Ep. 1: Introductions

August 7, 2018

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Shanna and Laura kick off their brand new podcast by introducing themselves, checking in on their pregnancies this week, discussing what pregnancy related topics they searched for recently, and divulging their highs and lows (BFPs and BFNs) this week. Laura is 8 weeks pregnant, and Shanna is 12 weeks pregnant.



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Episode Transcript

Laura Birek: This podcast contains explicit language. If you’ve got kids around, headphones might be a good idea.


Shanna Micko: Hi. Welcome to Big Fat Positive with Shanna and Laura. I’m Shanna.

Laura Birek: And I’m Laura.

Shanna Micko: We’re friends and writing partners who happen to be pregnant at the exact same time, so we started a podcast about it.

Laura Birek: This week we’ve got our weekly check-ins and we’ve got a special segment, “What I Googled this week,” where you get to find out some intimate details of Shanna’s life and then we have our weekly hits and misses, our BFPs and BFNs.

Shanna Micko: Just a heads up, we were still figuring out all the technical details when we recorded these segments. So you may notice that in the audio, but we promise it only gets better especially once we hit our stride in episode five. Let’s get to it, Laura. Let’s do it.

Laura Birek: This is episode one. So since this is episode one, we thought it would probably be a good idea to start with some intros. Shanna.

Shanna Micko: Yes.

Laura Birek: Do you want to tell us a little bit about yourself?

Shanna Micko: My name is Shanna. I am 39 years old. I’m about to turn 40 and I am pregnant. I’m what they call a geriatric mother. I do have one child already. She’s about two and a half years old, so this is my second pregnancy and I live in Los Angeles and I’m a writer. What about you, Laura?

Laura Birek: I am also a geriatric pregnancy. I think I just barely qualify. I just turned 36.

Shanna Micko: Is it 35?

Laura Birek: I think it’s 35, so I guess I’m a year into my geriatric pregnancy window and I just turned 36. I live in Los Angeles. I’m a writer. I’m a web developer. I’m also a semi-professional knitter or I guess I’m a professional knitter just sometimes: part-time provisional knitter. Yeah, fiber artist if you want to be pretentious about things.

Shanna Micko: Fancy.

Laura Birek: We met in graduate school.

Shanna Micko: Yes, we’ve known each other for 14, 15 years now.

Laura Birek: It’s going on 15.

Shanna Micko: I’m not even sure.

Laura Birek: We met in 2004.

Shanna Micko: Okay.

Laura Birek: Now, it’s 2018.

Shanna Micko: Wow.

Laura Birek: We’ve known each other a long time. You were my first friend in grad school.

Shanna Micko: Yay! Same.

Laura Birek: We became writing partners officially about two years ago.

Shanna Micko: A little less than two years ago.

Laura Birek: I remember your daughter was like little, little when we finally decided to team up, which I think was a great decision.

Shanna Micko: I do.

Laura Birek: We’ve been doing well, but part of the reason we wanted to start a podcast was because our writing had slowed down a little bit, right? Would you say that?

Shanna Micko: Yeah, I don’t know if I want to admit that.

Laura Birek: Well, I think we were both trying to get pregnant and then we both got pregnant about four weeks apart and then we were super fucking tired and sick and then both feeling guilty about not getting stuff done for each other. So this is a podcast to talk about all the ways pregnancy affects your life, like not being able to get any shit done.

Shanna Micko: That’s right.

Laura Birek: We’ll be talking a lot more about our backgrounds as the weeks progress. We’re going to check in every week of our pregnancy and so we’re going to do our segment that we were just calling, “A weekly check-in”, because we didn’t come up with the weekly checkup.

Shanna Micko: Check-in. Checkup reminds me of going to the doctor, which I am not interested in.

Laura Birek: I know. That’s why I suggested it.

Shanna Micko: I’m just so tired of going to the doctor.

Laura Birek: I know. I know. So weekly check in where we talk about what’s going on with our pregnancies this week. Shanna you want to?

Shanna Micko: Yes, I’m 12 weeks pregnant, so I’m still in the first trimester.

Laura Birek: Barely. You’re almost out.

Shanna Micko: I’m almost out. Definitely still feeling nauseous all day every day. Morning sickness is a misnomer for sure, but the big thing that happened this week is I got the results of my NIPTY test, which you know what that is, right? It’s the noninvasive…

Laura Birek: I thought it was the NIPT.

Shanna Micko: Possibly.

Laura Birek: N-I-P-T. There’s no Y at the end of that.

Shanna Micko: But it’s the letter T and it’s cuter to say NIPTY.

Laura Birek: But it’s NIPT also, it’s an acronym.

Shanna Micko: But NIPTY is cute. Anyway, that’s what my doctor called it.

Laura Birek: I’m being super nit-picky on this one.

Shanna Micko: Yes, you are. Noninvasive pregnancy test it’s where they draw your blood and they can see your child’s DNA which was released from the placenta into your blood. It’s amazing technological advancement that they can do this. It’s incredible. They check the chromosomes, they check for major chromosomal abnormalities and it came back clear.

Laura Birek: Yay!

Shanna Micko: I was very nervous about that and it also can check the gender of the baby, which we’re having a girl which I’m excited about. I already have one girl, so now I’m going to have sisters.

Laura Birek: You make really cute girls.

Shanna Micko: Thanks. Well, we did it once.

Laura Birek: You did.

Shanna Micko: So we’ll see if we can do it again.

Laura Birek: She is so cute, so I’m excited about your little girl.

Shanna Micko: Thank you. That’s my week. It was pretty good. How about you?

Laura Birek: I am at eight weeks. The big thing this week was I went and got another ultrasound. I had my first ultrasound at six weeks and they said I was six weeks, zero days and I heard the heartbeat, which was great.

Shanna Micko: Yay!

Laura Birek: He being my doctor, who’s awesome. Love the man. He said that if I’d come in a day earlier, we probably wouldn’t have heard the heartbeat and that tracked right on what I thought. I’m not one of these people who accidentally got pregnant. There’s a lot of data collection in my life. I love data collection, so I was pretty sure I knew exactly the day that I ovulated when my first ultrasound lined up. I was like, solid data. Data is good. Data works. But then this week, I went in for my second ultrasound and I was supposed to be eight weeks, zero days exactly. I measured eight weeks, three days.

Shanna Micko: Ooh.

Laura Birek: So I gained three days.

Shanna Micko: What does that mean?

Laura Birek: Well, I mean, it could mean anything. I personally think that it’s not that accurate. You’re measuring something the size of a pecan I think is what my app said.

Shanna Micko: Probably at that point.

Laura Birek: So there’s margins of error. Anyway, the point is there’s two things. One is maybe I’m not eight weeks, three days. Maybe I was eight weeks, zero days, but it just measured eight weeks, three days or whatever that would mean.

Shanna Micko: That would mean the baby was just bigger and bigger. That happened to me too but later on.

Laura Birek: We’re probably talking millimeters, right? Or the other thing, which could be just as likely, or maybe more likely is that I ovulated three days earlier than I expected, which is supported by the data, because it’s possible. We did the deed that day and my good friend, Sarah, had given me some of those clear blue ovulation kits. The really expensive ones. She had them left over, because they worked so well for her. She got pregnant the first cycle using them, so she gave them to me.

Shanna Micko: Nice.

Laura Birek: I think that might be the only reason I am currently pregnant, because it told me to start three days earlier than I expected. Here we go.

Shanna Micko: Sounds like a good product.

Laura Birek: I had to say my favorite thing about that was I found out I was three days closer to being out of the first trimester, which cannot come soon enough as far as I’m concerned.

Shanna Micko: Good point.

Laura Birek: I need this nausea to be gone. It really is the worst.

Shanna Micko: It’s horrible. It’s no fun.

Laura Birek: I alternate between feeling sorry for myself and then feeling like such an asshole, because it’s really not that bad. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t have it nearly as bad as even some of my friends. I’ve never actually vomited, but I feel like I’m going to a lot, which is unpleasant and I’m so tired.

Shanna Micko: It’s not fun. It’s not pleasant.

Laura Birek: I’m trying to be grateful for the little things. Anyway, that’s my weekly check-in.

Shanna Micko: All right.


Shanna Micko: Our next segment is called, “What I Googled this week.”

Laura Birek: Oh my God.

Shanna Micko: If you have been pregnant, you know how much you are just attached to your phone Googling shit. The craziest stuff about what’s going on with your body. That’s me at least.

Laura Birek: No, this is going to be horrifying and embarrassing, but I’m all for it.

Shanna Micko: Totally. Who wants to go first?

Laura Birek: I guess I’ll go first. Get it out of the way.

Shanna Micko: Okay.

Laura Birek: Maybe this isn’t that bad: what I Googled. I Googled a lot, so this is the cream of the crop, but there was a lot more. But a recent one was best anti-chafe boy shorts with a question mark, because the question mark really made the Google search more effective.

Shanna Micko: Why are you looking for anti-chafe boy shorts? Are you having chafing problems as a pregnant woman?

Laura Birek: Well, okay. Here’s the thing. I’ve always been as they say curvy. I’ve always been just above a normal BMI and I’m fine with it. I literally this year decided that I’m calling a truce with my body. I’m not ever going to try to lose weight to look better. If I want to feel better, I can lose weight. But I’m calling a truce with hating my body. I feel like I’ve waffled between lots of body acceptance and being far from body acceptance in the past and I’m finally just being okay with it and I’m trying to take that into pregnancy and part of that is that I’ve had terrible nausea. I don’t even want to call it morning sickness, because it’s all day sickness. There’s a lot of people who can’t eat anything. They have food aversions. I’m the opposite. I want to eat everything. Like the only thing that makes me feel better is having food in my mouth. So I’ve gained way more weight than you’re definitely not supposed to. I think I’ve gained like eight pounds. I’m eight weeks pregnant. I’ve gained like eight pounds.

Shanna Micko: What did they say? Everyone says online like, oh your first trimester, you’re supposed to gain five pounds. Isn’t that the standard?

Laura Birek: They’re like, some people might lose weight.

Shanna Micko: Oh, God.

Laura Birek: Anyway, the point is that I’ve always been on the verge of the thigh rub. 

I have and when I’ve been on the heavier side, it’s been there, but I’ve always just been on the verge where I don’t need to worry too much about chafing when I wear a dress. But I’ve crossed that threshold I think and it’s going to get more pronounced and the other thing is that usually I’ll wear jeans, so you have a barrier there. But I’m also embracing the flowery cotton dress.

Shanna Micko: That’s so comfortable.

Laura Birek: Like basically wearing pajamas all day. I work from home so I can do that.

Shanna Micko: Nice.

Laura Birek: So I need some anti-chafing. Listeners, if you have suggestions of your favorite anti-chafing boy shorts or maybe they’re not boy shorts, maybe it’s something else, I am all ears. Send me your suggestions. I ordered I think some jockey ones. I think the Bustle had recommended off Amazon.

Shanna Micko: You’ll have to report back on how they prevent the chafe.

Laura Birek: I will. Amazon Prime should happen by the end of the week.

Shanna Micko: Woo-hoo! I’m curious. I probably would like them too.

Laura Birek: Yes, what about you? What did you Google this week, Shanna?

Shanna Micko: I Googled, “12 weeks pregnant. Nipples hurt so bad.” What?

Laura Birek: I was going to suggest you read it again, because I feel like I laughed over it, but I think the audience got it. “12 weeks pregnant. Nipples hurt so bad,” I’m sorry. I don’t mean to laugh at that, but that can’t be pleasant.

Shanna Micko: It’s not.

Laura Birek: How bad did it hurt?

Shanna Micko: It’s a crazy symptom. I forgot about it from the last time. The first time I was pregnant, especially when anything is cold. Like if it’s cold outside or cold AC or I went swimming with my daughter the other day and you get out of the pool and the wind is blowing, it’s like, as I found on many of the forums, people are talking about feeling like shards of glass. I don’t know. They’re just super-duper sensitive and it’s a really, really annoying symptom that I don’t have otherwise in life and the first time I had it, I was really worried that it would make breastfeeding really hard. Like, oh my God, am I going to be like this forever? That’s a lot of women’s fear. But for me, at least it went away by that point so it wasn’t a problem. It’s just a weird, like first trimester symptoms.

Laura Birek: That’s so interesting. It just goes to show that everyone’s different too. Thank God. It’s not a problem I’m having.

Shanna Micko: Good. I’m so glad.

Laura Birek: I’m having a problem with my boobs being gigantic.

Shanna Micko: Mine are getting gigantic too. It’s really annoying. I need to get new bras already.

Laura Birek: Me too. We should talk about that on another podcast.

Shanna Micko: For sure.

Laura Birek: Well, I’m sorry about your nipples. Did you find anything on Google that helped?

Shanna Micko: Oh, no. Half the shit you find when you Google stuff about pregnancy is forums, so a lot of it wasn’t very helpful. It’s like put lotion on your nipples and that doesn’t really do anything. But someone was like put a heating pad on your chest and I’m like, I will give that a try. At night before bed, I’ve just been like clutching a heating pad to my bosom and I feel better.

Laura Birek: Hey, whatever works, right?

Shanna Micko: Whatever works.


Laura Birek: Our next segment is another weekly segment that we’re going to have every week, because there’s so much to talk about. It’s BFPs and BFNs.

Shanna Micko: If you’ve spent any time on the pregnancy forums, you know that BFP stands for big fatty…

Laura Birek: I thought it was big fat.

Shanna Micko: I always thought it was fucking. It could be either. Let’s say fat.

Laura Birek: Okay.

Shanna Micko: Big fat positive meaning you tested positive on your pregnancy test and BFN means…

Laura Birek: Big fucking negative. No big fat negative, which means you didn’t have a positive pregnancy test this time.

Shanna Micko: Yes.

Laura Birek: They are the lifeblood of babycenter.com. BFPs and BFNs run those forums. So in an odd to these, we wanted to do our own BFPs and BFNs where every week we pick a positive and a negative or a positive and a positive or a negative and a negative about what is on our minds this week regarding our pregnancies and our lives. Shanna, what do you have this week? Do you have a big fat positive or a big fat negative?

Shanna Micko: I have a big fat negative this week, which is my dog’s paws.

Laura Birek: Ooh.

Shanna Micko: I know. I have two cute little dogs and they’re really sweet and fussy, but I can’t handle the smell of my dogs right now, specifically their paws. Like they sit on the couch next to me and lick their paws and my nausea just goes through the roof. I have so many triggers for my morning sickness right now, or my all day sickness as we’ve been talking about and that’s just one of them. The poor little critters, I won’t snuggle with them. I have to put them off the couch right now, because they I just…

Laura Birek: They are very cute.

Shanna Micko: They are really cute.

Laura Birek: But they are kind of stinky.

Shanna Micko: They’re stinky.

Laura Birek: Chillie was on my lap earlier and he was breathing in my face and it wasn’t the most pleasant thing I’ve ever smelled.

Shanna Micko: His breath is bad too. I would say that’s probably in the BFN category this week.

Laura Birek: Negatives for sure. Well, that’s understandable.

Shanna Micko: What about you?

Laura Birek: I’ve got a BFP.

Shanna Micko: Yay!

Laura Birek: It’s actually what you introduced me to, which is Diclegis.

Shanna Micko: Oh, nice.

Laura Birek: Which I think that’s how you pronounce it.

Shanna Micko: Yeah, as far as I know.

Laura Birek: Diclegis is amazing. You know me. I pride myself in being very medically literate. Both my parents are doctors to start off with, so I feel like I have a lot of medical background. There’s a lot of medical stuff floating around my world, but I had never heard of this prescription Diclegis for morning sickness. I knew of Zofran, which is what a friend of mine who had hyperemesis gravidarum. Is that how you say it?

Shanna Micko: I don’t know.

Laura Birek: Basically lots of puking ending up in the ER, because you’re dehydrated. I think those are the people who lose five pounds.

Shanna Micko: They don’t eat anything.

Laura Birek: But then that’s miserable. It’s not worth the weight loss. I knew you could take Zofran, which helps you stop puking, but my morning sickness all day sickness was not as bad as that.

Shanna Micko: Isn’t that a higher class? Isn’t that a class C I think?

Laura Birek: I think it is.

Shanna Micko: It’s not like the first go-to.

Laura Birek: It’s not your safest choice. I thought I just had to sort of suffer in silence or rather suffer in lots of loud complaining to my husband and to you and anyone who will listen. But then you told me about Diclegis and I talked to my friend who is also pregnant, our friend, Keri, and she’s a pharmacist. I think the same day she asked me if I had taken Diclegis and she actually told me something really interesting, which was that there’s no evidence that it actually has real effectiveness better than placebo, that is.

Shanna Micko: Interesting.

Laura Birek: Women who take placebo and women who take Diclegis in the studies have the same outcomes. But the thing is, she still recommended it to me, because placebo is like a really strong effect and I was like, I love the placebo effect. If it’s placebo, I don’t care. I want it. I actually truly believe in placebo effect being a good thing. So I went and I had a doctor’s appointment the next day, I asked her prescription, got it and I swear whether it’s my brain checking my body into being better or whether it actually works, it is a miracle.

Shanna Micko: Good. I’m so happy.

Laura Birek: I’m still sick, but I don’t feel dead if that makes sense.

Shanna Micko: It definitely worked for me. I took it through my first pregnancy with my daughter for the first trimester and it was a life saver. 

I haven’t taken it really much this time, because it makes me tired, because one of the ingredients is the active ingredient in Unisom. I’m sure you know that.

Laura Birek: Yes, it’s Vitamin B6 in Unisom.

Shanna Micko: That’s basically what it is. You can know it is. Make your own concoction.

Laura Birek: You really can. I mean, theoretically it’s an extended release form of it.

Shanna Micko: Right.

Laura Birek: Which is why they think they can charge so much money for it and it is expensive. I mean, if you don’t have it covered by your insurance, it’s very expensive. My co-pay was $40. So maybe try the Unisom and B6 first.

Shanna Micko: I did that for a little while.

Laura Birek: But it was a miracle.

Shanna Micko: Yay!

Laura Birek: That’s my BFP for the week.

Shanna Micko: BFP!

Laura Birek: And that is the end of our very first episode.

Shanna Micko: That’s right. Thank you so much for listening and we’ll be back next week.

Laura Birek: Thank you for listening. Bye.

Shanna Micko: Bye.

Laura Birek: Be sure to check us out on Facebook at Big Fat Positive Podcast and on Instagram and Twitter at BFP Podcast. We also have a website, bigfatpositivepodcast.com. Hope to see you there. Thanks for listening.