very, very much a wreck and did not get very much sleep. So that’s my BFN.
Shanna Micko: That’s hard.
Laura Birek: I feel like I should be better. You know what I mean? I want to be an independent woman in 2019 and not have to worry about being home alone, but adding the baby to it just…
Shanna Micko: You have a five month old baby. You are in a vulnerable position and you’re just being human and feeling that and experiencing that. I’d be stressed out too.
Laura Birek: He has doors to his bedroom, so every room in this house has doors to the outside. So I’m also like, oh my gosh, someone’s going to break in and can come right in the door and steal him. There’s a lot of irrational anxiety there. It doesn’t help that one of the things you do when you have anxiety is you’re like, that’s so far-fetched. Nothing like that will ever happen. No one’s looking to hurt you. But when just a year ago, someone did hurt a good friend of yours randomly, it really screws up that calibration, because really bad things do happen to people. I can’t just be like nothing’s ever going to happen. Nothing bad happens. It’s all from the TV and movies. It’s like no, bad things do happen. So you have to find a way to reconcile that and still get some sleep and I haven’t figured out how to do that yet.
Shanna Micko: No, that’s a tough one. I’m glad Corey came home after 24 hours. That’s good.
Laura Birek: Me too.
Shanna Micko: I’m assuming he didn’t get much sleep either.
Laura Birek: I have to say that I had a rough night, but I don’t know if I would switch places with him to be honest. I think he was sending me text messages at one in the morning being like, “Okay. We’re leaving the club.” I was like, oh God, the club. He said he tried to convince them to go see Toy Story 4, whatever the new Toy Story is and they didn’t want to do that.
Shanna Micko: Good trial.
Laura Birek: But he tried. Anyway, the one thing that’s good is every time I get through a night like that, it does help my anxiety because I can remember, remember that last time you did it and everything was fine. So that’s one night under my belt where I can say, it’s fine. You got through it. It’ll be fine again. I guess I should reframe it as I did well. I got through it.
Shanna Micko: I think you did great.
Laura Birek: Thank you.
Shanna Micko: I will say it was an interesting change for me moving from an apartment complex to a house, because houses are standalone structures and your neighbors are so much further away and it just seems like there’s more entry points, because when I was living in an apartment when my baby was first born and I did I think my first overnight with Elle, I was on the second story of an apartment behind gates and there wasn’t that much anxiety about anyone coming in or if they did, my neighbors were so close. They were right there and people could hear everything and that always gave me a sense of security and I love living in a house, but I kind of miss that closeness of so many people. I feel like in a way a little bit less secure living in a house. I don’t know about you.
Laura Birek: I have mixed feelings, because on one hand we are kind of removed from the street. So this house that we’re in is actually a bit more secure and we’re also in a safer neighborhood in general.
Shanna Micko: True.
Laura Birek: But no, I’m with you on that. I think that there are things where you’re thinking like, where would I run? What would I do? When you’re in a house you have to run further. Although you have a little bit more land around your house. My house is fairly close to the neighbors, so I think I could just flash my full lights and my neighbors would be like, what’s going on over there? I know my neighbors, so that’s good.
Shanna Micko: My neighbor hates us.
Laura Birek: Oh, no.
Shanna Micko: She’s no help, but there’s some other ones that like us.
Laura Birek: That’s good.
Shanna Micko: Oh my gosh, I’m glad you survived. Good job.
Laura Birek: Thank you.
Shanna Micko: You did great. That’s a win.
Laura Birek: Yes, the baby slept through the night. I didn’t, but he did. So that’s a win.
Shanna Micko: Fantastic.
Laura Birek: He didn’t know about my anxiety. Anyway, how about you? Do you have a big fat positive or a big fat negative for us?
Shanna Micko: I have a BFP.
Laura Birek: Thank God.
Shanna Micko: Woo-hoo! This is probably something literally every mom knows about, every parent knows about, but I just love it. I fall more in love with it the more I parent and the more time goes by: Aquaphor. I fucking love Aquaphor. Do you use this?
Laura Birek: I actually don’t use Aquaphor, but I know about it. I just have a big tub of Vaseline.
Shanna Micko: No, Aquaphor is Vaseline on dope, on crack, on everything good. I don’t like crack or dope necessarily, but everything good. It’s awesome. It’s got extra ingredients in it like lanolin which I know you like.
Laura Birek: Oh, I do love that lanolin.
Shanna Micko: It’s got some other soothing elements. Petroleum is the biggest ingredient in this stuff, but it’s got those other soothing ingredients and I love it for stuff like diaper rashes. CeCe doesn’t have as much extreme diaper rash as Elle did. So with Elle, I always had to use Extra Strength Desitin or even this specially made butt cream from the pharmacist.
Laura Birek: Oh my gosh. Wow.
Shanna Micko: We had a lot of problems with her and CeCe’s less sensitive, but some Aquaphor keeps her feeling good.
Laura Birek: Tip-top.
Shanna Micko: The reason I love Aquaphor right now is that CeCe has drool rash all over her chin and cheeks and mouth and this stuff is fantastic, because of course I’m like drool rash, what is this? I had to go to the internet, what do I do? A lot of suggestions was Aquaphor and I’m like, I have Aquaphor.
Laura Birek: I have it. But do you have stock in Aquaphor.
Shanna Micko: I don’t. I really wish. I feel like I do, because the tub that I have is like the size of Kansas. It’s like the biggest one that they have and I just slather it on her face between feedings or at night before bed and it looks better by the next day. It’s wonderful.
If I ever have chapped lips or something, boom, you can use it for that too. So there’s so many things you can use it for. It’s awesome. I love it. Get yourself some Aquaphor.
Laura Birek: I should probably get some. We’ve been using Boudreaux’s Butt Paste on my baby’s butt and it’s worked very, very well, but it’s got like 40% zinc oxide, which he has a perfect butt right now. He has zero rash. So part of me is maybe he doesn’t need the high intensity butt paste anymore.
Shanna Micko: I don’t put anything on butts if they’re looking good, but that’s my MO.
Laura Birek: If your butt’s looking good, just leave it be. Shanna’s philosophy.
Shanna Micko: All natural baby. So if it starts to get a little pink, a little Aquaphor. If it starts to get bad, I do Desitin Extra Strength. Actually, Desitin that’s what my pediatrician recommended ages ago and that’s the one with a lot of zinc. So that’s my butt strategy if anyone is curious.
Laura Birek: I’d be curious what our listeners’ butt strategies are.
Shanna Micko: Please let us know. We would love to hear from you. If you want to join the conversation, please reach out. Laura, where can they find us?
So just search Big Fat Positive community, ask to join and we will approve you and you can join in the conversation. We also have a website, bigfatpositivepodcast.com
Shanna Micko: If you love Big Fat Positive, please rate and review us on whatever platform you listen and recommend us to your newly pregnant or parent friends. Big Fat Positive is produced by Shanna Micko, Laura Birek and Steve. Yager.
Laura Birek: Thanks for listening, everyone. We’ll see you next week.
Shanna Micko: Bye
Laura Birek: Bye.