Ep. 68: Mom Friends: How to Make ’em and Break ’em
October 21, 2019
Laura and Shanna talk about how to make mom friends and how mom friendships can go terribly, awkwardly wrong. Also, Laura describes how an unexpected medical procedure threw a wrench in her week, and Shanna describes how her baby’s stranger anxiety has reached excruciating new heights. Finally, they reveal their BFPs and BFNs for the week. Shanna’s baby is nine months and one week old, and Laura’s baby is eight months and two weeks old.
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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, which is Big Topic, where we dive into the topic of mom friends: how to meet them, what it’s like to go on mom friend dates, and how something’s go wrong. We wrap it up with our weekly BFPs and BFNs. Let’s get to it.
Shanna Micko: Hi. Welcome to episode 68. Hey, Laura.
Laura Birek: Hey, Shanna.
Shanna Micko: How are you guys this week? How old’s your baby? What have you been up to?
Laura Birek: My baby is eight months and two weeks, and we kind of had a big week. So my mom is actually still in town. She actually extended her trip for a couple reasons. One was she wanted to continue her staycation at the fancy hotel.
Shanna Micko: Who wouldn’t?
Laura Birek: But the other thing was that I ended up having a minor medical procedure on Friday.
Shanna Micko: What?
Laura Birek: Yeah.
Shanna Micko: What happened?
Laura Birek: An upper endoscopy. Nothing happened. I just have had a heartburn my whole freaking life basically.
Shanna Micko: It was intense in pregnancy if I remember correctly.
Laura Birek: It was awful in pregnancy.
Shanna Micko: That’s why you had your wedge and everything.
Laura Birek: Oh, yeah. I had my sleeping wedge. I sometimes had to sleep basically sitting up because of the reflux. It just was awful and I couldn’t wait for it to get better after pregnancy was over and yeah, it got better, but it didn’t go away by any stretch. I finally realized I need to go see a GI doctor: gastroenterologist, and see if anything is going wrong, because I was basically just taking like pepsin every day. Anyway, I got this appointment ages ago, because you know it takes forever to see a specialist and I went on Wednesday and the doctor was like, “Yeah, it’s probably just your familial inherited heartburn problem. But we should really do an upper endoscopy just to make sure there’s no like cancer or nothing else physically wrong.” I know they always throw cancer out there, but you do want to make sure there’s no cancer, because that’s a thing that I guess if you have a lot of heartburn, it can irritate your esophagus and cause cellular changes and can cause esophageal cancer. So that’s why you don’t want to fuck around with heartburn. People think whatever, it’s just heartburn. But you’re basically burning your esophagus over and over.
Shanna Micko: When you put it that way…
Laura Birek: I know. Fun topic this week, Laura. But I had this appointment on Wednesday and she was like, “Okay, just go schedule your endoscopy.” I went to the front desk and they’re like, “Actually, we had a cancellation on Friday. Do you want to just do it in two days?” I was like, “Hold on.” I called my mom. I was like, “Mom, they want to do the endoscopy on Friday. Can you stay around?” She’s like, “Yeah, totally. I’ll stay till Sunday.” I was like, “Okay. Cool.” Then I was like, “Yep, let’s do it.”
Shanna Micko: Oh, nice. So what is that? When they put a camera down your esophagus? I don’t know what that is.
Laura Birek: Exactly. They put you under light sedation and stick a camera down your throat.
Shanna Micko: Okay. Really?
Laura Birek: Yeah, it’s interesting, because I thought light sedation would mean I wouldn’t remember any of it.
Shanna Micko: Do you remember it?
Laura Birek: I remember it.
Shanna Micko: Whoa.
Laura Birek: Actually, there was an interesting moment where I got wheeled in. They started giving me the IV: whatever drug they were giving me.
Shanna Micko: They didn’t give you the full cocktail?
Laura Birek: They did not give me the full cocktail like I got with my C-section, apparently. Although I remember my C-section too.
Shanna Micko: True. That’s right.
Laura Birek: But I was definitely sedated and kind of out of it. I kind of felt like the way you feel as you’re falling asleep. You’re still aware of people talking around you, but you kind of don’t care, because you’re just like, I’m tired.
But I did hear the doctor be like, “So who gave her the pregnancy test?” They’re like, “She’s nursing. We don’t need to give her a pregnancy test.” She was like, “Well, we should write that the waved it,” and I was like, I’m not pregnant. It’s fine. I have given myself a pregnancy test just because I’m a paranoid person like that. I have an IUD and I’m nursing.
Shanna Micko: That feels like slightly shady and unethical for them to be like, let’s just say she waved it.
Laura Birek: I’m planning on bringing it up at my follow-up appointment, but there’s nothing to be done about it now. Maybe I’ll get a discount on my next endoscopy.
Shanna Micko: That’s worth it.
Laura Birek: I had to go in at like 11:00 a.m. By the way, I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything until the appointment, which is torture. Another fun fact: that morning I was giving my baby breakfast and I was mashing up some peaches for him and just instinctively put a piece of the peach in my mouth and swallowed.
Shanna Micko: No.
Laura Birek: I was like, uh-oh. It was maybe like a quarter inch and very thin and I told my mom. I was like, “Mom, I ate a tiny, tiny piece of peach.” She’s like, “Just don’t tell them. They’ll probably see it and they’ll find out, but just don’t tell them till you go in.”
So of course, I was worried that I was going to aspirate one tiny piece of peach, but no one mentioned the peach I should mention.
Shanna Micko: Good.
Laura Birek: But I had to go in and so it was like at 11 and so I was able to spend the morning with the baby, but you had to go in there a little early and yada, yada, yada. Then I was really loopy afterwards and sedated and I came home and basically napped all afternoon, which was awesome by the way.
Shanna Micko: That sounds like a great day.
Laura Birek: It was kind of the best day. Perfect excuse to sleep like six straight hours in the afternoon and Corey got to do his first full day with the baby basically by himself, because my mom was taking care of me.
Shanna Micko: Aww.
Laura Birek: So he just stayed with the baby and that was the longest he’s done with the baby.
Shanna Micko: Good.
Laura Birek: It went great, but at the end of the day he was like, “Yeah, that’s really tiring.” I’m like, “Yeah, I told you.”
Shanna Micko: I’m kidding.
Laura Birek: He’s like, “He just keeps going.” I’m like, “Yeah, he just keeps going.” At four o’clock you’re like, what are we going to do now?
Shanna Micko: Four o’clock is rough.
Laura Birek: Four o’clock is a rough time.
Shanna Micko: It’s like, two and a half more hours to bedtime.
Laura Birek: What can we do? If it’s nice outside, that’s my key. Like, let’s go on a walk time. But if it’s hot like it has been, I’m just like, God, how are we going to fill these hours?
Shanna Micko: Then the sun’s going to start going down at like 4:45. We’re so screwed.
Laura Birek: Anyway, that is what I did this week. But the baby is doing great. He was unfazed by it and he started cruising.
Shanna Micko: Yeah.
Laura Birek: He’s been able to pull to stand and so he has started scooching along. Well, if he pulls to stand on the back of the couch. If he’s on the couch with us guarding him from falling, he will scooch along the back of it. He’s mobile on his feet.
Shanna Micko: That’s so cool.
Laura Birek: It is. But he can’t get to sitting still on his own. He still hasn’t figured out how to push himself back onto his butt, which I think is interesting. But he’s getting there.
Shanna Micko: He’s just doing it in his own order.
Laura Birek: He really is doing it in a weird order. He army crawled, pulled up to stand, cruising, still can’t get himself to sitting and the other real quick rapid fire news with him is that his top teeth broke through this week. Little two front teeth: little razor’s edge. I didn’t realize that baby teeth had razor sharp saw edges.
Shanna Micko: Oh gosh, I haven’t experienced the saw edge.
Laura Birek: They’re a little textured I think to get through the gums, but they’re not like smooth.
Shanna Micko: Like serrated.
Laura Birek: Yeah, they’re really freaking sharp and I’m a little terrified.
Shanna Micko: Let us know if you survive.
Laura Birek: I will if I nipple survive.
Shanna Micko: Exactly.
Laura Birek: Anyway, that’s my very quick recap of the week. How old is your baby now? What have you guys been up to?
Shanna Micko: My baby is nine months and one week and this week her stranger aversion has hit peak.
Laura Birek: Really?
Shanna Micko: Oh, man. Steve had his friend Noah over the other day and Steve went and got CeCe up from her nap and brought her out and Noah goes, “Hi,” and just instantly screamed crying. I wasn’t there, but Steve said that she just lost her shit at the sight.
Laura Birek: Oh, no. Poor Noah.
Shanna Micko: I know. He’s such a sweet guy.
Laura Birek: He’s a nice guy.
Shanna Micko: He’s like, “Babies don’t like me. It’s okay.” I’m like, “No, I really think it’s stranger version,” plus I’m sure she was disoriented from waking up and suddenly there was a new fella in the house.
Laura Birek: That’s true.
Shanna Micko: Then I took her to Target as I do multiple times a month and we’re looking in the baby food aisle and she’s perfectly happy and babbling and a very nice grandma walks up and says, “Hi,” and CeCe looks at her, same thing. She just started screaming and crying and just lost her shit and this grandma is so sweet, but still trying to talk to her and talk to me even though CeCe’s losing her shit and I’m just trying to grab the baby food I need real quick and get out of there so I can calm her down. She’s just like, “Yeah, I know. I have grandkids and they are blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,” and I’m trying to talk to her and think what baby food do I need and I’m just blindly grabbing stuff and CeCe’s freaking out and I’m just like, oh boy, stranger.
Laura Birek: That’s how she ended up with chicken, liver and spinach for dinner.
Shanna Micko: Exactly, which she hated. So it makes me nervous to bring her to her backup daycare again next time. She kind of knows those people now, because she’s been going here and there. But it’s hard to leave when she’s crying and I really don’t want her to freak out like that.
Laura Birek: Is there anything you can do about it or is it just a time thing?
Shanna Micko: I don’t know. I guess I’ll let you know in a week or two if she’s gotten over it.
Laura Birek: Please do, because you are the one forging the path for me remember. I’m in your wake needing to know.
Shanna Micko: It’ll be interesting to see and then the other thing this week is more fun is that we recently signed up for the YMCA near our house as a family: the family membership. Mostly because they have a swimming pool.
Laura Birek: Oh, yeah.
Laura Birek: That’s key.
Shanna Micko: My three-year-old Elle is just crazy about swimming. She just always wants to swim and I needed a place that had indoor swimming year round and it’s great. CeCe loves the pool. I took her swimming and so it’s a fun nice thing that we can do when we need something to do. So I’m really excited about that.
Laura Birek: I don’t have a regular place we could go swimming, especially not an indoor one.
Shanna Micko: One of the pools at this Y was created as a therapeutic pool and so they heat it to like 95 degrees all the time.
Laura Birek: Perfect.
Shanna Micko: So I just weighed in with no hesitation. Usually, I’ll dip a toe in a pool and hem and haw and blah, blah, blah.
Laura Birek: Getting past your waistline is just torture.
Shanna Micko: I know right.
Laura Birek: Why is that?
Shanna Micko: Because that’s where your major organs are.
Laura Birek: Good point.
Shanna Micko: They’re like, we don’t want to dip in temperature. Get us out of here, you fool. But yeah, that’s pretty much it for us this week. Should we take a break and move on to our special segment?
Laura Birek: Let’s do it.
Laura Birek: We’re back. So this week’s special segment is a big topic where we are going to tackle the subject of making mom friends. Not everyone is as lucky as we are, Shanna. Just becoming pregnant at the exact same time as one of your best friends and other people us included have to go out and actually make mom friends. So Shanna, what’s your experience been making mom friends?
Shanna Micko: I actually have more experience with this the first time around when Elle was a baby, because a lot of my friends were not parents yet or they had babies that were a little bit older. So I was kind of aggressive in my attempt to make mom friends. I would go to the playground, go to the park. I would walk around a lot and if I met a mom of a small baby around my baby’s age and I thought she was cool, I would just straight up at the end of our exchange, bite the bullet and be awkward and be like, “Hey, can we exchange information, because I’d like to hang out with you again?”
Laura Birek: That is so bold. That is ballsy of you.
Shanna Micko: I know. It was pretty awkward to do. Especially the first couple times, I met this really cool woman at a park in North Hollywood. She was an architect and she had a little baby my age and she was really nice to us and I just really liked her and I could feel the tension coming at the end of our hangout. I was just like, I want to hang out with this lady again.
I want to see her again, because I was home with the baby at that point. I had a full date of film.
Laura Birek: That four o’clock hour.
Shanna Micko: Yes, I just went for it and after that it became a little bit easier. Also, I would go to the library story hour near me. I met a really cool mom whose baby was the same age as mine and I think in our conversation, like a hushed tone while the librarian was reading Pout-Pout Fish or something, this woman was said something like, “What is this shit?” Or something like that. I was just like, you’re my people. Before she snuck out early from that session, I was like, I can’t let this woman leave. I don’t know if I’ll see her again. I was like, “Wait, before you leave, can we exchange information? I want to hang out with you.” I became friends with these people and their daughters and it was great. So I say go for it. Be bold. I know it’s awkward, but chances are the moms that you’re talking to and approaching probably want that kind of companionship too.
Laura Birek: It’s a good thing to remember, because I remember feeling so awkward trying to make friends in college and in grad school. I specifically remember making friends with you actually, Shanna, because my very first class ever was with you. It was our playwriting class and it was a small class probably 10 people.
Shanna Micko: I would say.
Laura Birek: Something like that. I remember after class I just could tell. I was like, I like her. She seems cool and I was like, I want to get her number or something.
I want to become friends with her and I went out and you were actually talking to Noel already. Noel is another friend of ours from grad school and I remember thinking like, shit, she’s already friends with everyone else. I’m going to be the nerd who introduces myself and I realized now I sucked it up and still I walked up and was like, “Hi.” But now in retrospect I realize you didn’t know Noel. We all didn’t know each other at the time. But if I hadn’t done that, it might have been a while before we became friends or maybe we would’ve never become friends and then, what? We’d be like off doing our own things and not having a podcast together.
Shanna Micko: No, It’s unimaginable.
Laura Birek: Unimaginable.
Shanna Micko: But I do remember that. Being on the other end being approached by someone, I love it. I’m a people person. I like that. I want to be approached by people. So I guess I take that attitude into meeting other people too. It’s like, let’s be friends. If you find someone you feel some charisma with, just go for it and see what happens.
Laura Birek: Can I ask you a question about library story time, because I have yet to go to a library story time, because I wasn’t sure if my baby was old enough to appreciate it?
Shanna Micko: Well, it’s not for your baby, dude. It’s to get out of the goddamn the house.
Laura Birek: I see.
Shanna Micko: Have something to do.
Laura Birek: Copy that.
Shanna Micko: Have your baby chew on a shaker that’s been chewed on by everybody.
Laura Birek: Understood.
Shanna Micko: Your baby will appreciate it more the older he gets. It’s just like a fun thing to do.
Laura Birek: Okay. I’m going to add that to the list. For sure.
Shanna Micko: Definitely. But what about you? What have you done to make mom friends since you’ve had a baby?
Laura Birek: So for me, I’m not as into the approaching strangers on the street method: the Shanna method of just talking to any old moms on the playground. No, I actually really like your method, but I’m much more of a sort of structured method and I have been actually really focused and intentional with it. But for me, it’s really been surrounding Mommy & Me classes. So my main mom friends have been found in this Mommy & Me class that I go to at this place called the Family Room in San Marino and we’re now in I think the fourth session.
They’re like eight week sessions I think and there’s some breaks between them and whatnot, but they’re not always the same women. But there’s a lot of overlap and I kind of ended up being the social director of the group is what I think the Family Room actually calls it, because I set up like a WhatsApp group for all of us to chat and so when the new session starts and new moms come in, we add them to the group. So now there’s like 24 moms in this WhatsApp group and it’s actually really a nice way to keep in touch, because you see them for an hour and a half once a week and you get to know people that way. But when it’s like 2:00 a.m. and you’ve woken up, because your baby is screaming again, especially when they were younger, this group was so great, because you could be like, “Well, I’m up for another feed. Anyone else up?” People will be like, “Yep, I’ve been up for an hour.”
Shanna Micko: That’s great.
Laura Birek: So there’s a lot of really great conversations there and so then it translates into actually hanging out in real life. That’s really where I focused my energy. I will say that I have one friend that’s a mom friend that I did the Shanna Micko method before we even had babies. I did it at prenatal yoga. I would go to prenatal yoga and I’d see the same people over and over and I remember there was this one woman, I was like, she just seems cool. One of the prenatal yoga teachers would go around and say when we’re due and whether we’re having a boy or a girl and all that. She was like, “Due at the end of December,” and she was having a boy and she lived nearby. So after one class, I literally walked up to her and I was like, “I think we should be friends. Do you want to hang out sometime?” She was like, “Yeah, great.” She ended up joining the first session of the Mommy & Me class, because I told her I was going to do it.
So we got to spend that time together, but that was my one sort of bold like, hi, you seem cool. Let’s be friends thing. It totally worked out.
Shanna Micko: That’s awesome. So I never joined a Mommy & Me class specifically. I was really strapped for cash when I was a new mom with Elle specifically. But one thing I did do, which was really cool, is a group of parents. I just met this one mom randomly and she was really nice and she was like, “I want to start a music class with our babies.” I was like, “Okay.” So she gathered some other parent friends and we met at her house and none of us paid anything. We decided we didn’t want to pay an actual music instructor. We just all met every week at her house with our babies or like six of us and each week one of us would be in charge of the musical repertoire for the week. When it was my week, I was like, “This week we’re going to play Disney songs and sing along with our babies.” She played the guitar and would sing little nursery rhymes and stuff and so that was a super fun and free way to get to know other parents and other babies. I really wish I had something like that this time around with CeCe.
Laura Birek: That’s so great. I am actually paying to go to a music class now at the Family Room, because I wanted to do a music class and I didn’t even think about the fact that like, yeah, we have three guitars. We could probably do it ourselves. But again, it’s the filling the days thing.
Shanna Micko: Yeah.
Laura Birek: But also I’m going with Corey on a weekend, so it’s kind of like a thing we can all do together. If I had another baby, I could totally just replicate it. It doesn’t require crazy special skills or anything.
Shanna Micko: No, half the time we just put stuff on Spotify through their speakers and we sang Moana songs and babies like hearing music and playing little instruments. It was so cute.
Laura Birek: Definitely my sort of method of doing stuff with the baby is throwing money at it, which I think it needs to probably slow down a little bit, because these classes really do add up. It’s kind of amazing how much they all can cost. But for me it’s like my mental health. It’s like therapy to get out of the house. So it’s fine. But yeah, it can really add up if you do like swimming and music and Mommy & Me. Who knows what else?
Shanna Micko: Yeah, that’s partly why we just threw this thing together for no money to give people ideas that maybe that’s something you can do with some people in your neighborhood or some friends or something like that. I will say that making mom friends is not always easy. Sometimes there’s some mom friend fails.
Laura Birek: I have had one recently.
Shanna Micko: Have you had one? Do you want to talk about it?
Laura Birek: Yeah, I do need to talk about this. So I recently responded to a woman on one of my Facebook mom groups. I’m in like a million Facebook mom groups, which is probably another good way to make friends. This story has an ending. I know I’m in like a Pasadena moms group. I’m in a Pasadena 2019 moms group and I’m also in the Pasadena 2018 moms group, because I got snuck in because I had a January baby. They’re always posting things about events and activities. So that’s a great way to look for friends. There was one group where someone mentioned that they were interested in making a mom friend basically and I was like, sure. I’m interested in also making a new mom friend and our babies were about the same age. We of course took a month and a half to actually get together, because nap schedules and travel schedules and everything just didn’t align. Finally, we got together and she was perfectly nice and her baby was lovely. There was nothing wrong. I just didn’t think we clicked. It was like a first date. It’s the weirdest thing. You go and you meet this person. It’s essentially a blind date and once you’re in it, you know whether there’s a spark or not.
Shanna Micko: Do you know within the first five seconds on a real blind date?
Laura Birek: I gave it a little more time. No, I think we spent about an hour together and again, there was nothing specifically wrong. It was just like that gene se qua wasn’t there. She didn’t seem like my people. You know what I mean?
Shanna Micko: Not everyone can be a Shanna Micko.
Laura Birek: It’s true. If everyone was, the world would be a beautiful shiny place.
Shanna Micko: Aww, that’s sweet. Okay.
Laura Birek: Yes, but it’s not that way in the real world, Shanna.
Shanna Micko: I know. What did you do?
Laura Birek: This is the thing. Much like a first date. Did you ever go on blind dates? I feel like you and Steve have been together since you were teenagers, so I don’t know.
Shanna Micko: Since I was like 24 we’ve been together, but yeah, I’ve been on a couple blind dates.
Laura Birek: So I went on a couple dates, not blind dates. I guess they were like internet dates. But essentially, first time you’ve ever seen a person in real life and it was so much like when you go on one of those dates and they’re super awkward or even no sparks and then they text and they’re like, “When can we go on another date?” This mom did that. She was like, “Hey, let’s hang out again.” I was such a fucking coward, Shanna.
Shanna Micko: Did you ghost her?
Laura Birek: No, I did not ghost her in the end. I did spend a whole day hemming and hawing about how I was going to handle it. I think I texted you, I texted my friend from yoga, I texted all kinds of people explaining the situation and being like, “Maybe I should just give her another chance. Our babies are the same age and maybe I just was in a bad mood. Who knows?” Basically everyone was like, “Girl, you don’t have to see her again. Just because you both have babies the same age doesn’t mean you’re a match.” So I eventually sent her a text message and was like, “Hey, it was great hanging out, but I don’t know if we’re going to really be able to do it again.” I said some things about why and she was fine. But it felt like nails on a chalkboard. It felt like a knife in the gut. Even though I’m the one doing it, I’m such a people pleaser.
Shanna Micko: That’s commendable though that you were honest with her. I feel like my approach might have been something like, oh yeah, let’s get together again soon and then kind of just like be flaky.
Laura Birek: I was contemplating that. I was also contemplating using someone an excuse.
Shanna Micko: My husband doesn’t want to me to see you.
Laura Birek: Pretty much. Like, well, my husband doesn’t like me… Fill in the blank. It’s so hard to even make that up, because Corey would never control me in that way. But I definitely was looking for the coward’s way out for a while and then realized I just had to be honest and I would want someone to be honest with me. It worked out in the end. It turns out honesty is the best policy.
Shanna Micko: How about that?
Laura Birek: Imagine that. But yeah, it was weird and it did make me a little gun shy about going through it again, because it’s a lot of trial and error making new friends and especially on the one on one thing. I think this is why I like groups, because you don’t have to be dedicated to the one. I need like speed dating. Someone should do speed dating for moms.
Shanna Micko: That’s our million dollar idea.
Laura Birek: Write it down. Anyway, so that was a recent fail. Have you had any mom friend fails?
Shanna Micko: I have. I’m talking a lot about stuff that happened when Elle was a baby. Just because now that CeCe’s a baby, I am so busy with work and taking care of her and living out in the boonies. I haven’t had much time to make new mom friends.
Laura Birek: You don’t have time for new friends.
Shanna Micko: I don’t have time for new friends. I got my Laura Birek, okay? But like I mentioned earlier, I was very much about approaching people. When Elle was a baby, I was in a swim class with Elle and there was a mom with another little baby and she seemed very cool and in the locker room we’re getting dressed, whatever. I’m like, “We should hang out.” She’s like, “Yeah, let’s do it.” So she seemed really nice and she actually invited me and Steve and Elle over on a weekend to her apartment to hang out with her husband and her baby.
Laura Birek: Not for like a whole weekend.
Shanna Micko: No, not like a ski weekend or anything.
Laura Birek: I was like, whoa, whoa, whoa. Moving so fast.
Shanna Micko: That would be a clearly terrible mom date. It’s just like, “Come over for lunch. The babies will play and blah, blah, blah.” I was like, “Okay.” I’m like, Steve’s not going to love this idea, but let’s make some parent friends in the neighborhood. We go over to their apartment and it was fine. But then we met her husband and the dude did not say a single word the entire time. No, he said words. But what I’m saying is he didn’t say a single word that wasn’t either a complaint about something, nagging things, kind of passively aggressively cutting down this mom.
Laura Birek: No.
Shanna Micko: It was so awkward. I knew almost immediately I can’t hang out with this guy ever again.
Laura Birek: That sucks, man.
Shanna Micko: It was so bad and so one thing that came up while we were there is this mom makes all of the baby’s food from scratch, which is commendable. Amazing. You know me. I am a baby jar food kind of lady and I aspire to do this. So I was impressed, but then I found out she’s like, “Yeah, my husband said if I get to stay home and take care of the baby while he works, that I have to make every single thing from scratch. That’s the price I pay.”
Laura Birek: This is me deep breathing, because I want to reach back through the space time continuum and punch this guy in the face. Oh, boy.
Shanna Micko: Yes, oh my God. Then this woman was so nice. She’s so sweet. So she made us lunch and she’s like, “I made a meatloaf out of this baby recipe book that I have.” It’s a recipe book for baby food.
Laura Birek: Got it. Okay.
Shanna Micko: But she made it for all of us.
Laura Birek: Did you all have to eat?
Shanna Micko: We ate baby meal for lunch.
Laura Birek: Oh, no.
Shanna Micko: Of course, it’s not good.
Laura Birek: Maybe it could be in some world, but no. How old were they at this point?
Shanna Micko: The kids were about a year and a half.
Laura Birek: All right. But you’re not putting a lot of spices and flavors in the baby meatloaf.
Shanna Micko: Zero to be exact
Laura Birek: Oh, no, Shanna.
Shanna Micko: So I’m like, oh God, I’m choking down this meatloaf. Of course, the husband, prick that he is, halfway through he’s like, “This needs salt.” It’s like, no, shit, dude. We’re all thinking it. We all know that the fucking meatloaf needs salt to taste good. But we’re not saying it. We’re not cutting this woman down. We’re just like trying to enjoy this lunch. It was so awkward. I left that day. I’m like, well, I certainly can’t be friends with that man. The woman is so nice and her baby is super adorable. Maybe I’ll try again. We texted some more and stuff and at one point I needed to start going back to work and Elle started daycare and I was telling her about it and she texted back, “I just don’t know how you can do that: put your baby in daycare and not be with your baby all day. I just don’t know how you can do that.” I don’t think she meant it with ill intention really, but it just felt so judgmental and I was already so sensitive. I’d been with Elle for like a year and a half and here I was finally putting her in a daycare with someone else and I was sensitive and she said that and I just lost interest in it all. I don’t know how it ended exactly, but I never hung out with her again.
Laura Birek: That sucks. I feel so bad for her. It gives me a little bit of PTSD with my ex-boyfriend who you knew.
Shanna Micko: I have to say, Laura, I spent a lot of that lunch thinking this reminds me of Laura’s ex and I was really glad you’re not with him anymore.
Laura Birek: Thank the Lord. I’m an agnostic and I thank the Lord for that. He was very narcissistic. Whether he actually had a narcissistic personality disorder, I am not qualified to diagnose. But I would not be surprised if he did, because he was a supreme asshole who treated me awfully for seven years. That nagging is a really shitty position to be in. I feel really bad for her. But also, she should have been much more supportive about you putting Elle into daycare, because I can see a world where the tone on that is like, oh, man. That’s so hard. I don’t know how you can do that, because it’s so hard to leave our kids. You have to do what you have to do. That could be what she meant, but she didn’t say it instead she’s just like, I don’t know how you do that. I’m a superior mother for not doing that. Poor woman is trapped, man.
Shanna Micko: I know. I kind of wish I knew how she was doing now and how that adorable baby was doing, but it was just one of those that didn’t work out.
Laura Birek: But it matters sort of how the family dynamic is too, because you can’t ignore that because especially as the kids are getting older, you wouldn’t want Elle exposed to that kind of negativity all the time.
Shanna Micko: No.
Laura Birek: If you were truly mom friends, you spend more and more time with each other at each other’s house and you can’t avoid that. Not to mention that that kind of negativity gets mirrored I think in the kids. You know what I mean?
Shanna Micko: Yeah.
Laura Birek: I think you made the right call there.
Shanna Micko: Thanks.
Laura Birek: I really hope that woman maybe has asserted herself and is now living independently and free.
Shanna Micko: Yes, me too. I wish her the best. All in all, Laura, I am so glad that I have you as a mom friend. You’re amazing.
Laura Birek: Me too. No, you are amazing. I’m so glad I walked up to you after that class and didn’t just walk the other way.
Shanna Micko: Me too.
Laura Birek: Anyway, should we take a break and then come back with our BFPs and BFNs for the week?
Shanna Micko: Let’s do it. We are back and we’re going to wrap things up with our weekly BFPs and BFNs. Laura, what do you got for us?
Laura Birek: I have a BFN.
Shanna Micko: Woo, what is it?
Laura Birek: So I talked about my endoscopy at the beginning of this week: upper endoscopy. I’ve discovered you should say upper endoscopy, because apparently there’s a lower endoscopy.
Shanna Micko: Does that mean your butt hole?
Laura Birek: It means your butt hole, which again, there’s nothing wrong with it. But I just want to be clear. It was not up the butt, it was down the throat. Both are very legitimate medical procedures. But this one was the upper endoscopy and I had to get mildly sedated. Apparently not sedated enough as we discussed earlier. But that sedation involved I think like fentanyl and some other heavy duty drugs that I’m not entirely sure, which were the ones that made me nap all day, which I was very pleased with. But the downside of it, and this is my BFN, is that it required 24 hours of pumping and dumping.
Shanna Micko: Did you feel like a cow hooked up to a milking machine?
Laura Birek: No, because cow’s milk goes on to good use in yogurt and heavy cream.
Shanna Micko: That’s true.
Laura Birek: Mine went straight down the sink. I’ve not had supply issues. I haven’t had any real problems with breastfeeding, knock on wood. But I have to say that watching that liquid gold go down the drain, I was just like, come on. Really? Also, the dumping part is hard, but also the pumping part kind of sucks, because you’re just doing it for nothing. At least with pumping normally I’m just like, I’m building my stash. I’m feeding my baby and this is just like, oh no, I’m hooked up to this machine watching my nipples go and then nothing.
Shanna Micko: But it was also keeping up your supply.
Laura Birek: It was. Obviously, I needed to do it. I couldn’t not do it. The good news was that because the endoscopy was at 11 o’clock, I could feed in the morning, so I didn’t have to pump first thing. It was a full 24 hours of pumping and dumping, but I only had to dump one more feed in the morning the next day and then I was back to it, because he doesn’t feed overnight anymore. So it wasn’t like all the feeds during the day that I had to do. But still it’s just not what I would call a fun time.
Shanna Micko: No.
Laura Birek: That was the first time I had to do that.
Shanna Micko: It reminds me that I got LASIK surgery when Elle was six months old. I think I very readily took the Valium or whatever they offered me and that required me to also pump and dump for a while and that was painful. I remember. So I feel you.
Laura Birek: It just is very counterintuitive also having to put bottles together and stuff. The baby was like, mom, you’re right there. How come I can’t have those boobs? I was like, those boobs are closed for business right now and he did not understand that at all. But I have to say our reunion nursing, he was really happy.
Shanna Micko: Aww, that’s so cute.
Laura Birek: He was like, booby where have you been? I missed you so much. Never leave again.
Shanna Micko: You’re going to be nursing till he’s five.
Laura Birek: Probably at this rate. Anyway, what do you have for us: a BFP or a BFN?
Shanna Micko: I also have a BFN.
Laura Birek: Wow. Okay.
Shanna Micko: Remember how just a few minutes ago I was like, I love story time at the library and it was so great with Elle and I met mom friends and blah, blah, blah.
Laura Birek: I do remember.
Shanna Micko: Well, I tried taking CeCe to a library story time at the library near me and it sucked bad.
Laura Birek: Really? Why?
Shanna Micko: Well, first of all, I have been feeling kind of anxious and worked up about stuff and we get there and it’s super crowded. We’re late, we have to park down the street, we walk in late and it’s just tons of kids and chaos. My head is kind of spitting a little bit from the chaos and then I’m checking my phone constantly to see if it’s anything related to me that I need to respond to. Of course, a couple things are. So I’m trying to communicate for work and CeCe’s there and just wants to eat. Every day they’re giving out little shakers and different things for the kids to play with, because it’s not just story time. They do a lot of songs and stuff too and so I’m like, oh my God, these things are German feasting, I’m trying to get these things out of her mouth.
Laura Birek: There’s no way.
Shanna Micko: All of that I think would’ve been tolerable. But then the kicker was that the librarian literally had no people skills, had no presentation skills. She just stood up there and read the book.
Laura Birek: Oh, man.
Shanna Micko: You are trying to command the attention of a room of zero to three year olds.
Laura Birek: Oh my God.
Shanna Micko: You can’t mumble quietly and whip through pages fast. She said that at one point. She’s like, “Well, I’m losing them so I guess we’ll do another song.” I’m like, losing them? You never had them. Okay. I’m a performer and so I’m very sensitive to this stuff. I actually volunteered as a book reader through the SAG-AFTRA Foundation and so I know what it takes to present a book and be engaging to kids. The woman who did the other one when Elle was a baby was like that. This lady was trying.
Laura Birek: It takes big gestures.
Shanna Micko: Loud voice.
Laura Birek: Oh my goodness.
Shanna Micko: I can’t do this anymore and I was really bummed, because I was kind of looking forward to that as something to get out of the house and I’m just a critical bitch, Laura. I don’t think I can do this again.
Laura Birek: They need some voice training. Is that the difference between living in North Hollywood that’s like crawling without actors and now living where you guys live?
Shanna Micko: Yes, just a straight up legit nice sweet librarian lady who’s probably kind of quiet. She’s very sweet.
Laura Birek: I feel like librarians don’t go into library science, because they’re outgoing. I actually know a few librarians who are lovely and do enjoy karaoke, so I’m probably wrong.
Shanna Micko: Well, let me know where their story time is and I’ll hit it up. But it was fine. It was just kind of like a little bummer, but maybe I’ll try another library in the area and see if it’s any better.
Laura Birek: Good news is there are lots of libraries.
Shanna Micko: Indeed.
Laura Birek: There’s a whole circuit in the Pasadena area apparently. They talk about this on the Pasadena moms group. Someone charted it out, like where to go, which day. My problem is that all of them seem to be right during my baby’s nap times.
Shanna Micko: That’s tricky.
Laura Birek: What are you going to do?
Shanna Micko: Skip it. Anyway, that was a fun episode. Should we wrap things up?
Laura Birek: That was. I think we should.
Shanna Micko: If you guys have any ideas about how to meet mom friends or any stories or anecdotes to share with us, you know we love to hear from you. Laura, how can everyone reach us?
Laura Birek: We are on social media at BFP Podcast. That’s Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook at BFP Podcast. We also have a closed Facebook community group. Just search Big Fat Positive community and click to join. I will add you. We also have a website, bigfatpositivepodcast.com, and also we would love to hear if you have any questions for our Check in the Inbox segment. You can email voice memos to us at [email protected]
Shanna Micko: If you love Big Fat Positive, please leave us a rating or review wherever you listen to podcast and share the love. If you know anyone who’s pregnant or a new parent, let them know about BFP Podcast. Big Fat Positive is produced by Laura Birek, Shanna Micko and Steve Yager.
Laura Birek: Thanks for listening, everyone. We will see you next week.
Steve Micko: Bye.