Ep. 67: When Do You Drop the Dream Feed?
October 14, 2019
Shanna talks about dropping her baby’s dream feed, and Laura discusses taking her first work gig as a new mom. In the special segment, “Today I Learned,” the new moms dive into fertility fraud and babies’ reptilian bodies in the womb. Finally, they reveal their BFPs and BFNs for the week. Shanna’s baby is nine months old, and Laura’s baby is eight months and one week old.
- Jordan Step 1 Baby Toothbrush* Cute little toothbrush + teether for babies! *affiliate link
- Babies in the womb have lizard-like hand muscles From the BBC, so you know this is classy lizard news.
- Their Mothers Chose Donor Sperm. The Doctors Used Their Own. In the "Yikes yikes yikes yikes yikes! OMG YIKES!" column.
- Recapitulation theory - aka "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" Laura swears she wasn't making this up.
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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, Today I Learned, where things get fishy and we have our weekly BFPs and BFNs. Let’s get to it.
Laura Birek: Hi, everyone. Welcome to the show. This is episode 67. Hi, Shanna.
Shanna Micko: Hey.
Laura Birek: Hey. You want to tell me how you’re doing and how old your baby is this week?
Shanna Micko: Bet you. CeCe is nine months old, which feels huge, right?
Laura Birek: Oh my God.
Shanna Micko: Nine months in the belly, nine months out of the belly.
Laura Birek: In and out.
Shanna Micko: It’s wild. Although she was technically in my belly less, because I had that C-section a week before her due date and IVF insertion two weeks after.
Laura Birek: That’s true.
Shanna Micko: Yes.
Laura Birek: Cut that time down a little bit.
Shanna Micko: I know. I remember you were very jealous of that.
Laura Birek: I was, although I have to say that you don’t notice the first two weeks and for the amount of suffering you had to go through to get her in there.
Shanna Micko: Just a different kind of suffering.
Laura Birek: Then I ended up having my baby early, because I had a planned C-section too.
Shanna Micko: That’s true.
Laura Birek: It all worked out.
Shanna Micko: But so it’s been fun. She has started babbling like a mad woman.
Laura Birek: Oh, good.
Shanna Micko: Of course, am so relieved. It’s almost like I saw the look in her eye the day that she realized she had a voice. She did something like, “Blah, blah,” and almost was taken aback in her eyes. I could see that she was like, oh, that was me. I made that sound.
Laura Birek: Oh my gosh.
Shanna Micko: So I don’t think she had realized that before and so of course, once she realized that she was off and running and very excited to just babble.
Laura Birek: What kind of babbling?
Shanna Micko: There’s a lot of ra-ra-ra, which I was like, ra like R. You’re going to go with one of the hardest letters to say? Okay, good for you and ga-ga-ga. A lot of A vowels and then ga-ga, wa-wa-wa. It’s so cute.
Laura Birek: It is so cute.
Shanna Micko: I love it.
Laura Birek: I love when they’re so chatty. Like my guy’s very chatty. I’m sure you’ve noticed and it’s just like, we have little conversations. Mostly they’re him going, “Da-da-da-da, da-da.” I’m like, “No, dad is at work. How about mama?” He looks at me, like mama, because he still doesn’t say mama. I’m like say, “Mama,” which is also supposedly one of the easier consonants: the M? I’m like say, “Mama.” He looks at me and he gets this really very serious look in his eyes and he goes, “Dada.”
Shanna Micko: He is messing with you. It reminds me of that book written by Jimmy Fallon. Have you seen this board book? It’s called Dada.
Laura Birek: I know it exists. Yes, my mother-in-law wanted to get that because she was like, I really want him to say, “Dada,” first. I’m like, well, we didn’t even need the book. It just happened.
Shanna Micko: I will say it did nothing for Elle in teaching her how to say da-da before any other words, because we had this one with Elle. For people who don’t know, each little animal’s trying to teach their baby animal to say da-da. Like the cow was, “Da-da,” and then the baby cow was like, “Moo,” and the pig is like, “Da-da,” and the baby pig says, “Oink.” So it’s really funny. It’s cute and I think he made one for mama too. I get that.
Laura Birek: I better get that.
Shanna Micko: We both need to run out and get that one right away, because clearly that’s how they’re going to learn to say mama is from a book by Jimmy Fallon.
Laura Birek: Yeah, somehow I don’t think that’s going to happen.
Shanna Micko: Who knows?
Laura Birek: He’s just trolling me with his da-das for now.
Shanna Micko: Yes, he is. The other thing of note this week is that we have dropped the dream feed.
Laura Birek: Oh, tell me more about that.
Shanna Micko: It was on our agenda for a while. Like way back a few months ago, I was like, when are we supposed to drop the dream feed? We consulted good old Mr. Google and apparently the first result that Steve saw said around nine months. So I was like, okay, let’s try to phase that out around nine months. About a week before she turned nine months, I was like, well, let’s just start cutting down like an ounce a night, because we’re doing bottles. So it’s pretty clear and easy for me to just cut down every night. It’s like one ounce less, one ounce less and then after a few days, Steve just didn’t do it and she was fine.
Laura Birek: Really?
Shanna Micko: Yeah, I was also adding those ounces in during the day. So instead of five ounce bottles, I started making six ounce bottles. I’m not sure how that would work with breastfeeding.
Laura Birek: That’s the thing.
Shanna Micko: It would be more minutes during the day. I don’t know.
Laura Birek: But I feel like during the day I don’t have control over the minutes. You know what I mean? He does. The problem is that he gets so easily distracted that he nurses a lot, because he’ll nurse for like five minutes when we’re out and about maybe less, because he’ll nurse, nurse, nurse, and then someone will walk by and he’ll pop off. He’ll leave my tit just hanging out and he’s just like, hi, stranger. I’m going to make you stop.
Shanna Micko: He’s just looking left and right.
Laura Birek: I know. Then less than two hours later, he’s face planting in my boob wanting more. We’ve been at your house and you’ve seen that and I’m like, dude, you just ate. According to all the books, baby should be able to go two and a half to three hours at this age and I’m like, he’s freaking out at an hour and 45 minutes and I think it’s because he’s just snacking.
Shanna Micko: He’s a grazer.
Laura Birek: But I have wondered about when do you stop the dream feed. I guess for me the excuse I’m using is I think it helps keep up my supply, which I think is true probably, because otherwise I’m going 12 hours without nursing at all and so I don’t know.
But there are nights where I’m like, man, I could really just be in bed right now. It’s at 10:30, which I’m not usually in bed before then anyway, but it’s just one of those things where I’m scared to get rid of it, because who knows what’s going to happen to his sleep and so it’s good to hear that CeCe did well with it.
Shanna Micko: She totally did. If the dream feed were on my plate, I think I might have tried to phase it out sooner. Steve’s been in charge of it and I go to bed so early. He stays up to like 10:30 and does that dream feed and I’m just like, nope, he’s out. I’m going to bed at like 9:30, 10.
Laura Birek: Yeah, I know because if I ever text you at like 9:45, I know not to get a response back.
Shanna Micko: No, but you can text me at 5:45 in the morning and I’ll be like, hello.
Laura Birek: That’s true. Trade off.
Shanna Micko: But yeah, that’s pretty much our week. What about you? What’s going on with you guys? How old’s your baby?
Laura Birek: My baby is eight months and one week and we had a good week. My mom is in town again and we had another staycation this week, because she booked the fancy hotel around the corner from our house basically.
Shanna Micko: Oh, man.
Laura Birek: It’s like five minutes from our house. We can’t walk there unfortunately. It was pretty great. It was hot this week, so we did more pool days and it’s so funny the waiters at the pool know us now.
Shanna Micko: Oh my goodness.
Laura Birek: That was fun. The only downside of her being at the hotel instead of an Airbnb or somewhere nearby that’s not so enticing to stay at is that I spend less time at home. Usually, if she’s in town and not staying at a fancy hotel where she’s coming over and watching the baby while I get stuff done.
Shanna Micko: True.
Laura Birek: The additional sort of layer to my week was since I knew she was coming, I actually agreed to take my first gig since I’ve had the baby: my first web development job.
Shanna Micko: Oh.
Laura Birek: It was a very specific job that back in the day probably would’ve taken me like one working day to get done and would’ve been really easy for me to squeeze in. Oh my God, Shanna.
Shanna Micko: Oh, God.
Laura Birek: It was so hard. You hear about people talking about how hard it is to be a working mom. It’s beyond what I ever thought. You don’t know how hard it’s going to be until you actually try to do it. I ended up having to work nights and naps because I don’t have regular childcare and the other problem is I don’t have anywhere I can work that’s private and so even if I’m trying to work at my desk while my mom was watching the baby, he was just sitting there looking at me crying and I couldn’t have focused.
Shanna Micko: That’s so hard.
Laura Birek: So I had to work every night and now this week.
Shanna Micko: Sounds exhausting.
Laura Birek: I’m fucking exhausted. Just like trying to focus too was very, very hard. You can probably tell I’m all scattered right now talking too. I can’t keep a thought straight and that’s not good when you’re trying to code. You should really keep your thoughts straight when you’re doing that. Thankfully, I got it done.
Shanna Micko: Good.
Laura Birek: It wasn’t easy and pat myself on the back for that, because I got it done. I made a little bit of money, which is a nice change. I just don’t think I can really do much more of that until I have a dedicated office space and childcare. I don’t think it’s going to be possible.
Shanna Micko: It is a little bit tricky. The words that come to my mind are welcome to my world.
Laura Birek: I know. I was just going to say, I literally don’t know how you do it. You’re at home all day with the baby and your working full time and I know your job. It’s sort of sporadic, so you can do it when you need to do it and that has a little flexibility there, but still I don’t know if CeCe’s just less demanding than mine. Is she chiller or is it just that you figured out some magic sauce that you can balance at all or what? Tell me. How the hell do you do it?
Shanna Micko: I really don’t know. She does not beg and cry for me very much. I think that might have a lot to do with it. Oftentimes, I can put her in her yes space and she will do her own thing for quite a while, especially if I’m not in the yes space with her, if I’m like over at the table or on the couch, I can do some stuff and then she’ll check in with me and if she’s hungry or tired, of course, then I really hear from her. But yeah, I think it would be really hard like when she’s leaping or teething or having troubles and is a lot more clingy, it’s way more challenging for sure.
Laura Birek: When you say you can put her in the yes space and she can keep herself occupied for a while, what does that mean?
Because I feel like for me, if my baby goes in the yes space and he spends five minutes without starting to cry and needing me to pick him up, that’s a win for me.
Shanna Micko: No, that does sound like a win. She’ll play with her toys going around from this thing to that thing, the musical table, chewing on shit, playing with her blocks. She could probably stay occupied for like a good 20 minutes.
Laura Birek: Amazing.
Shanna Micko: She’ll check in with me of course and I’ll be like, “Hi, sweetie,” and I talk to her and everything, but not anything that takes my attention away so much that I have to completely stop what I’m doing. She allows me to work.
Laura Birek: That’s amazing.
Shanna Micko: Maybe she just doesn’t love me as much as your baby loves you.
Laura Birek: I don’t think that’s it. I think you also probably practiced with her from an earlier age. Like you had that yes space set up and you let her do independent play. I didn’t really do that so much at the beginning and I’m kind of regretting it now, but who knows? I don’t know.
Shanna Micko: I don’t know if that makes a difference, but I will say it was my intention, even with Elle pretty early on making a yes space in the pack n play and giving her time for me to step away so that she could look around and explore and work on her independent time. That was an actual intention and focus of mine and I did that with CeCe too. So I don’t know if that helped build the skill or if I just have kids who don’t care about adult interaction as much. I don’t know. Who knows, man?
Laura Birek: He can independent play just not for that long and especially not if I’m so close.
Shanna Micko: Well, he also wants those boobies: his milk.
Laura Birek: He really wants those boobies, man, all the time. So anyway, it was a tough week. It was fun. It was relaxing. You know that thing where you’re stressed out about relaxing too much? You’re like, ooh, all this time. I wanted to go to the pool with my mom at the hotel because you probably think she’s in town all the time based on how often she is in town a lot. But my mom’s in town and I don’t want to ruin that and I wanted to take advantage of the crazy heat waves. Of course, we’re going to go in the pool. But then while I’m sitting there, I’m just like, oh my God, when am I going to get this thing done? I promised them I’d have it done by Friday.
Shanna Micko: I have trouble relaxing for sure. I can relate to that, but you did it. The week is over. Good job.
Laura Birek: Should we take some cleansing breaths and come back for our special segment?
Shanna Micko: Indeed.
Shanna Micko: We’re back and this week’s special segment is Today I Learned where we discuss interesting things we’ve learned recently about babies, parenting, momming, anything in that realm. Laura, what do you have for us this week?
Laura Birek: Okay. My today I learned is about a phrase that I’ve never heard of called fertility fraud. Have you heard of this?
Shanna Micko: No, but I don’t like the sound of it.
Laura Birek: I don’t think you’re going to like it. It’s kind of sad and terrifying, but super interesting. So I found this New York Times story and the title of the story was their mothers chose donor sperm. The doctors used their own, which is so gross. Now that people are getting these DNA tests, 23andMe and ancestry and all that stuff, it’s turned out that it’s not an isolated thing. It turns out that this has been happening all over the place. There are apparently like 20 cases in a dozen states that this one lawyer is tracking of doctors.
Shanna Micko: Oh my God.
Laura Birek: It’s a very specific thing, like a fertility doctor using their own sperm. Not just that the sperm donors were mixed up or whatever. It’s that they were regularly using their own.
Shanna Micko: Totally intentional.
Laura Birek: Yeah, 100% intentional. There’s a bunch in the states. There was one in the Netherlands, Dr. Jan carbo who apparently fathered 56 children before Dutch authorities closed down his practice back in 2009.
Shanna Micko: Oh my Lord.
Laura Birek: There was a Canadian doctor that had at least 11 babies with his own sperm.
Shanna Micko: Oh my God.
Laura Birek: Then the way he defended himself is that he claimed he used his own sperm to calibrate the equipment and so that’s why 11 babies were born with his sperm.
Shanna Micko: Like a little leftover sperm from the machine just like snuck in and stuck?
Laura Birek: Yeah.
Shanna Micko: Cool.
Laura Birek: I don’t think a judge bought that one, but here’s the thing.
So there was this one in Indiana where apparently this doctor spent two decades doing this and he got caught, but the only thing they could do was remove his medical license and give him one year of a suspended jail sentence, because there weren’t any laws to prohibit this.
Shanna Micko: Wow.
Laura Birek: There was literally nothing they could do. It wasn’t illegal. So now Indiana and I think California and Texas are working on laws. Indiana passed one. I think California passed one. But I think in most states there’s not actually laws specific to fertility fraud, which is…
Shanna Micko: That’s so bizarre and crazy. Do you think it’s narcissism that drives this or they want to up their numbers so they know the fathers have low sperms so they’re just like, well, use some of mine?
Laura Birek: That’s a really good question. It’s hard to get into the mind of these doctors what really would encourage it. Part of me wonders. I did recently meet a mom who used a donor sperm to conceive her baby. She’s in a same sex marriage and so they spent I think six years trying to conceive and when they were using frozen sperm, it never worked. What finally worked for her was she got inseminated in the next room from the donor. Like the donor went in, made the donation and then they walked it over and then she got inseminated and that’s what worked. Because they had to put it in preservatives and the freezing, she said that it wasn’t working. Fun fact: she also told me that she was paying a ton of money for the shipment of the frozen sperm, like hundreds of dollars, and then she realized that the cheaper, more effective way, because she actually got some that was thawed by the time it had gotten there, so she couldn’t use it and they’re expensive apparently. I’ve never been in the market, but I imagine it’s expensive. You don’t want to buy cheap sperm, right?
Shanna Micko: I don’t think you do.
Laura Birek: It’s like discount sushi. You want to pay a little bit extra for quality.
Shanna Micko: Exactly. You’re not going to the dollar store for your sperm.
Laura Birek: But she said she discovered that if you just get one of those Hydro Flask bottles, which I think was my BFP way back, those insulated bottles, fill it with ice, stick the sperm vial in there, it actually travels way better and is way cheaper. So if anyone is in the process of fertility treatments and needs to transport sperm, apparently that’s the way to go.
Shanna Micko: I guess so and that is a marketing angle that I’m sure Hydro Flask has not considered.
Laura Birek: Well, she did make a joke about how her wife refuses to drink out of that bottle.
Shanna Micko: I 100% would refuse to drink out of bottle.
Laura Birek: It was wrapped up. I’m like whatever, it’s a Hydro Flask bottle. It’s a nice bottle. Anyway, but so that’s a long story to say that maybe the reason they did start doing it is because they discovered that older sperm wasn’t working. So if they had some fresh freshies, I think a lot of them mixed it. Like half and half, they admit it to mixing the sperm. There’s got to be narcissism in there because who’s like, you know what this woman needs? My baby.
Shanna Micko: I would love to get inside the mind of that person. This reminds me of the show on Netflix called Sisters. Have you seen this?
Laura Birek: Okay. So I was going to say it’s an Australian show.
Shanna Micko: Yeah, it’s awesome. I love it.
Laura Birek: Is it good?
Shanna Micko: It’s this exact premise. I love it. Yes.
Laura Birek: I was going to say I just found out about it because I was researching this for the segment. I found out that Fox just has a new show on this season called Almost Family that’s based on the Australian show Sisters.
Shanna Micko: Oh, good. I can’t wait for them to mess it up. Okay. Cool.
Laura Birek: Oh, yeah. Apparently, it sucks. It’s really bad. All the articles I saw were like, ooh, they get it really wrong, unfortunately.
Shanna Micko: Listeners, disregard that one. Go to Netflix watch the Australian one.
Laura Birek: It was great?
Shanna Micko: I loved it.
Laura Birek: But that’s the thing. It must be such a thing, because they make TV shows about it and the book, Inheritance, have you read that? I just read it. It’s actually really great by Danny Shapiro. The book is about how she discovers that her dad is not her dad and eventually she finds out her parents did artificial insemination and that the doctor was probably her father and the book is really interesting because it’s really a meditation on she loved her father. She and her father had a great relationship and she finds out after he’s died as an adult that he’s not her father and what that means. It’s actually extremely well written.
Shanna Micko: Oh, wow. That sounds good.
Laura Birek: So I highly recommend Inheritance, but yeah, himmy jimmy and also just people suck, man.
Shanna Micko: They totally suck and it is really sad because I think it might make some people hesitate about going through this infertility process, the IVF thing.
When I first announced I was going to try IVF, I received messages like, “Well, you can’t do that because the doctor’s going to put his own sperm in there,” and I’m just like, huh! I was aware of this idea even back when I started these treatments and you have to put 100% trust in your doctors, in the process and all of the people that deal with all of your materials. There’s lab workers and you just hope that your baby comes out looking exactly like your husband like mine did. There’s no ambiguity.
Laura Birek: I was going to say she’s called CeCe because she’s a carbon copy of Steve.
Shanna Micko: There you go. You figured it out.
Laura Birek: It’s so cute. But there’s not a lot of question about paternity on that one.
Shanna Micko: Yeah, exactly. But I do think it’s the exception to the rule.
Laura Birek: For sure. I do think that it might have been more common in the past, because there was such a stigma around it, especially in like the sixties and seventies, people weren’t going on podcasts talking about how they were using sperm donors. IVF was in the late seventies.
Shanna Micko: Seventies: the same year I was born. ’78 was the first one.
Laura Birek: There was a lot of stigma around fertility treatments and infertility.
I think there still is, but at least it’s a little bit more open and hopefully this stops being a thing. Now, people also know about DNA. No one knew that we were all going to be able to spit in the little tube and send it off to 23andMe and find out what happened, who our actual fathers are.
Shanna Micko: Exactly.
Laura Birek: I did it. My actual father is my actual father. I also look just like him, so there’s that too.
Shanna Micko: That helps.
Laura Birek: Anyway, that’s my Today I Learned. Shanna, what do you have for us?
Shanna Micko: Okay. Today I learned that babies in the womb have lizard like muscles in their hands and most of us lose these extra muscles before we’re born. But scientists can see them when they do detailed 3D imaging. When the fetus is between 7 and 13 weeks old, they have little lizard hands.
Laura Birek: What does that mean?
Shanna Micko: It means they have extra muscles that attach over their different fingers. Almost like what our thumbs have. We have a lot of extra muscles in our thumbs that make our thumbs dexterous.
If these muscles stayed and developed in our fingers, we maybe would have like dextrous, ape feet, hands. All of our fingers would be dextrous, but instead we lose these muscles and we just have lamo fingers.
Laura Birek: Our fingers do a lot.
Shanna Micko: They do, do a lot, but our thumbs are pretty incredible.
Laura Birek: They don’t cling to walls I guess, like a gecko.
Shanna Micko: We don’t need to I guess is the point of why these get deleted before we’re born. But the cool thing that I thought is that scientists say it’s a really, really early remnant of evolution from when reptiles were transitioning to humans. So these lizard like muscles haven’t been seen in adult human hands for 250 million years, but yet when we’re little fetuses, we have them. We start developing them and then we just get rid of them.
Laura Birek: That’s really interesting. I was actually talking to my brother not that long ago, probably when I was pregnant about how I’ve heard that when you are developing as a fetus, if you ever see like a picture of a six week old fetus or whatever, you almost look like a tadpole.
Shanna Micko: Yeah, definitely.
Laura Birek: You have gills.
Shanna Micko: What?
Laura Birek: Yeah, at the beginning you have gills and there’s this concept, it has a bunch of different names, but the way he said it was ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, which I was like say what? But ontogeny is the growth and development of an organism. So as you are in utero a fetus, the ontogeny is going from small to big basically. Phylogeny is the evolutionary development of the species, so your ontogeny happens at the same time as the phylogeny. I don’t even know if I’m saying that right. Like as you grow, you basically are recreating the history of your species.
Shanna Micko: Mind blown.
Laura Birek: So you go from fish to lizard to where it breaks down.
Shanna Micko: What’s after lizard? Dinosaur, turtle.
Laura Birek: But yeah, I think it’s pretty interesting. It’s also a lot of evidence for yield evolution in there. It’s the gills thing and I guess it’s lizard hands. I never really thought about how specifically you would have lizard hands though. I’m just imagining the Geico gecko.
Shanna Micko: Yes, that’s what was inside of our bodies between 7 to 14 weeks.
Laura Birek: Adorable. That’s so cute. It’s a miracle.
Shanna Micko: Aww.
Laura Birek: Geico.
Shanna Micko: Scientists say that other examples of retaining pointless evolutionary shit in our bodies aside from lizard muscles, another example would be like ostrich’s, which still have wings, even though they don’t fly. But their bodies still continue to make wings and I guess we still continue to make lizard muscles for a little while, even though we don’t clinging to walls and climb trees and stuff. So interesting.
Laura Birek: There’s a lot of stuff that’s remnants of previous evolutionary states, I feel like, but also for a long time, I think they thought the appendix was a vestigial organ, right?
Shanna Micko: Yes.
Laura Birek: But now they’re like, oh, it actually might have a purpose. Nevermind. Now they think it has something to do with the gut biome and it’s important now, like, whoops. But we used to take those out.
Shanna Micko: Just cut it right out.
Laura Birek: No problems. But there are people who are born with tails and they’re totally fine. My mom has told me all about this stuff, because she’s gotten to see all of the variations of the human form in her practice and she says they will cut the little vestigial tail off for comfort and for aesthetic purposes. But there’s nothing wrong with it. There’s no reason to get rid of it.
Shanna Micko: Fascinating. This article also mentions the coccyx being one of those vestigial.
Laura Birek: Tailbone, right?
Shanna Micko: Tailbone and wisdom teeth, which I got ripped out.
Laura Birek: See, mine I never got taken out and now three of the four of them are out in functional teeth.
Shanna Micko: What happened to the fourth one?
Laura Birek: It’s still impacted.
Shanna Micko: What?
Laura Birek: I just refused. Okay. My mom thinks that that everyone getting their wisdom teeth out is sort of the way that everyone got their tonsils out in the eighties. She thinks it’s unnecessary surgery. She’s not a dentist by the way. Disclaimer.
Shanna Micko: I still appreciate her opinion.
Laura Birek: But she rightfully was like, “Look, I don’t want you to have unnecessary surgery unless you need it.” I guess you can’t have an unnecessary surgery if you need it. She said there’s no reason for you to have surgery if you’re not having pain and I would ask dentists. I was like, “Why do I need to get them out?” They’re like, “Oh, well, it might cause you pain in the future.” I’m like, “Can we wait till that happens?” They’re like, “Sure. It might cause you some benign tumors when you’re in your eighties.” I was like, “I could get it taken out.” Then they’re like, “Yeah.” So I’m like, “Okay. Cool.” So I let them in and then in college one started coming out and then in grad school another started coming out.
Shanna Micko: You were teething in college.
Laura Birek: I was teething in college. I was getting wisdom and I was getting my wisdom teeth.
Shanna Micko: Oh, I see. Brilliant.
Laura Birek: But they’re out and they are functional.
Shanna Micko: That is so interesting. I don’t remember why I got mine out. I was 16. I don’t remember the circumstances.
Laura Birek: Well, because everyone does it. I’m definitely the weirdo who didn’t get it done.
Shanna Micko: I think the thing was your mouth is small. The teeth will push all the teeth and mess them up and I had straight teeth already and I was like, let’s rip them on out.
Laura Birek: Was it hard? Was it bad?
Shanna Micko: It was not that bad for me. No, that’s good. I was eating like tortilla chips and salsa the next day.
Laura Birek: Oh, damn.
Shanna Micko: But I have heard horror. Tonsillitis though was an absolute nightmare.
Laura Birek: Really?
Shanna Micko: Yes, I’ve had nightmares of that, but anyways I digress.
Laura Birek: None of this has to do with babies or parenting.
Shanna Micko: No.
Laura Birek: Shall we go over our medical histories just for fun?
Shanna Micko: Just my own history of pain. Okay. That brought up a lot. Anyway, the point is a lot of scientists aren’t sure why these muscles delete before birth. They know that it happens now, but they’re not sure why and some babies are born with them and that can lead to birth defects and now their knowledge of this presence in the womb might help them understand why this happens and maybe how to fix them. This by the way is all my summary of information I read on in articles online from bbc.com.
Laura Birek: All right. We’ll post that on our website.
Shanna Micko: Very interesting stuff.
Laura Birek: Do you know what else we’d like people to do on our website or on our social medias? Should we put out our call for questions?
Shanna Micko: Yeah.
Laura Birek: We want to do our segment, Check in the Inbox, but we need some inbox to check, so we just wanted to see if anyone has burning questions for us. Reach out to us at bigfatpositivepodcast.com or our Instagram or Facebook or Twitter, I guess. We don’t use Twitter that much, but we have one. So you could go use it. It’s at BFP Podcast. At BFP Podcast for all of our socials. We’d love to hear from you.
Shanna Micko: The questions could really be anything. It could be personal, it could be something you’re unsure of in pregnancy or parenting. Laura and I are very good at consulting the internet, finding some information and then having opinions about it. So we would love to talk about anything.
Laura Birek: If you want to leave a voice memo, you could take a little memo on your phone. You know those voice notes or voice memos. You can send that into us too. We’d love it and we will play your question on the air.
Shanna Micko: That would be fantastic.
Shanna Micko: Awesome. So should we move on to our BFPs and BFNs after this break?
Laura Birek: Let’s do it.
Laura Birek: We’re back. We close every episode with our big fat positives or big fat negatives of the week. Shanna, do you have a BFP or a BFN for us?
Shanna Micko: I actually have a BFN this week. For all the really fun, cute stuff that we had going on at the tail end of the week, CeCe got her first fever.
Laura Birek: Oh.
Shanna Micko: We had to make a trip to the urgent care.
Laura Birek: Wow. How high was it?
Shanna Micko: I think it got up to like 102.5 or something like that.
Laura Birek: That’s so scary.
Shanna Micko: She had been feeling sick for a couple days and then all of a sudden on Sunday, just massive fatigue, burning hot and it was so sad. She was coughing a lot and she threw up a couple times. I just panicked and I was like, I’m taking her to urgent care and we have a great pediatric urgent care that we really like that we take Elle to all the time. So I went there.
Laura Birek: That’s nice.
Shanna Micko: It’s a really great place and it’s just so sad and scary to see your little ones with a fever and especially when they’re infant. That was rough.
Laura Birek: What happened? Was she better soon, quickly or?
Shanna Micko: So we went and he checked her out and he’s like, she doesn’t have any infections in her lungs or her ears. That’s what I really wanted them to check to see and he’s like, I think it’s just a virus and she’s got a high fever because of that. The vomiting I think is from her coughing. She’s coughing too much and then spitting up stuff. So I was like, okay, that made me feel better. He told me a few things I could do, like Tylenol, Motrin, Baby Vicks for her cough. Few little things that we did and by the next day she was better.
Laura Birek: That’s good. They bounce back.
Shanna Micko: They do. They really do. But the sweetest thing about it, the BFP that did come out of it is a baby with a fever is the snuggliest baby in the world. I just spent probably an hour or two, maybe even on Sunday, just in the rocking chair with my sick little baby just resting her head on my chest rocking and taking care of her.
Laura Birek: That is sweet. My guy just doesn’t do that anymore.
Shanna Micko: I know. It’s so hard.
Laura Birek: I’m trying to give a hug and he’s like, I want to do stuff.
I want to look at everything.
Shanna Micko: No, it’s so hard. Even with my three year old, she’ll get sick with a fever and I’m just like, oh, the snuggles of the olden days. I’m sorry. You’re sick. But give me those cuddles.
Laura Birek: I live for those cuddles.
Shanna Micko: But yes, she has bounced back, but it’s a scary thing. I get real scared about fevers. I don’t know if your guy has had a fever, if you know anything about baby fever since your parents are doctors.
Laura Birek: He’s only had like minor fevers like 99, 100. The kind where you take his temp and you’re like, this is margin of error. I’m not sure. So nothing serious, but I am a little obsessed with taking his temperature, because anytime he feels slightly warm, I’m like, I’m going to take your temperature. But now he loves the one that you do across the forehead. The kind I got makes a little clicking noise and you’re supposed to go temple to temple and he just sticks his little face out and he just follows it with his eyes.
Shanna Micko: Oh my God, that’s a cute visual.
Laura Birek: It’s really cute. He thinks it’s funny. But thankfully, we haven’t had a high fever. I was so nervous about that when the baby was a newborn-newborn, because I think in the first three months until they’re out of the newborn phase, if they get a fever higher than 102, it’s automatic ER. You automatically get admitted I think, because fevers and very young babies are really dangerous. I think it’s good to keep an eye on it and Tylenol and Motrin are your friends. It kind of makes me cringe when I see on baby boards and mommy groups where people will be like, “Oh my baby has a fever. Are there any homeopathic remedies I can use?” I’m like, “Girl, Tylenol and Motrin. They are there for a reason. Let’s not mess with fever,” because the thing about a fever as far as I understand is that it’s like cooking your brain, essentially. It’s a terrible visual, but that’s why you don’t want a long prolonged fever with your baby’s brain, because you don’t want it to have that high temperature affecting the brain. That’s the same reason why they didn’t want you to get into Jacuzzi’s or take super-hot showers as a pregnant person, because they don’t want you to mimic you having a fever.
Shanna Micko: Right. That makes sense.
Laura Birek: But did I ever tell you about the time I took a hot shower, because when you’re freaking eight months pregnant and you’re just like, I just need to take a freaking shower?
Shanna Micko: Yes.
Laura Birek: I took an actual hot shower and then took my temperature afterwards to see what happened. Before it was 98.6 on the dot and it was 99.0 when I got out of the hot shower.
Shanna Micko: So it was like no big deal.
Laura Birek: Yeah, I think Emily Oster wrote about that in Expecting Better too that it’s not a thing. Although I think Jacuzzi’s are an abundance of caution.
Shanna Micko: Don’t take dip your pregnant belly in 105 degree water or whatever. I don’t know how hot hot tubs get.
Laura Birek: I think it’s like 104. You definitely don’t want to be in there for a long time. I want a hot tub. You guys, are you ever going to get your hot tub functional? You guys have one.
Shanna Micko: We do. It’s so old. It was with the house when we got it. We tried to clean it and refill it. We put so much time and effort into cleaning this thing, refilling it with clean water and then we turned on the pump and it spewed years of filth from the pipes just straight into the hot tub with the bubbles. They’re like, okay, nevermind. So it’s been covered ever since. Oh, God. Anyway, all right. What about you? Do you have a BFP or BFN?
Laura Birek: I have a BFP, which is this baby toothbrush we’ve been using.
Shanna Micko: Ooh, I have a baby toothbrush too. Do we have the same one?
Laura Birek: Mine is called the Jordan Step 1 Baby Toothbrush: 0-2 years. Is that the same one?
Shanna Micko: No, I want to know about it.
Laura Birek: Okay. So it’s circular. How do I describe it?
Shanna Micko: Does it have a handle?
Laura Birek: The handle is round.
Shanna Micko: Oh, okay.
Laura Birek: There’s a hole in the center, so it almost looks like a teething ring. Actually, the handle is a teething ring. So that’s what’s kind of great about it. It’s a little baby size toothbrush, really soft bristles and then the base is sort of the size of a small plum. Maybe it’s smaller than that. Has little hole in the middle and it has little textured rubber parts to it. It’s a teething thing and a toothbrush and it’s really easy for their little hands to grab. I realized after my baby got two little teeth on the bottom. I was like, oh crap. Am I supposed to be brushing his teeth? I was like, oh, yeah, I do have to brush his teeth. Turns out you were supposed to be brushing their gums too. Did you know this?
Shanna Micko: Okay. Stop. Just don’t even go there.
Laura Birek: I’m just giving you an alert. I never did.
Shanna Micko: That’s like telling someone you need to brush your dog’s teeth every day.
That’s just not going to happen.
Laura Birek: No, what’s worse is that my vet told me I had to brush my cat’s teeth every day. I want to know who can do that. I want to meet the person who actually can do that, because I can’t get my finger anywhere near my cat’s mouth in that context anyway. But the good news is it’s a lot easier to brush your baby’s teeth when they’re excited about it and they their toothbrush. We got this one and it’s really cute and he actually really likes it and so I let him kind of do it. He just kind of gnaws on it and then I’ll just make a joke about him and be like, “Brush. Toothbrush,” and he thinks it’s really funny, because it kind of tickles. But it makes me happy because he looks forward to brushing his teeth.
Shanna Micko: Cool.
Laura Birek: I will of course post a link to this on our website: The Jordan Step 1 Baby Toothbrush.
Shanna Micko: Awesome.
Laura Birek: Wait, so what’s your toothbrush?
Shanna Micko: It’s the Frida Baby Toothbrush. It’s a yellow handle and it purports to brush both sides of the teeth at once. It’s got bristles that surround the little teeth. I’ve only used it a few times. She just sprouted teeth. She was kind of a late bloomer as far as teething goes.
So I don’t know how tooth brushing is going to go for us. I’ll let you know.
Laura Birek: My mom says that as long as they break one tooth by the age of 12 months, it’s considered normal. She might be on the later end of like average, but she’s definitely not late.
Shanna Micko: Okay. Good to know.
Laura Birek: Anyway, I probably should go brush my baby’s teeth. Maybe mine too. Maybe try for my cats. It’s been nice knowing you.
Shanna Micko: Hope you survive.
Laura Birek: Laura died of blood loss after trying to brush her cat’s teeth.
Shanna Micko: Oh my goodness. All right. Well, thank you guys so much for listening. We love you so much and if you have anything you want to add to the conversation, please reach out. If you have any questions for us for that Check in the Inbox segment, you know we want to hear from you. Laura, where can everyone reach us one more time?
Laura Birek: We are at bigfatpositivepodcast.com. We are also on the social medias at BFP Podcast. It’s Instagram, Facebook and Twitter at BFP Podcast. We also have a Facebook community group. Just search for a Big Fat Positive community, click ask to join. It’s a closed group. Keeps all of our conversations private, but I will add you right away.
Shanna Micko: If you like the podcast, please be sure to rate or review us on whatever platform you listen and spread the love. If you know a pregnant person or a new parent, please let them know about Big Fat Positive Podcast. Big Fat Positive is produced by Laura Birek, Shana Micko and Steve Yager.
Laura Birek: Thanks for listening, everyone. We will see you next week. Bye.
Shanna Micko: Bye.