Ep. 10: Childbirth Fears – Interview with a Nurse Midwife (17 and 21 Weeks Pregnant)

September 18, 2018

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Shanna and Laura interview nurse midwife and fellow pregnant person Teresa Keirns! Teresa answers some of their burning questions about giving birth as they dive into the topics of delivering babies, pregnancy nausea, c-sections, pooping during childbirth, baby gender vs. sex and more! Also Laura and Shanna both report on how to handle being sick during pregnancy, and Shanna talks about how her pregnancy is really starting to show. Finally, the moms-to-be also reveal their BFPs and BFNs for the week. Laura is 17 weeks pregnant, and Shanna is 21 weeks pregnant.

Topics discussed in this episode:

-Week 17 of pregnancy

-Week 21 of pregnancy

-Second trimester

-Being sick during pregnancy

-Having a sinus infection during pregnancy

-Can I take Sudafed while pregnant?

-When does my pregnancy start to show?

-Being in the “cute stage of pregnancy”

-Nurse midwife interview

-Delivering babies

-Placenta previa

-C-section vs. VBAC

-Pooping during childbirth

-Baby sex vs. gender

-Ibuprofen and Tylenol during pregnancy

-Maternity clothes

-Pregnancy insomnia

This episode’s full show notes can be found here.

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Big Fat Positive: A Pregnancy and Parenting Journey is produced by Laura Birek, Shanna Micko and Steve Yager.

Show Notes:

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Episode Transcript

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

Shanna Micko: I’m Shanna.

Laura Birek: We are friends and writing partners who discovered we were pregnant at the exact same time, so we decided to make a podcast about it.

Shanna Micko: This week on the show we’ve got our weekly check-ins and we have a very special guest and we’re going to get the inside scoop from an expected mom whose job is to deliver babies and then we end the show with our BFPs and BFNs. Let’s get started.


Laura Birek: Hi. Welcome to the show, everyone. This is our 10th episode.

Shanna Micko: Oh, yeah.

Laura Birek: We might as well just jump right into our weekly check-ins. Shanna, what you got going on this week?

Shanna Micko: All righty. I am 21 weeks.

Laura Birek: Yay!

Shanna Micko: I have to say, I feel like I’m really starting to look pregnant now. It’s super obvious. I’ve been trying to hide it at work forever by wearing baggy shirts and dresses. But now, I think people are really onto it and coworkers are starting to notice. A co-worker the other day was like, “So are we saying congratulations yet or what?” I’m like, “Yeah.” It’s really clear that I’ve got that baby bump, which reminded me of my last pregnancy that I am now in the cute stage of pregnancy, because in the beginning you’re not really showing yet. It could be a beer belly and you just kind of feel frumpy and then at the end, you feel overstuffed and uncomfortable and the bump is maybe like too big. But between like five and six and maybe up to seven months, it’s just like, you’ve got your belly that sticks out and it looks all pregnant and you’re not huge yet and you can wear your maternity tops and rock that pregnant life and look like cute. I don’t know. I feel like cute right now.

Laura Birek: I bet you are cute. I haven’t seen you in a while. You’re usually pretty cute any way. I feel like you’ve got a cute sense of style. I remember when you were pregnant with your first child and you were rocking that mini bump. Can I just say how much I kind of hate the term bumps?

Shanna Micko: Yeah, it’s the worst.

Laura Birek: I don’t know what else you’re supposed to call it, but ugh.

Shanna Micko: The belly bump. It’s weird, but I have one other thing to check in on this week. I was sick. All of my stupid sinus problems finally culminated in a sinus infection that was leading to an ear infection. So I was in a miserable rack and the doctor prescribed me amoxicillin, and I’m trying to figure out what medication I can take and can’t, and it’s just so stressful and just feeling awful and missing work and not being able to breathe. Even my beloved Breathe Right Strips didn’t help much.

Laura Birek: Well, I feel you because…

Shanna Micko: I’m feeling better now.

Laura Birek: Yeah, because that’s my check-in for this week. I think we were texting each other this week, because we were both sick. You had the sinus infection, which really sucks and I had the mystery cold that never went away, which also sucked. I think I got it at my friend’s Memorial which I talked about last week.

Shanna Micko: Oh, no.

Laura Birek: It’s kind of like a massive disease vector. You’re around all these people, all these kids, there were tons of kids there and everyone is crying and blowing their nose and then hugging each other, you know? I didn’t think about it at the time, but once I left I was like, oh yeah, there you go. My friend who lives in New Orleans, she also got sick and she was like, “Oh yeah, mine just lasted like two or three days. It was fine. It wasn’t that bad.” Of course, mine lasted all week. I completely lost my voice. I was just miserable and because I hadn’t never been sick as a pregnant person before, I kind of just assumed you couldn’t take anything other than Tylenol and then after about two days of suffering, I finally consulted the pamphlet that my doctor had given me when I first came in and had my pregnancy confirmed and discovered that you could take Sudafed and Benadryl and all this stuff. I was just like, “Honey, you have to go to Walgreens right now and buy this massive list, but you have to take pictures of every box because I have to make sure it’s the right kind and it doesn’t have additional crap in it.” So I started medicating myself, which always makes you feel a little nervous because you never know how much is. Everyone says you shouldn’t take medicine if you can avoid it when you’re pregnant. But also, I’m fucking dead. I feel like I’m dying and my doctor says it’s okay. So I’m going to fucking take that Benadryl and Sudafed and try to survive.

Shanna Micko: Yes, thank you for telling me about the Sudafed, because I tried to call my doctor and ask about that and I never heard back from him. He’s a great doctor. I don’t know what happened there, but you gave me the okay on Sudafed because your doctor said it was okay and I ran with that. I took it and oh my God, I felt like a whole new person. It was awesome.

Laura Birek: The only reason I felt confident being pretty sure it’s fine if you take this is because that day, I think I had gotten off the phone with the nurse at my doctor’s office, because I was wondering if extended-release Sudafed was okay and apparently it’s not. So I had called and they said, oh, just the regular. But I was like, that’s fine. I will take that. I just heard that from my doctor and I was like, you should check with your doctor, but I don’t know why it would be okay for me and not for you. God, taking that Sudafed, whew, that was a real relief there.

Shanna Micko: I’d say it puts me in a good mood too. I just love the Sudafed.

Laura Birek: It hops you up.

Shanna Micko: Oh, yeah. It’s good the tired pregnant mother full-time work. I liked that jolt.

Laura Birek: There’s the legal math. It’s great. Love it. Anyway, those are our sickly check-ins for the week.


Laura Birek: All right. For our next segment, we actually have our very first guest interview, which I’m very excited about. On the phone we have my dear friend of I think about 20 years, Teresa Keirns, who is a nurse midwife currently in Portland, Oregon and she is also a pregnant person like Shanna and me. Oh God, I fuck that up every time. Welcome, Teresa.

Shanna Micko: Welcome.

Teresa Keirns: Thanks for having me.

Laura Birek: We’re so excited to have you on the show. We wanted to have you on because well, first of all, you are hilarious and awesome, but also because I would love to know more about what it’s like to be a person who delivers babies all day and is also pregnant. 

But maybe I should start with the question, can you sort of explain what it is that a nurse midwife does? Because I think there’s a lot of confusion about midwives. There’s a lot of different terms that people don’t really understand. So could you explain what your job is specifically?

Teresa Keirns: Yes, but first let me clarify that I don’t usually deliver babies in the daytime. They all come in the middle of the night. So I’m lacking the humor that you probably remember from my college days, because I haven’t slept since you’ve seen me last. But a nurse midwife is somebody who has training as a nurse either with a four year degree or some sort of other accelerated nursing program and then additional training in a master’s degree program, usually two years in length as a specialist in women’s reproductive care so we can care for women as early as puberty all the way through and beyond menopause we can do basic prenatal care, labor and delivery care and postpartum care, as well as basic gynecology care: providing birth control, helping with family planning, infertility, infection checks, basically anything that happens down there or goes wrong down there.

Teresa Keirns: We usually work in a system that cooperates with physician colleagues or other people like nurse practitioners who are also preparing for women in the reproductive years. So I take care of generally low risk and moderate to high risk pregnancies sometimes totally on my own and other times in collaboration. I happen to work in a clinic based setting, but there are also nurse midwives who work in birth centers and at home. Then there’s a whole other host of midwives who have had similar training, but in different models, like an apprenticeship model or not necessarily in a master’s degree program, but they’re usually not called certified nurse midwives.

Laura Birek: Cool. What made you decide to pursue this as a career?

Teresa Keirns: I have wondered that myself, especially a lot lately when I’m up all night long and then coming home and parenting my four year old and gestating another human being. My husband often likes to remind me that it was my choice to do this, which is true. But I think honestly, I had a lot of nurses growing up in my family and sort of in the periphery. I was an exchange student and had a nurse as a host mother and they just were kind of cool people who knew a lot about the human body and were also gentle, but kind of badass. So I just had that as a reflection and then I have two older sisters we’re separated by about four and a half years each. Like when I was just barely recognizing that I was a girl, my oldest sister was going through puberty and so I was always able to see them ahead of me making different choices, good and bad with our bodies and babies and that influenced me somehow. I sort of always knew from small that I wanted to be in healthcare and I don’t really know why. I think if you ask my therapist, it would probably have something to do with my own upbringing. In fact nurses in general, tend to have kind of jacked up home lives as children and we want to give the care to people that we didn’t necessarily receive, but I don’t know specifically. I have friends and colleagues who feel like they had a calling or like a special instance or a moment, and I don’t really have something like that, but I think it was just a little mosaic of all these different experiences that kind of led me here. I am glad to do it. It is a brutal schedule. I am prematurely gray. I miss sleep. I really love it often more than my own husband, but it is good. It’s satisfying. It’s really fascinating to be in a place where you’re seeing women through this whole arc of their life and you can help them have babies or not have babies or stop having babies or hurry up and have a baby or investigate ways why they aren’t getting pregnant. It’s interesting.

Shanna Micko: Very cool. Now, how far along are you in your current pregnancy?

Teresa Keirns: I am just starting the second trimester. If you had asked me the first time I was pregnant, I could tell you like down to the second, but now I’m somewhere around 14 weeks, I think and just starting to occasionally feel better, but not always.

Shanna Micko: How was the first trimester for you? Were you sick while you were trying to work? Do this demanding job?

Teresa Keirns: Yeah, I was both times actually. I think worse this time it’s definitely lasted longer. It’s so miserable. I feel like I need to call up all of the women I ever took care of when I hadn’t been pregnant and apologize for being like, oh, just drink bubbly water through a straw, or try Preggie Pops because it’s really awful. You’re not only like sidelined by the nausea and the food diversions. You’re also struggling with like, okay, this finally sounds good and as soon as you order it for takeout or you make it, or you get your partner to go and grab in the store, it like sounds horrific when it comes back and you have to start over again with what can I possibly eat and then you’re guilty, because you’re eating just like ramen and crackers and stuff. That’s just like miserable and packing on the pounds. It’s really bad and the second time around, you have another person to care for and they are still needing meals and snacks. My husband loves coffee, which is like the worst smelling liquid on the planet for me right now and so I’m constantly like, “Open the windows. Go to the backyard. Why can’t you go to a coffee shop?”

Laura Birek: You live in Portland, which is like coffee town.

Teresa Keirns: I know. We have eight coffee shops in like a five block radius of my house and I basically have to avoid going anywhere. There’s also a lot of coffee drunk by the nurses at the hospital and nobody at work knows I’m pregnant really. So I’m just like pretending to gag on something else. It’s pretty miserable.

Shanna Micko: I’m sorry. Well, you’re coming around the bend here at 14-ish weeks. Hopefully, it’ll all clear up for you soon.

Teresa Keirns: Fingers crossed.

Laura Birek: How is it going through pregnancy? You’ve done this once before, so I imagine the larger you get and the more visibly pregnant you get, you probably get more and more comments from your own patients. But is there other than like recognizing now you know what it’s like for pregnant women to go through what they go through? Is there any other weird or funny things for being a person about to have a child and you’re delivering other people’s children?

Teresa Keirns: It’s complicated. There’s like eight different stories I want to tell you, but I don’t think I have enough time for that. But yeah, there’s a lot of really crazy stuff. I remember being visibly pregnant, I don’t remember how far I was, but probably like 30, 32 weeks and it was like really obvious. Plus I ate a lot of carbs back then, too so I was big. I was helping a patient who was early in pregnancy, who wanted to end her pregnancy with pills, which I’m totally happy to do, but it just felt really awkward where I was suddenly this hugely pregnant person, like rosy and glowing and here I was handing her these pills that were going to end her pregnancy, which she wanted to do. She even said to me, “Is this weird for you to do this? Like to hand me these pills.” Morally it wasn’t weird, but in my body it felt sort of strange. That was the first time that I was so obviously ready and willing and had desired this kid for so long and tried really hard to have him and here was this patient who was like, please, not right now. I don’t want to do this. That was kind of a strange experience I really didn’t expect ever really to have. I thought it would just be like any other day, but it was nice that she sort of approached it and asked that question. I don’t remember what I said, something about, times are different for everybody or some sort of platitude, but it seemed to work out. I have gotten really good at breathing through my mouth, which is what you learn when you’re in school, so you don’t have to smell all of the things.

Shanna Micko: You literally learn that in school?

Teresa Keirns: Well, they don’t teach you necessarily, but by about birth number 12, you kind of realize that it’s like going into a porta-potty. You’d rather have a small flavor of what’s going on rather than a large scent.

Shanna Micko: I’m dying.

Teresa Keirns: Of all the things that gross me out the first time around and this time around kind of smell wise, it’s never really been bodily fluids because I’m so used to, but I am definitely glad that I can manage a labor with mouth breathing. That really makes a big difference, but I do think it’s complicated. The first time I was pregnant it took really not a really long time, but it took a long time to get pregnant after some kind of complications and of course, knowing what I know and seeing what I’ve seen, I was sort of like, am I ever going to get pregnant? Is this ever going to happen? Then anytime something would come up, it would be like, okay, well here are the risks and this is what might happen and why me. We joke about the midwives always get the crappy pregnancies and the crappy laborers. So we can give really like awesome experiences to our patients and I think that’s mostly true at least in my case. We’ll see what happens this time around

Laura Birek: Knock on wood this time. But you did have a little bit of a complicated pregnancy with your son, right?

Teresa Keirns: Yeah, I ended up having a condition called placenta previa where the placenta, the organ that’s feeding the baby and giving an oxygen and is pumping half a liter of blood a minute or so through your whole body is covering the cervix. So you really shouldn’t go into labor or give birth with the placenta blocking the path because you will bleed death and probably so your kid. So I ended up with a C-section about a month before he was due, after being admitted to the hospital a couple of times for bleeding. Obviously, I knew what to expect, but it still felt strange being the actual ticking time bomb, like waiting for the first bleed. It’s pretty uncommon to go all the way through a pregnancy with placenta previa without having some sort of complication, including bleeding. So I literally felt like a ticking time bomb and then it happened and there you are.

Laura Birek: I imagine it’s got to be disappointing in a way too, because you’re so prepared to have a vaginal birth and if anyone knows how to do it, it’s you and then like, oh, never mind. You’re not allowed, right?

Teresa Keirns: Yeah, I hope I know how to do it, but certainly there were like some why me moments and I am glad that I had care from people that I knew. I had care providers at my particular hospital where I was working. I think that was especially nice when you’re having extra complications and you have strangers kind of poking and prodding you in really sensitive areas. That can feel really strange, so I think in some ways I was lucky to have my favorite physician come in and perform my surgery. I knew who the anesthesiologist was and I knew that he was really good. I think in some ways as a patient, you get to meet some of your midwives and some of your doctors and some of the nurses, but you never get to meet everybody who’s working in the hospital. It’s strange just to really give your body over and your experience up and you have to have a lot of faith and trust in who’s caring for you, which is not easy to do. So in some ways I feel lucky that I was able to work in an environment where I already knew what I was kind of walking into.

Shanna Micko: Absolutely. That’s super nice. I was super caught off guard. I had to have a C-section too unexpectedly, but what caught me off guard most is that when my anesthesiologist walked in, he was dropped dead gorgeous.

Teresa Keirns: Mine was pretty cute too.

Shanna Micko: 28 year old dude with perfect hair, perfect white smile and I was like, “Oh, hi. You’re the person that’s going to see me in this situation. Cool.”

Teresa Keirns: I know. It’s a very human experience that we can even still feel like that when your body’s racked with whatever you’re feeling. Pheromones are a thing.

Shanna Micko: Your job as a nurse midwife, did that influence your decision to have kids at all be a mother?

Teresa Keirns: Well, I guess going back to Laura’s last question about was I disappointed? I wasn’t so disappointed really about of course when I had the previa. I was like, oh, this is a bummer and I’m not going to labor and sort of weird and what’s that going to look like? I was more disappointed about the moment that comes right after a baby comes out, which in my limited experience at that time, I’d only been a nurse midwife for a couple of years, was like all about vaginal birth. I certainly assisted in scene C-sections and it is a little bit different and I would have felt a little bit more robbed with that second of seeing this baby that’s wet and slimy and still attached to you and coming up onto your chest or you’re lifting them up or however it works, I felt more robbed by that. So being a nurse midwife before I had a kid, I always felt like, I really want that moment where it’s like, “I love you more than anything and you’re an amazing creature and I created you.” It’s just this like, glimpse that you see in people’s eyes when they have a baby.

Shanna Micko: Aww, that’s beautiful. You see that in your patients?

Teresa Keirns: I do. But now that I’ve had a kid, I realize I don’t see it in everybody. It doesn’t happen in everybody because it didn’t happen to me either. For a long time I thought, well, it was because I had a C-section, I didn’t get to see him right away and it was complicated and I was like freaking out and it didn’t go as I expected and all that stuff. But it actually took me a long time really to fall in love with him. I felt very maternal to him for a long time, I really wanted to protect him and take care of him, but I didn’t really feel like, oh my God, you’re amazing and I created you and I love you. All that stuff that I had felt like I’d seen over and over and over in everybody until he was like months old. So in a way, I guess it did influence wanting to have kids, but it also kind of idealized what I thought was going to happen and it didn’t happen for me in the last four years kind of looking back on other people’s births and births. Since I’ve had my son, I realize it doesn’t happen for everybody right away and that’s okay too, because I adore him now and I feel way more than just maternal. I know that it happens later for some people, but I wouldn’t say necessarily like my path for sure said you must have them. It wasn’t like having a baby or having a kid was my ultimate goal. It was really like that feeling, which is odd that that feeling didn’t happen and now I have a kid and it’s all cool.

Shanna Micko: Are you going to do another C-section? Are you going to try for a VBAC this time?

Teresa Keirns: I don’t know where my placenta is. 

So when I find out at around 20 weeks or so if I don’t have a placenta in a crappy place, I will probably try to labor as long as everything else goes well. I’m not young, but I’m overall healthy and I feel like, I’ll be in the hospital and I’ll have an option for a C-section if things were to go south. There’s about like 5% of me right now who feels like, gosh, a planned C-section would be really awesome. It would be great scheduling wise for childcare. I know what to expect for recovery. Before I was pregnant the first time, I never would’ve thought that I’d like to do that, but it’s certainly not completely off the table and I kind of have to wait and see what’s happening with this pregnancy. But I’m also like freaking out about pushing a baby on my vagina.

Laura Birek: You and me both, Teresa.

Teresa Keirns: The destruction that happens, I’m like, holy cow. I feel very not mid-wifey sometimes saying that, but this is a like pregnant part of me saying it when I have like a really bad tear, I just think like, oh man. That looks painful. Not that I’m like too posh to push or vain and I know that often it doesn’t happen, but like girl, sometimes it takes like a long time to sew that stuff back together.

Shanna Micko: Oh, boy. How often do women poop during labor?

Teresa Keirns: A lot.

Shanna Micko: Really?

Teresa Keirns: Yeah, I couldn’t give you like a true scientific percentage, but like 70, 80% probably.

Shanna Micko: Dang!

Teresa Keirns: That’s like most women and I just remind them.

Shanna Micko: I was super scared of that.

Teresa Keirns: It’s not them pooping is what I tell them. It’s their baby pushing the stool out. It’s their baby doing it.

Shanna Micko: That’s a nice way of thinking about it. I like that.

Teresa Keirns: It’s also true basically.

Laura Birek: To me, that’s the least thing. For me, I can’t imagine anything less important than if I accidentally take a shit while I’m giving birth.

Shanna Micko: I wish I had that attitude, Laura. I was so nervous. When I found out I had to have a C-section, I think I was like elated that I wasn’t going to poop on the table.

Laura Birek: Maybe it’s because I come from a medical family, but I’m just like, I have no control over that. If anyone’s grossed out by that, there’s a lot more going on that’s pretty disturbing down there. Like that is the least disturbing thing I can think of. But maybe I’m wrong, Teresa.

Teresa Keirns: No, we do usually forget it. Like I said, you breathe through your mouth, you wipe it away, you forget about it. Occasionally, you remember one for a couple weeks, because it was a big mess. But most of the time you just move on. It’s so common. A lot of women are really embarrassed about it though they talk about it in prenatal care, they talk about it in group care, and they talk about it in labor. A lot of times they ask, did I poop? Sometimes you say no when they really did, because if you didn’t smell it, then I can lie to you. It’s cool.

Laura Birek: Yes.

Teresa Keirns: But I don’t cherish the idea of pooping in front of my colleagues, but I know they’ve seen it before and they’ll probably forget it. I would way rather take a giant dump than need a repair that took an hour and a half.

Shanna Micko: Yeah.

Laura Birek: Is there anything that you just hear all the time, like pregnant women say or misconceptions that you wish you could like wipe off the planet? Like just blanket tell all pregnant women, something like, is there anything that like in all your experience you would love to impart your wisdom upon us? Now is your time.

Teresa Keirns: Wow. I forgot my wisdom stick, but there are two things that come to mind right away. One is I get really annoyed by people asking what the gender of their baby is. I’m like, I don’t know, but I can tell you what genitals it has. Your baby can tell you their gender, which I don’t know, because I trained in San Francisco and I live in Portland.

Shanna Micko: So what’s the right thing to say?

Teresa Keirns: Biologic sex or sex or genitals. Just say, what’s the sex of my baby? That’s kind of the idea. It’s an XX, or it’s an XY or maybe it’s something in between occasionally. But when people ask me what their baby’s gender is, I say, I don’t know, but if you want to know what kind of genitals they have, I can help you find that out. Some people get it and they’re like, yeah. Okay. I understand. Other people are like, what the hell is she saying? But if I can kind of do that as an easy tool, I will. I usually don’t ask is your baby a boy or a girl? Sometimes I will, but I’ll often just ask like, doesn’t the boy parts or girl parts just to make it a little bit more lighthearted and less stamped before it’s even alive on the planet. That’s just my own kind of pet peeve, but really I’m stuck in kind of a bigger spot where I’m trying to figure out how to let people know that labor is awesome and mystical and sacred and this huge transformative experience. At the same time, it’s like this tiny itty-bitty little sliver of your life. Even if it’s a three day horrible back labor, it’s this tiny, tiny amount of time that you’re going to spend with this baby. There is so much more to your parenting journey than just your labor and your birth. I don’t know how to say it in a way that still respects kind of the sacred and amazing and mystical portion of it as well as accepts sort of the good and available technologies that we have while throwing away some of the ones that we have and aren’t so good. .

Teresa Keirns: Also, really wanting to hear women’s experiences and believe their experiences, but letting them know that it is going to be okay if you didn’t have that magical, amazing, like moment where you lifted the baby up, still connected to you saying, “Oh my God, I made you, I created you with that amazing glimpse that some women really do have. It’s okay if you don’t fall in love with your baby until they’re six months or more. It’s okay if you have a C-section and it’s okay if you plan one, because that’s what works best for you. It’s okay if you got an epidural when you didn’t want to. It’s okay if you pushed the baby out with no pain meds, even though you were hoping to. It’s all going to be okay. But I think it also really depends on your care providers: who’s listening to you and how they’re taking care of you and who you can trust and how you’ve been able to grow to trust them. That’s not something that I can fix, because there are lots of us helping babies be born, because there are lots of you having babies.

Laura Birek: We just keep coming it seems.

Teresa Keirns: I know. Oh, God. Sometimes I think like, is there nothing else going on? Do people in Portland do nothing but have unprotected sex? There are definitely days when I think I also can help you with birth control.

Laura Birek: As you know, I think we bonded in college actually, Teresa, because we were both very big supporters of Planned Parenthood and the birth control and on campus, you were one of the few people I could talk to about various forms of birth control without people getting shy or weird and we both were. So I’ve always loved that. I’ve had you around as a friend to talk about birth control. I think you really pushed me to get my IUD.

Teresa Keirns: Yes, probably.

Laura Birek: Well, I think you had told me to get one and then the Affordable Care act made it free essentially. I think you were the first person I texted. I was like, “I’m going to get an IUD,” and you’re like, “You go. Get it.” You talked me through how much it was going to hurt too and then now having you to text and be asking about weird pregnancies stuff is great.

Teresa Keirns: I’m excited.

Laura Birek: We get to have you as our first guest on the podcast, so thank you so much.

Teresa Keirns: Thank you.


Shanna Micko: We always end with our BFPs and BFNs, which are like the highs and lows of our week. Who wants to kick it off?

Laura Birek: Maybe I’ll go first just because I feel like we’ve been asking Teresa to talk a lot. I’ll give her a little rest and mine’s a little related to healthcare, which is I have a, BFN, a big fat negative, which is, as we talked about, I had a cold this week, which hardcore sucked. My BFN is I miss ibuprofen. I miss it so much. Tylenol, which is the only approved pain killer by my doctor at least and I think for most pregnancies, Teresa, I think you can verify this or the only over the counter pain and killer, I guess. It doesn’t do the trick.

Shanna Micko: Doesn’t do shit.

Laura Birek: Teresa, what do you think about IBU?

Teresa Keirns: No, I miss ibuprofen too. I think Tylenol is a waste of time, but it makes people feel better to tell you to do something, right? It’s just like when I told those poor sick ladies to drink lemonade and eat potato chips, because sweet and sour really helps.

Laura Birek: Plus it’s not great for your liver. I just miss my ibuprofen, man, or my Aleve.

Teresa Keirns: It’s going to feel awesome when you get it after the baby is out.

Laura Birek: Oh my God.

Shanna Micko: Yes.

Laura Birek: I’m going to need it. That’s my hard hitting BFN of the week. Shanna, you want to go?

Shanna Micko: I have a BFP this week, which is, I got some hand-me-downs, which I don’t know Laura, if you’ve gotten any yet from anyone, but they are so fun. I just love getting big bags of clothes for, I got some for my daughter who’s two and a half and then some for the new baby, even though I already have tons of stuff, but you want to fill in the gaps with new stuff and fun stuff. It’s just a treat to look through clothes that are adorable, that you didn’t have to purchase. I’m just on cloud nine with my hand-me-downs.

Laura Birek: That’s sweet. Everyone has girls and I’m having the boys, so I don’t have a lot of hand-me-downs coming our way. Actually, I do have a friend in Portland who had just had a boy. So he’s sending us a large box supposedly soon. But I haven’t had the joy of hand-me-downs yet.

Teresa Keirns: They’re coming.

Laura Birek: Teresa, you have a boy, but you need to hold onto your stuff, I imagine.

Teresa Keirns: Yeah, I don’t know what’s in there. I have given away some of it because I thought for a long time, I wasn’t going to have another kid and then he turned four and I got nostalgic and tonic and now I’m pregnant. So I’m hanging on it.

Laura Birek: Teresa, do you have a BFP or BFN for us?

Teresa Keirns: I have a big fat negative, a BFN. I am real sick of pregnancy insomnia. It’s a total pain in the ass, especially for somebody whose circadian rhythms are already jacked up from more than 10 years of day shift, night shift, night shift, day shift. I just am having a really hard time. If I take some Unisom or a little melatonin melt away, I end up getting deep enough that I have really psychotic, crazy dreams and need to be within like a few feet of my husband so he can shake me awake.

Laura Birek: Oh, no.

Teresa Keirns: If I take nothing, I sleep for a few hours and then I’m awake, like eyeballs wide open, like a little owl at 2:30 in the morning, nothing to do. I tried all things: chiropractic and massage and magnesium and blah, blah, blah. But again, I have a couple of patients who have really bad insomnia now and I feel like I’m just telling them, I know how you feel and they don’t know I’m pregnant. So they’re like, yeah, right, whatever. I really do, but I wish there was something that could make it so I could sleep in eight full hours since I know I’m basically never going to sleep again.

Laura Birek: That’s tough. I hope it gets better.

Teresa Keirns: Me too.

Laura Birek: I know we’re both the kind of people who have always had very vivid, insane dreams. You and I, Teresa.

Teresa Keirns: Yes.

Laura Birek: They only get weirder during pregnancy, I think.

Teresa Keirns: Totally.

Laura Birek: But I do have something that you maybe have already tried and it’s cure for insomnia, but it’s something I’ve been using, because I’ve been having the same problem. It’s a podcast called Sleep With Me. Have you heard of this?

Teresa Keirns: Ooh, no. But I’ll try anything.

Laura Birek: I will send you the link and I’ll put it in our show notes. It’s this guy who, what he does is he just records these bedtime stories and this sort of slow, he calls it like a slow creaky, dulcet tones, and they’re creaky. But it’s just in a nice way. It’s low and it’s soothing. He tells a story that just barely makes sense and he goes off on these really long, weird tangents and then like eventually comes back after five minutes to this “story”. It’s engaging enough that you can’t really let your mind do its racing thing thinking about a million different things.

Teresa Keirns: I’m ready.

Laura Birek: But it also just doesn’t make any sense to keep you engaged. 

Like it doesn’t keep you awake, because you want to find out the story. He does two a week and they’re awesome. They’re about an hour long. You can just keep them going and that’s really been helping me, especially when my friend died, I was having a lot of trouble sleeping, because my mind was just racing and emotions and all that stuff and I would turn that on. I would just take my mind off of things.

Teresa Keirns: I will try it tonight.

Laura Birek: Yes, I will send you link to that: Sleep With Me.

Teresa Keirns: I’ll send you a box of hand-me-downs if it works.

Laura Birek: All right. That’s a deal. I guess that’s our show. Huh, Shanna?

Shanna Micko: I think so. So fun having a special guest. Thank you, Teresa.

Laura Birek: Thank you so much, Teresa.

Teresa Keirns: Thank you.

Shanna Micko: That’s it for episode 10. Thank you so much for tuning in. We’d love to hear from you on what’s going on in your pregnancy this week or if you have any BFPs or BFNs, so share that with us. Laura, where can they find us?

Laura Birek: We’re on Instagram and Twitter at BFP Podcast. We also have a website, bigfatpositivepodcast.com and in the footer of that website, you can find a direct link to our Facebook community group or do a search in Facebook for Big Fat Positive Podcast. Bye

Shanna Micko: Bye.