Ep. 82: Let’s Get Medical: Baby X-Rays, Flu Tests and Swallowing Foreign Objects
January 27, 2020
Shanna and Laura go head-to-head in another exciting round of parenting-related trivia in the special segment “Stump the New Mom,” where they discover what foreign object is most commonly swallowed by kids and babies. Also, Laura talks about dropping her baby’s dream feed, and Shanna recounts her toddler’s dramatic trip to the pediatrician. Finally, they reveal their BFPs and BFNs for the week. Shanna’s toddler is 12 months and two weeks old, and Laura’s baby is 11 months and three weeks old.
- VTech Roll & Surprise Animal Train* Laura's baby loves this toy train where animals pop up and make noises. *affiliate link
- Hola Ukelele* This is the uke Laura's baby LOVED as a Christmas present. *affiliate link
- Baby Leg Warmers* Shanna loves these to help bridge the gap between pant sizes and help keep her toddler's legs warm while not compromising foot traction! *affiliate link
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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, Stump the New Mom, where Laura and I fire trivia questions at each other to see if we can break the ongoing tie that we have in this game and we wrap it up with our weekly BFPs and BFNs. Let’s get to it.
Shanna Micko: Hey, everyone. Welcome to episode 82. Hi, Laura.
Laura Birek: Hi, Shanna.
Shanna Micko: How are you guys doing? How old’s your baby? What’s up?
Laura Birek: What’s up? My baby’s 11 months, three weeks and yeah, we’re good. So this week when we’re recording, it’s actually Christmas this week. So baby’s first Christmas was very fun.
Shanna Micko: Aww.
Laura Birek: It was very cute. It was pretty low key, but we had a good time. I got a little bit of a cold. I think I mentioned it in the last episode that I went to that co-working place and then promptly got sick. So I was a little sick all week, but it was fine.
It wasn’t that bad and Corey was home. I sucked it up and we had a very Merry Christmas and it was really cute. He just loved the tree and he wasn’t that into opening presents, but he is really engaging with toys right now. I think you had mentioned this about a month ago that CeCe was really starting to engage with toys in a new way and I’m noticing that with my guy too. He’s really interested in them all of a sudden as opposed to just interested in putting them in his mouth.
Shanna Micko: Yes, exactly.
Laura Birek: So it’s very good timing, because Christmas happened and he got a bunch of new toys and then his birthday’s coming up in a week. It’s a good time to start being interested in toys. That’s exciting. We went down to Long Beach to Corey’s mom’s for Christmas dinner, which was just lovely and it was really nice to spend some time with that side of the family. It was just really nice to also just get out of the house too, because I feel like I had been cooped up a little bit being sick and all that. That was really nice.
Shanna Micko: Did your baby get any significant presents for Christmas? Anything interesting, notable, anything that he especially loved?
Laura Birek: Shanna, are you just trying to get people to stick around for our BFPs and BFNs, because that’s actually going to be my BFP this week, spoiler.
Shanna Micko: Okay.
Laura Birek: It’s not a spoiler, because I didn’t say what it was, but stay tuned. You’ll find out. There’s a reason I didn’t mention specifics. Trying to hold some stuff back.
Shanna Micko: Inquiring minds what know, what did the baby get?
Laura Birek: Let’s see. So there was one thing that’s separate from what I’m going to talk about in the BFPs and BFNs, which is he got this little train thing. I think it’s Fisher Price, but it’s this little train and of course it lights up and plays music. But the thing that’s very exciting about it is that it has little popup animals that you can push down and if you press like a lever or turn a knob, then they pop back up and then the cat goes, “Meow.”
Shanna Micko: That’s so cute.
Laura Birek: He’s really into that. So that was a winner. Well, I’ll link to it in our show notes if you go to bigfatpositivepodcast.com.
Shanna Micko: Cool.
Laura Birek: But yeah, Christmas was a success. My mom came to visit and there’s big news in that, which is our garage conversion is not done, but it’s livable.
Shanna Micko: Whoa. You’ve been talking about this for like a year, so this is huge.
Laura Birek: Girl, we started planning this before I was pregnant. So now my mom was able to stay in the back. It’s still a little rough. There’s a lot of things that need to be finished. Like, there’s no handle on the sliding door, so you can’t open. They put a little temporary handle on it. Just little details like that here and there.
Shanna Micko: So she wasn’t permanently trapped in there with no way to get out?
Laura Birek: That would be sad. She’s still in there. I should go get her.
Shanna Micko: Go get her.
Laura Birek: No, they had a fix of work around, but there’s just lots of little stuff like that. But we got a sleeper sofa and it’s apparently super comfortable.
Shanna Micko: Nice.
Laura Birek: She said it was pretty nice to stay back there and it was really nice having her so close, but not right in our house. I’m really excited to have that done.
Shanna Micko: Yay.
Laura Birek: That was very good.
Then I have an update that I completely forgot to mention last week I think because I had gotten sick: I finally dropped the dream feed. Finally!
Shanna Micko: I didn’t realize you were still doing that.
Laura Birek: You’re like, what? You’re still doing that shit.
Shanna Micko: Okay. That’s huge.
Laura Birek: It’s on me. Here’s why.
Shanna Micko: That’s fine. Whatever works.
Laura Birek: Well, I was just terrified of not doing it, because he slept so well and I was like, why would I change anything? He’s sleeping so, so well, why would I stop going in and feeding him extra at 10:00 p.m.? If that means him waking up at 5:00 a.m., no, no, no. Not going to do it. Then I want to say like two months ago I was like, I’m definitely going to drop the dream feed and then there was a night I was like, I think this is my last dream feed and then the next day he woke up with like a massive fever. I was like, well, I’m not dropping the dream feed now. He needs as much comfort and breast milk as possible. So we kept that. In fact, I think those days I was feeding him in the middle of the night and stuff, but then finally, finally, finally I was like, okay. I think it’s time to really do it. I felt like he wasn’t really wanting it that much. I’d go in and he’d latch for a couple minutes and then be done with it.
Shanna Micko: Oh, okay.
Laura Birek: I just didn’t seem to care and so I was absolutely terrified, because I love my sleep, Shanna.
Shanna Micko: I know.
Laura Birek: I didn’t want to mess up a good thing, but I did it. So I dropped it. I did it at the beginning of last week and there were one or two days last week where he wanted it again. He woke up at like 10:30 crying and I went in and dream fed him. But since then, it’s completely dropped.
Shanna Micko: That’s great.
Laura Birek: It’s been fairly painless and I realize I probably could have done it earlier. It wasn’t really that much of an imposition on my life. I didn’t go to bed before 10 or 10:30. Every night I think I would go to bed at like 11, so it would just kind of be the last thing I did in the day and it was very sweet just having your little cuddle time.
Shanna Micko: True.
Laura Birek: It got to the point where I was like, it would be nice to just be done.
Put the baby to bed and then have all my time and not have to worry about… For instance, if we left him with a babysitter, we’d have to be rushing back, because there were a couple times we tried to have the babysitter do a dream feed. Did not work. He wouldn’t take a bottle for the dream feed after like seven months even with Corey. It was interesting, but it’s nice now to be done with that and he seems to be doing okay. I was also concerned about my supply. That was my other excuse: it’s going to mess with my supply.
Shanna Micko: Yes, your abundant supply that has never been affected by anything.
Laura Birek: I know. Why am I so paranoid about this? I think because there’s so much in the ether about breast milk supply and how hard it is for so many people to breastfeed that I’m just like, at any moment the other shoe could drop. So now I’m throwing caution to the wind. I’m taking Sudafed. I’m dropping the dream feed.
Shanna Micko: Oh, girl, that kid’s going to be sucking air.
Laura Birek: I still do the thing where every once in a while he’ll pull off, I’ll be like, “Is there no milk?” Then I’ll squeeze it and sprays it.
Shanna Micko: Oh my word.
Laura Birek: The other day I sprayed it all over my cell phone. I didn’t realize it and then when we went back to nursing and I picked up my phone, I was like, why is my phone…
Shanna Micko: Oh, God.
Laura Birek: Anyway, so yes. No more dream feed and Christmas was lovely. That was our last few weeks I guess technically. So that’s me. Shanna, what’s been going on with you? How old’s your toddler now?
Shanna Micko: My toddler is 12 months, two weeks and we had an interesting Christmas.
Laura Birek: Okay.
Shanna Micko: God, do I really want to relive this by retelling this?
Laura Birek: Well, I’m at the edge of my seat. What is happening?
Shanna Micko: Christmas was fine. It was fun. The girls were having a good time. But CeCe had been kind of under the weather for a couple days beforehand and I didn’t think too much of it. She had a low fever and I was also preoccupied with Christmas and getting presents ready and everything and by the end of Christmas day, she was eating dinner in her little high chair and Steve was like, “What’s wrong with her fingers?” I was like, “Oh my God. They look blue,” and we’re like, “What’s wrong with her toes they look blue?”
Laura Birek: Oh my God.
Shanna Micko: Her extremities were blue and I was like, oh my God. So we got her out of her seat, checked to see if there was anything cutting off her circulation and there wasn’t. I felt her forehead and I was like, oh my God, she’s burning up and she’s going this weird, bur discomfort. That was her way of expressing her discomfort I guess I could say.
Laura Birek: Oh, no. Poor baby.
Shanna Micko: So I was like, oh, shit. This has taken a turn for the worst. I took her temperature and it was 103.5 and she was completely shivering. My mom was like, “Maybe the bur sound is her being cold and getting the chills from fever.” I was like, “Maybe. Is that an instinctual sound humans make?”
Laura Birek: I guess it is.
Shanna Micko: I don’t know. I gave her some Motrin immediately and tried to warm her up and tried to get those extremities less blue and I was like, okay. It’s time to take her to the doctor. It wasn’t so bad that I felt I needed to do it that minute, but I was definitely peak concerned. The last couple days it had just been 100, 101 fever that I’d managed with Tylenol and everything. So I took her the next day to the pediatrician, which was completely jam packed with people who couldn’t go on Christmas.
Laura Birek: This is the day after Christmas, right?
Shanna Micko: Yeah, the day after Christmas. By the way, the day after Christmas, I personally also went to urgent care earlier in the day because remember a few weeks ago I was like, I coughed so hard, I pulled a muscle. Yeah, I think I talked about that. Well, I did it again or something because I was in severe pain. I couldn’t take a deep breath. I couldn’t move or lift my arms. It hurt so bad. So I was like, I need to see what’s going on and the doctor was like, “I think you have a fractured rib.” I was like, “Okay. Cool.”
Laura Birek: I’m sorry to laugh. It’s not funny.
Shanna Micko: It fucking hurts men.
Laura Birek: I’m so sorry. I am so sorry. I love you so much, friend. I am not laughing at your misfortune, but you coughed so hard you broke a rib.
Shanna Micko: That was his best guess.
Laura Birek: Oh my God.
Shanna Micko: He’s like, “Well, there’s nothing I can do about it.”
Laura Birek: Great. Thank you, doctor.
Shanna Micko: He gave me not Tylenol. Thank God. I would’ve really been pissed.
Laura Birek: Have some Tylenol. Thanks.
Shanna Micko: There’s the next best thing I guess Ibuprofen 800 milligrams. It’s like, God, that’s not going to do shit. But thanks. So I went home with that and then later in the day, took CeCe to the pediatrician and we waited in the waiting room forever and she is just becoming listless in my arms.
Laura Birek: Oh, no.
Shanna Micko: I’m growing so antsy. I brought my mom with me I’m really glad to keep me company and so we finally get back there in the room and the doctor comes in and he took one look at her and he was like, “I don’t like her color.” I’m like, I don’t know what that means really. She looks sick to me. But he was immediately concerned. So we listened to her chest and did the whole thing and usually, me and this doctor chit chat. He’s really friendly. He’s like, “All right. Baby’s going to go in for a flu test and a chest x-ray to check for pneumonia, because I heard some stuff in her lungs,” and I’m like, oh my God. I’ve just almost felt blindsided by this, because she had just seemed okay. I knew she was sick, but she’d seemed okay for the last couple days. I was just kind of blindsided and took her in for this X-ray first and it was so sad and traumatic. This poor baby. Every time she goes to this damn doctor’s office, she’s getting ears flushed out with weird devices. So we had to take her sweater off, because we didn’t know if it had any metal decoration yarn in it. So she’s like half naked and I had to hold her down on the x-ray table and she’s screaming and crying. They got one picture and then they had to put her on her side. So they had to call in a helper again.
Laura Birek: Did you have to wear like a lead gown?
Shanna Micko: I did too. We held her down on her side and she’s just losing her shit. It was so sad to see. She’s already sick and so confused about what’s going on.
Laura Birek: It’s probably cold.
Shanna Micko: Because it’s a metal table. Then the woman that helped, she was someone from the lab and she said, “Here’s what we’re going to do. Instead of you bringing her back to the lab for this flu test, just pick her right up from the x-ray table and I’m going to do the test right here and let’s just get it all done with while she’s upset.” I was like, “Okay.” The flu test sucks for kids especially. I’ve never had it done, but they take this gigantic Q-tip and shove it up their nose and swirl it around in there to get whatever mucus cells or whatever.
Laura Birek: I can feel that just, ugh.
Shanna Micko: Right. It makes the inside of your head tingle just thinking about it. Elle has had this a few times and she hates it. So I was just anticipating this holding CeCe so tight in my arms without her shirt in this X-ray room and this woman comes and shoves this thing up her nose and she’s screaming. Okay. I said it. I lived it. I told it. Now I can really breathe.
Laura Birek: And the results?
Shanna Micko: We went back to the exam room to wait and she just passed out in my arms so tired.
Laura Birek: Poor baby. I bet.
Shanna Micko: The doctor came back in about 15 minutes later and he said, “Good news, she does not have pneumonia.”
Laura Birek: Yay.
Shanna Micko: I’m like, “Yay.” He said, “Bad news, she has the flu.”
Laura Birek: Oh my God. What?
Shanna Micko: I was like, “What?” He’s like, “It’s the flu B.” I was like, “There’s a flu B? I did not know.” So this whole situation is completely blindsiding me. He’s like, “Yeah, it’s the flu B. I have seen this cropping up in the last few days. I think it’s mutated or the vaccination just wasn’t quite as efficient this year,” because CeCe obviously did get the flu vaccine a couple months ago. So I was confused as to why she got the flu and he is like, “Yeah, a lot of kids have been coming in with flu B.”
Laura Birek: Interesting.
Shanna Micko: I felt so guilty as a parent for not knowing she had the freaking flu because to me the flu is you get it immediately, like high fever chills right away.
Laura Birek: It hits you like a bus, a ton of bricks.
Shanna Micko: That’s what I always imagine and like I said, this was kind of a gentle start. Couple days she was kind of tired, fussy.
Laura Birek: 100 degree fever is barely a fever.
Shanna Micko: I’m like, I’m not going to bring her in for this and of course, because I waited so long, he’s like, “Unfortunately, you can’t do the antiviral medication, the Tamiflu, because it’s too late.” It was already day four of this virus and he’s like, “You just have to write it out.”
Laura Birek: Oh, man. But you know what? If you had gone in with a hundred degree fever, they wouldn’t have laughed you out of the doctor’s office, but they might not have even done the flu swab, because it’s not a high enough. I also wonder if the flu vaccine is giving her partial immunity. Do you know how?
Shanna Micko: Possibly.
Laura Birek: Apparently, it works that way that one of the main benefits of the flu shot isn’t necessarily avoiding the flu altogether, which is obviously a big benefit. But because flu virus mutates so quickly, you can’t possibly be covered 100% every year and that’s why you have to get it every year, because every year it’s mutated too much.
Shanna Micko: Scary.
Laura Birek: But if you get the flu shot, it’s supposed to lessen the severity and duration of the flu. So even though she still got the flu, hopefully, that could be why it wasn’t so severe at the beginning.
Shanna Micko: In general, thank God it wasn’t too severe ever. She’s feeling a little bit better now. He’s like, “You need to really watch out for dehydration. That’s the biggest problem with the flu and it turning into pneumonia.” So he really wanted us to keep our eye on those things and luckily, she had a high fever and was very fatigued and sick, but the flu is such a scary thing, especially when your baby gets it and I thought it would be a lot worse. So I’m really glad and I know now that the flu B is really bad this year and a lot of children have gotten it and really suffered from it. I’m so grateful that she’s doing okay and knock on all the wood in the world, none of us have gotten it.
Laura Birek: That’s amazing.
Shanna Micko: That’s the other thing. It’s like, am I going to get it? Is Elle going to get it? But thank you vaccinations.
Laura Birek: Thank you vaccinations. It’s not too late to get your flu shot for this season too. If you haven’t gotten it, go get it. It’s worth it even if you are just have a few weeks left. Actually, there are probably months left in the season.
Shanna Micko: Probably. This comes out in March.
Laura Birek: But even when this comes out…
Shanna Micko: I didn’t know anything about flu B so I had to look it up and I just want to share a couple fun facts.
Laura Birek: Fun.
Shanna Micko: As fun as they can be about flu B.
Laura Birek: You know what says fun? Flu.
Shanna Micko: Okay. I’m really trying to spin this into a positive here, Laura.
Laura Birek: I love it.
Shanna Micko: Influenza B is known only to affect humans. Wait, let’s guess. What do you think? What other creature is affected by flu B besides humans?
Laura Birek: I’m going to go with swine.
Shanna Micko: Oh, I thought you were going to say swans.
Laura Birek: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Can I change my answer?
Shanna Micko: Humans and swans. Well, it’s not swine or swans. It’s seals.
Laura Birek: What?
Shanna Micko: Yeah.
Laura Birek: Poor seals.
Shanna Micko: I know. So sad. Then flu B is only contagious from humans to humans, but flu A is contagious. Flu A can spread from animals to humans and I didn’t know that either.
Laura Birek: Like the bird flu, the swine flu, all that stuff. Okay. So that’s A. B is like seals.
Shanna Micko: Seals give it to seals. Humans give it to humans. Swans give it to nobody.
Laura Birek: Swans, you’re cool. Actually, I’m guessing if chickens can get flu, swans can get the flu.
Shanna Micko: Probably. They probably get flu A.
Laura Birek: Listeners, if you know, write in.
Shanna Micko: Please.
Laura Birek: Well, I’m really, really glad that even though CeCe was suffering for a while that it’s not too, too bad and that she’s on the mend and that none of you have gotten the flu yet, knock on wood.
Shanna Micko: But other than that Christmas was good.
Laura Birek: What a fun Christmas.
Shanna Micko: The Christmas day itself was really fun. Santa came, the girls opened presents and it was just like super fun to be with family and eat a nice meal and I made a Christmas cake. I’m really into making and decorating cakes right now. So I made a Christmas tree cake and I was too busy clearly baking a Christmas tree cake to notice my baby had the flu.
Laura Birek: No, no, no.
Shanna Micko: I know. I know.
Laura Birek: Stop kicking yourself for this. It’s harness and you were watching her and you figured it out. It’s not like you didn’t know she had a fever at all. You know what I mean?
Shanna Micko: Yes, you’re right.
Laura Birek: It just got more severe and then you took her to the doctor, which is what you’re supposed to do. You’re a good mom.
Shanna Micko: Thank you. Should we move on to our special segment?
Laura Birek: Let’s do it.
Shanna Micko: Okay.
Laura Birek: We’re back. So we are doing our special segment, Stump the New Mom, today where Shanna and I try to stump each other with some pregnancy parenting or other related trivia. We got three questions each. I don’t know what is our…
Shanna Micko: We are tied I believe in all of the rounds of this that we’ve done.
Laura Birek: Oh my gosh.
Shanna Micko: I think we’re even right now.
Laura Birek: Let’s see.
Shanna Micko: Or you’re ahead. You’re a trivia wiz.
Laura Birek: No, but I think you’re ahead. Hold on.
Shanna Micko: No.
Laura Birek: Okay. We did it in episode 65 and you won the last one and so now it’s two wins for me, two wins for you and one tie. So we’re truly tied. This is a tiebreaker unless we tie again.
Shanna Micko: You always get me so nervous and worked up by talking about these standings.
Laura Birek: Even though we’re tied?
Shanna Micko: Well, yes, because one of us is going to win and one of us is going to lose unless we tie again.
Laura Birek: Okay.
Shanna Micko: But whatever happens, we will still be friends.
Laura Birek: Yeah, of course. Just seething resentment underneath the surface at all times.
Shanna Micko: Which will lead to the end of the podcast.
Laura Birek: One day we’ll just be like, hey, guys. We’ve had a lot of fun with this podcast, but Shanna and I can’t reconcile our trivia wins and losses, so pretty fun.
Shanna Micko: Bye.
Laura Birek: Bye.
Shanna Micko: Just kidding.
Laura Birek: That will never happen.
Shanna Micko: Who’s up first? Me?
Laura Birek: Oh, yeah. You asked me the first question.
Shanna Micko: According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, at what age is it safe for a baby to start using a pillow to sleep: A) one year B) one and a half years C) two years?
Laura Birek: I just looked this up literally last night.
Shanna Micko: Are you kidding me?
Laura Birek: I’m sorry. I was curious. I was just thinking about it and I was nursing my baby before bed and I was like, I wonder when he can start using a pillow. Was it when he turns a year? Or is it later? So my answer is B: one and a half years.
Shanna Micko: You’re right.
Laura Birek: I’m sorry. It’s just very coincidental.
Shanna Micko: You know what’s funny is as I was writing that, I was like, I wonder if she’s looked this up recently, because our kids are getting to that age. So according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, “Parents can safely start using pillows for children who are a year and a half old about the same age at which parents can safely move children out of the crib and either into a toddler bed or onto a mattress on the floor.
If they are gluttons for punishment, why you would move your kid out of their bed at one and a half?” I don’t know, but there you have it.
Laura Birek: Yeah, because then they can just run around the room and destroy it I guess if you have a kid who’s climbing out of the crib anyway.
Shanna Micko: That’s true. All right.
Laura Birek: Starting off. Good for Laura. Mine has an agenda. You might pick up on it. How much extra unpaid labor do women do on an average day every day? This includes essential household responsibilities like cleaning, childcare, and taking care of sick family members. So is it about two hours of unpaid labor, about three hours of unpaid labor, or about four hours of unpaid labor per day?
Shanna Micko: Where’s the option of 12 hours, because that’s where I’m at?
Laura Birek: This is extra in addition to your paid job, in addition to all the normal responsibilities, how much extra do women do?
Shanna Micko: C 4.
Laura Birek: Yes, that is correct.
So according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, “Men in the US spend 150 minutes a day about 17 and a half hours per week doing unpaid labor. Women spend 243 minutes doing unpaid labor each day about 28 and a half hours a week.”
Shanna Micko: Wow.
Laura Birek: Then this is interesting. When you add both paid and unpaid work together, women still work longer hours than men. So there you go.
Shanna Micko: No wonder we’re exhausted.
Laura Birek: No kidding. We’re tied.
Shanna Micko: What percentage of births in the US are not in the hospital, aka home births or at a birthing center? A) 1.6%, B) 3.2%, C) 7.5%.
Laura Birek: Wow. Birthing centers throw me off because I feel like they’re getting really pretty popular. I’m going to go against my gut and go for the largest number seven point something.
Shanna Micko: No, it’s A. It’s the smallest number: 1.6.
Laura Birek: Oh, interesting. I thought you maybe were throwing me a curve ball, but yeah, that’s actually smaller than I thought including birth centers. The cohorts are one thing, but birth centers are I thought getting more popular.
Shanna Micko: They are. That’s what the research indicates that out of hospital births are increasing and this data’s actually from 2017, so it might have even gone up a little since then. But they say that in 2017 there were 62,228 out of hospital births and birth center births have more than doubled.
Laura Birek: Okay. So they are getting more popular just not a big enough chunk to make up. I guess that would be almost one in 10. That’s a lot. I do feel like in my South Pasadena area, it is like one in 10 who went to a birth center.
Shanna Micko: It might be. It does say that the Pacific Northwest is where this is the most common and it’s less common in southeastern states such as Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi. So it’s approximately one in every 62 births is what percentage works out too. It is actually smaller than I thought too, but I think it is because we’re exposed to a little bit more of the Earth Mama stuff being in the west.
Laura Birek: It’s true. We know we have a friend who had two home births.
Shanna Micko: Another friend I know had a home birth. So I personally know people who’ve done it, so it feels more common.
Laura Birek: I don’t think a home planned C-section works out so well though.
Shanna Micko: Laura, come on now.
Laura Birek: Be more open.
Shanna Micko: Or go do it in the ocean with the dolphins.
Laura Birek: With a planned C-section it is like salt water.
Shanna Micko: Yeah, exactly.
Laura Birek: Okay. My agenda continues. Ready?
Shanna Micko: Ooh.
Laura Birek: If women were compensated for their unpaid labor, how much extra would they earn a year on average: $20,000, $40,000 or $60,000?
Shanna Micko: I feel like maybe I could do a little math based on the first question to figure this out, but that makes my head spin. So I’m not going to try to work that out. Let’s see. What were the options again?
Laura Birek: $20,000, $40,000 or $60,000.
Shanna Micko: I’m going to go with $40,000.
Laura Birek: That is correct.
Shanna Micko: Woo-hoo.
Laura Birek: Which I actually thought was a little low, but what it is, is the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the average American earns $26.82 an hour. So that’s what that’s based on.
Shanna Micko: Oh, okay.
Laura Birek: So if men were compensated for their unpaid labor, they would earn an extra almost $470 a week, but women would earn an extra $760 a week.
Shanna Micko: Wow.
Laura Birek: Almost $40,000 a year.
Shanna Micko: We need to find an employer who will pay us for all of this labor we’re doing. Pay us for our unpaid labor.
Laura Birek: The thing is if you were paying someone else to do it, it would cost a lot of money.
Shanna Micko: True.
Laura Birek: We have one more question each, but I think we should take a break, re-center ourselves, and then come back and find out who wins after this quick break.
Shanna Micko: Let’s do it.
Laura Birek: We’re back. We have one more question each. Shanna, are you going to hit me with my third question?
Shanna Micko: Oh, yeah. Last question. In children and babies, the most commonly swallowed foreign object that comes to medical attention in the US is a) batteries, b) magnets, c) coins?
Laura Birek: Ooh. Those are all dangerous. I’m going to go with coins just because they’re always around and fall on the floor easily and are hard to see when you’re cleaning up. That’s my answer.
Shanna Micko: Correct.
Laura Birek: Yay.
Shanna Micko: Good job.
Laura Birek: But all of those deserve a trip to the ER.
Shanna Micko: Yes, 100%. According to the National Institute of Health research study I found on there says, “Coins are the most commonly swallowed foreign body that comes to medical attention in the US. In other countries, those related to food such as fish bones are most common.”
Laura Birek: Interesting.
Shanna Micko: “Preschoolers of both sexes and adolescent boys are at the highest risk.” You know those teenage boys running around swallowing coins.
Laura Birek: They probably do it for fun. I remember being so bored as a teenager, but oh, adolescent boys.
Shanna Micko: Not enough to swallow quarters.
Laura Birek: I have to say that adolescent boyhood scares me. It’s in my future.
It’s a lot a far distant future for me right now, but it’s like, oh God.
Shanna Micko: With the right guidance, he will just be fine.
Laura Birek: Besides like me, I was nerdy and shy and stuff. So it’s fine. All right.
Shanna Micko: Cute.
Laura Birek: So we are tied. If you get this right, you win.
Shanna Micko: You always put the pressure on.
Laura Birek: In one study, it showed that having a child added 21 hours per week to a woman’s workload as discussed above. How many additional hours per week did the men take on after having a baby: 10 hours, 15 hours or 20 hours?
Shanna Micko: I’m going to say 10.
Laura Birek: You are correct.
Shanna Micko: Yay.
Laura Birek: You are a winner.
Shanna Micko: Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.
Laura Birek: Don’t brag or anything.
Shanna Micko: Oh, I’m not. I’m just dancing excitedly.
Laura Birek: No, no, I’m glad you won. This is from the conversation.com, which is I guess an evidence based blah, blah, blah site. You can find it.
Shanna Micko: I love that it’s based blah, blah, blah.
Laura Birek: Let me see what they actually say. Their subtitle is the conversation and it’s academic rigor journalistic flare.
Shanna Micko: Nice.
Laura Birek: But anyways, this is from the Conversation and they said, “Before the baby arrived, men and women in our study were both working roughly the same number of hours inside and outside the home.” That’s actually interesting to me. So this is from a set of people who are already splitting their household duties and their out of house work duties evenly. But then it says, “However, during the first weeks of parenthood, men cut back their housework by five hours per week while women dropped theirs by only one hour.”
Shanna Micko: Oh, okay.
Laura Birek: “For men, their extra five hours did go towards childcare about 15 hours a week. Thus, men added about 10 hours a week to their total workload after the child was born.” That seems like a lot, right?
Shanna Micko: Yeah.
Laura Birek: Until you hear that, “In contrast, we found that parenthood added about 21 hours per week to women’s workload because women maintained their 40 hour work weeks and their time in housework across the transition to parenthood. Most of the additional work came from childcare.” So women just added more, more, more and men added more, but not as half as much.
Shanna Micko: Right.
Laura Birek: Can you tell I have an agenda?
Shanna Micko: Are you going to make Corey listen to this one? Be like, honey, this episode’s so great.
Laura Birek: Corey, again, it’s one of those things where he’s a very equal partner and I really like it. But I do think there’s just a lot of baggage in our society about what men and women are like sort of allowed to do with their free time. But one of the things is like, when he is doing housework, I’m also doing housework. But I feel like when I’m doing housework, he’s sometimes relaxing and I’m not against him relaxing. I have to figure out a way for me to also relax. You know what I mean? I also think like, yeah, there’s always a conversation to be had. But no, this isn’t pointed at Corey. Sherry, my mother-in-law, I don’t want you calling and being like, is everything okay? Everything’s fine. This has been on my mind and it’s hard to find trivia questions. So I thought it was good to have a theme, but I think it’s also important to talk about.
Shanna Micko: I think it’s important to be aware of it as a woman, taking on all of this stuff that you are not feeling exhausted, overworked. If you are feeling exhausted and overworked, there’s a reason for it. You’re not just a tired, lazy person, which sometimes I think. It’s like, why do I just want to sit in front of the TV for the last hour of my day? Why don’t I do something productive, something creative? It’s like, well, I’m damn tired. I’ve been taking care of kids.
Laura Birek: Yeah, you’re well as dry.
Shanna Micko: Well, that has been enlightening. Thank you for those, Laura.
Laura Birek: And you won.
Shanna Micko: Yay.
Laura Birek: Yay.
Shanna Micko: All right. That was fun. Should we move on to our weekly BFPs and BFNs?
Laura Birek: I think we should.
Shanna Micko: So we wrap it up with our weekly BFPs and BFNs: our highs are lows for the week. Laura, what do you got for us this week?
Laura Birek: I have a BFP, as you probably figured out when I mentioned I had a BFP in the weekly check-ins, which are ukuleles.
Shanna Micko: Oh, cool.
Laura Birek: So this is the favorite toy that my baby got for Christmas, and it came from my mother-in-law Sherry. Thank you, Sherry. He’s been obsessed with our guitars for a while. They’re hanging up in his room, so he sees them all the time and he loves when we bring them down and he tries to strum them. But I get a little nervous because they’re metal strings and the high e-string, the smallest string, it’s basically like a metal wire. He’s always trying to pull on them and I’m worried it’s going to cut his little fingers and then at the head of the guitar where we strung it, there’s little nubs of the strings that are left and they’re sharp.
He is always reaching for it because it’s interesting, like knobs and stuff. So I realized he needed something of his own and so I put it on our little Amazon wishlist for Christmas and it’s great because it’s baby sized. It’s small. It’s got nylon strings, so they’re soft and not dangerous and it’s really fun for him. He can strum it and they’re not super expensive either, so it’s not the end of the world if it gets babyfied, if it gets drooled on and bitten and all that stuff and stepped on. So he absolutely loves it. It’s not like he can play chords or anything, but he loves it when I’ll play chords and he’ll strum it. But this is the other great thing about it is that it’s easy to learn. I already play guitar, so maybe I’m biased. But there’s only four strings and the chords are a little bit more open because like, if you play a ukulele without holding down any frets or anything, you still get a nice cord.
Shanna Micko: Okay.
Laura Birek: Unlike a guitar, which I guess technically it’s a chord, but it doesn’t sound like anything. Like to play a C chord, you’re just holding one string down. So it’s a lot easier than a guitar to learn. I figured out my chords really quickly and so I can play little songs for him.
Shanna Micko: Oh, how fun. I want to do that.
Laura Birek: It’s super fun and he loves. He’ll crawl up and he’ll sort of kneel in front of it and he’ll start banging on it, but he’s figuring out how to strum and here’s the thing, he started singing with it.
Shanna Micko: Oh my God, how cute.
Laura Birek: So he crawls over to it and he starts strumming it and then he goes, “Ah, ah.” I don’t think it’s just him vocalizing. He knows that he’s singing and one day I was waking up, Corey does the morning shift as listeners probably know, and I heard him. He was playing the ukulele with the baby and I was sort of listening in on them and I swear the baby matched the tone and I was like, what?
Shanna Micko: Whoa. Maybe he’s pitch perfect.
Laura Birek: Oh my God. How cool would that be?
Shanna Micko: That would be so cool.
Laura Birek: I’d be very jealous of him, but also like, yes, you have a super power.
Shanna Micko: That kid on the voice.
Laura Birek: But he played one of the strings and he matched. It was like, “Ah, ah.” I was like, what? He’s matching tone.
Shanna Micko: Wow. That’s cool.
Laura Birek: I’m really stoked about the ukulele and I think it’s a great addition to anyone’s toy pile and I just like it more than the other toys. It’s pleasant. I can play with it, he can play with it. It’s an interactive toy. It teaches music stuff. But the one I got I think was about $40. It was a gift, so I don’t remember exactly. But there’s also cheaper versions you can get. Just do a search. There’s a ton available or you could probably find one second hand. So highly, highly recommend a ukulele for the babies.
Shanna Micko: So fun. I love that. I didn’t mention it in my check-in because I was so distracted by the flu. But CeCe got some fun stuff too, which she hasn’t really engaged with yet. It sounds like your baby’s really into this toy. I feel like both my kids kind of got just this glut of stuff and haven’t used it much. Especially the baby, we got a little rocking horse thing and a baby slide. I’m just trying to get her all kinds of stuff that can entertain her in the living room while I work basically. That’s my agenda. I don’t think she’s quite old enough for that stuff yet. I’m a little disappointed she doesn’t really know how to climb on any of that stuff or do anything. So I’m glad you guys had a Christmas hit.
Laura Birek: It’s going to be a few months.
Shanna Micko: I think so.
Laura Birek: You’re investing in your future.
Shanna Micko: True. Cool.
Laura Birek: That’s fun. Okay. What do you have? A BFP or a BFN?
Shanna Micko: I have a BFP.
Laura Birek: Yay.
Shanna Micko: Baby leg warmers.
Laura Birek: What? Baby leg warmers?
Shanna Micko: Yeah, that’s not a common knowledge thing.
Laura Birek: No, I have a boy. I don’t think it’s a boy thing, is it?
Shanna Micko: I don’t know.
Laura Birek: I’ve never seen them.
Shanna Micko: I’ve never used baby leg warmers either. They came to my attention when I was shopping for CeCe’s first birthday outfit. You know that crazy skirt I got her with the pom-poms in it and everything. So I was like, well, it’s December so I don’t want her to be too cold under this skirt, but putting pants on her under it just seemed not fun. I was like, what’s another option?
Laura Birek: Not festive.
Shanna Micko: In my random searching, a little baby leg warmers came up and I was like, oh my God, how cute. I found these little white baby leg warmers with ruffles on the bottom.
Laura Birek: Oh my gosh.
Shanna Micko: I was like, perfect. That’s adorable. Totally lost them before the party. Several days afterward I was like, God, didn’t I get baby leg warmers? Where the hell did those end up? I finally found them behind something and I was like, oh, cool. I’ll have to try these. It ended up being perfect because CeCe’s getting a little bit taller so her 12 month old pants don’t always reach down to her ankles, especially when she walks and crawls, she has kind of fat calves and so the pants kind of get stuck.
Laura Birek: Me too, girl.
Shanna Micko: You know how your pants get stuck in the middle of your calf.
Laura Birek: I do. I can’t wear skinny jeans. Most of the time I can’t wear freaking boots.
Shanna Micko: All right. Well, maybe leg warmers are your answer.
Laura Birek: CeCe and I can talk when she gets older about finding wide leg boots.
Shanna Micko: They do exist. So that’s a good…
Laura Birek: They’re hard to find though.
Shanna Micko: Really?
Laura Birek: Yeah, anyway, moving on. Okay. Chunky leg problems.
Shanna Micko: That kind of sounded insulting to you, but I was really thinking of my baby.
Laura Birek: There’s nothing insulting about having chunky legs.
Shanna Micko: Nothing.
Laura Birek: There’s nothing wrong with having chunky legs and I have kind of chunky calves. That’s how they are. They’re strong. They have some extra fat padding and that’s just my calves.
Shanna Micko: Exactly. That was a big detour. So back to…
Laura Birek: What are we talking about? Oh yeah, the baby leg warmers.
Shanna Micko: The baby’s pants have been riding up and I haven’t busted out the hand me downs for the older size pants, the longer pants and so I was like, oh my God, baby leg warmers. Perfect. So I put them on her and they’re perfect because they cover up that exposed area of skin. They don’t cover her feet, which even though it is kind of cold, she doesn’t mind. I like her barefoot right now for learning to walk and not slipping. So it lets her feet be exposed so it’s not like tights. If I put tights on her, she’d have slippery feet.
Laura Birek: Very slippery.
Shanna Micko: So it’s been a great solution and of course, they’re freaking adorable little roughly leg warmers. You can get all colors varieties. If you have an exposed calf problem on your baby, here’s your solution.
Laura Birek: Now I want to knit some.
Shanna Micko: You totally should knit some.
Laura Birek: I wonder what a good look for boy baby leg warmers is or if there is or if it matters. Maybe I should just knit some rainbow baby leg warmers. That would actually be a great use of my leftover yarn because it wouldn’t take very much yarn. Ooh, you’ll have to post a picture on our Instagram so people can see. But I need some inspiration so I can see what they look like.
Shanna Micko: Will do. Can I do an honorary BFP real quick?
Laura Birek: It’s your show.
Shanna Micko: Oh gosh.
Laura Birek: All right.
Shanna Micko: I’ll check in with myself and see if that’s cool. This is not baby related, but it’s something I got for Christmas and I love it so much. I need to tell the world about it. Steve got me an electric blanket: a blanket that heats up.
Laura Birek: Amazing.
Shanna Micko: It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I love it. So yes, I have wonderful kids and husband and everything. But this electric blanket, it instantly puts me in heaven. I didn’t realize how much I hated getting into a cold bed until I got it.
Laura Birek: So you put it on your bed? It’s not like a lounging around blanket. It’s an in bed blanket.
Shanna Micko: Yes, it’s not like Snuggie thing. I don’t really usually have blankets on my body around the house.
But yeah, it’s laid out on my bed and I click the button an hour or so before bed and by the time I come to bed I crawl in and it is just like a warm cocoon and it is my top and maybe only thing I’m doing for self-care these days.
Laura Birek: That counts I guess. I love a really hot bath because it did get down to like 45 degrees last night.
Shanna Micko: So frigid here in Southern California.
Laura Birek: And only a high of like 62.
Shanna Micko: Oh my God. If anyone needs heating electric blankets, it’s us people living in Los Angeles.
Laura Birek: It was partly cloudy.
Shanna Micko: Get me another one. My whole bedroom lining the walls with electric blankets will survive this climate. I don’t even know why I’m mentioning this other than to share the joy.
Laura Birek: People need to know. No, I’m feeling like I’m wrapped in a warm blanket just thinking about it right now. So I love that.
Shanna Micko: I found out they make electric mattress pads too, so you can warm up your bed from the bottom up.
Laura Birek: From the butt up.
Shanna Micko: You really warm up your tushy. It’s a whole world I never knew. I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. Definitely no need for those. Never even entered my consciousness.
Laura Birek: Well, when I was a teenager I had a water bed. It was the thing my mom bought me post-divorce to be the cool mom and what I didn’t know is that it has to have a heater because water gets really cold.
Shanna Micko: That would be so cold.
Laura Birek: The first night I got it, I thought I’d have a sleepover with my friend Danielle and she came over because we were like, cool. Waterbed. You’re 13 you think it’s like a cool thing.
Shanna Micko: Oh, yeah.
Laura Birek: We came over and it was so fucking cold. We tried sleeping on towels. We tried layering everything on top of it and then eventually we just slept on the floor.
Shanna Micko: Oh, that’s so sad and so hilarious. There’s a learning curve with water beds I would imagine.
Laura Birek: That in the movement on them, but that came another day when it was actually. But I do remember I would put it extra warm and that was always really nice.
Shanna Micko: Oh, yes.
Laura Birek: Maybe I’ll have to get one.
Shanna Micko: Do it. Anyway, that’s all for me for real. Should we wrap this episode up?
Laura Birek: I think we should.
Shanna Micko: Thank you guys so much for listening. We so appreciate you and your support. If you have anything to add to the conversation, BFP, BFN, you want to throw a trivia question our way, you know we’d love to hear from you. Laura, where can they reach us?
Laura Birek: We are on all the social media’s Instagram, Twitter, Facebook at BFP Podcast. We also have a Facebook community group. Just do a search for Big Fat Positive community. It’s a closed group so you have to request to join, but I will add you and we are having some fantastic conversations in there. So come join us. We also have a website, bigfatpositivepodcast.com where we post our show notes and links to anything we talked about and you can send us an email or voice memo at [email protected].
Shanna Micko: If you love the show, please leave us a rating and review wherever you listen to podcasts. That’s super helpful for us and spread the word. Let your pregnant, expecting, trying to conceive friends know that we are out there. Let them know about Big Fat Positive Podcast. Big Fat Positive is produced by Laura Birek, Shanna Micko and Steve Yager.
Laura Birek: Thanks for listening, everyone. We’ll see you next week.
Shanna Micko: Bye.
Laura Birek: Bye.