Ep. 12: Baby Names, Bras and TTC!

September 25, 2018

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In this week’s “Big Topic,” Laura discusses her journey of trying to conceive. Shanna discusses coming out with her pregnancy on social media, and Laura talks about the joys of nesting. The moms-to-be also reveal their BFPs and BFNs for the week. Laura is 19 weeks pregnant, and Shanna is 23 weeks pregnant.

Show Notes:

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Episode Transcript

Shanna Micko: This show contains explicit language.


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

Shanna Micko: I’m Shanna.

Laura Birek: We are two friends and writing partners who happen to be pregnant at the same time, so we decided to start a podcast about it.

Shanna Micko: This week on the show we have our weekly check-ins. We have a segment called, “Big topic,” where we dive into Laura’s journey of trying to conceive, and we do our BFPs and BFNs. Let’s get started.


Laura Birek: All right. Welcome to the show, everyone. This is episode 12.

Shanna Micko: Hi.

Laura Birek: Our show is almost out of the first trimester.

Shanna Micko: Oh my gosh, that’s right. Yay!
Laura Birek: Shanna, what is your check-in for this week? What week are you at now?

Shanna Micko: I’m week 23 and on the whole, it was a pretty an uneventful week. Just rolling along in the second trimester, generally feeling pretty good. One thing that did happen is my husband and I decided to post a picture on Instagram of me obviously pregnant with our daughter and didn’t say anything about it.

Laura Birek: He did that without your knowledge?

Shanna Micko: No, we did it together. We posted at the same time. We didn’t put any caption. We didn’t do anything.

Laura Birek: Oh, I was worried you were saying he posted it without you knowing.

Shanna Micko: Oh God. No, he knows better than that. We both posted it like a sly announcement on social media, because I think we’ve talked before, neither of us are really keen on the whole, “Hey, world. Here’s our announcement.” It was just kind of a quiet here’s a photo.

Laura Birek: Yes, it was very sneaky. I saw it and I was like, oh, I guess Shanna’s out about this pregnancy now.

Shanna Micko: We came out and some friends were definitely like, wait, what? 

I was like, yeah, we were keeping it under wraps. Now, the world knows, Laura.

Laura Birek: Did you get any surprising reactions from people you didn’t expect?

Shanna Micko: No, not really. Mostly just congratulations and likes and stuff. We didn’t share it on Facebook only on Instagram. Facebook and I are kind of on the outs right now, so I’m not really into that platform.

Laura Birek: You are it’s complicated relationship status with Facebook.

Shanna Micko: Yes, very. I like Instagram. It’s just kind of like a small circle of friends and family.

Laura Birek: You have a private Instagram, right?

Shanna Micko: Oh, yeah. Definitely. I post way too many pictures of my kid to want that out in the world. That’s one little thing and then the other thing, it also kind of small is that I told our pediatrician that I’m pregnant. Now he knows, and he’s prepared to come to the hospital and check on the baby.

Laura Birek: Cool.

Shanna Micko: That was kind of cool. Do you have a pediatrician set up yet?

Laura Birek: No, my doctor has talked to us about it and I think we’re just going to roll into the practice that’s linked up with my OBs office. I’m not sure. I know that our friend, Jen, that’s what she did with her son and she said that they’re fine. They’re great. It’s like a duo. It’s like a team of pediatricians and she says she liked one more than the other, but it’s nice that there’s two that you can go to. My only concern is that there is a hospital closer to us. It’s not the hospital I want to give birth in for various reasons, but there’s probably a pediatrician much closer than where I’m going to be giving birth. So I’m open to the idea of switching at some point, or maybe just finding one before I give birth, but honestly, I’m kind of in denial about those steps right now.

Shanna Micko: It’ll come.

Laura Birek: It’s also one of those things where I know I need a pediatrician, but both my parents are also pediatricians. So I kind of have like a nurse line to call.

Shanna Micko: Told you, but you do need an office to go to in the beginning. It’s like every month or two months and get those vaccinations and the checkups. I know your parents don’t live in town, so I suggest you either roll with the pediatrician that your doctor suggested or find someone nearby.

Laura Birek: Definitely one of those two things are going to happen and most likely it’ll just be the one that is the path of resistance, which is going to be the pediatrician that just gets assigned to us after birth knowing me, but I still have to cross that bridge. There’s so much to do.

Shanna Micko: Yes, there is. Well, what about you? What’s your check-in this week?

Laura Birek: Oh my God, I didn’t know that the term nesting applied to cleaning until this week. Whenever anyone said, “Oh, I’m nesting for the baby.” I always thought it meant like interior decorating, buying a crib and painting the room. This week I had deadlines for work and I had a lot of things to do and Corey was at his poker night on a Thursday night. Corey is my husband, and I thought, okay. I’m going to use the night to get all this work done and instead, I spent six hours cleaning the pantry.

Shanna Micko: Whoa! That’s a long time to clean a pantry, girl.

Laura Birek: No, I did have to lie down in the middle of it.

Shanna Micko: I just picture you on the kitchen floor with boxes of pasta all around you.

Laura Birek: That’s basically what it was. I took everything out of the pantry. I guess I’m including the time before the pantry cleaning, which was going to Costco. I went to Costco, I came home and I opened the pantry and was looking for places to put stuff and I was just like, fuck this. I can’t just shove more shit into this pantry. I can’t do it. It all has to come out now. So I took everything out and it’s not even a pantry. It’s like one big cupboard, but it’s floor to ceiling and it’s very deep. I had to get up on the step ladder and I took every single thing out. I cleaned all the surfaces. 

I threw away so much expired crap, like cans of food from 2012 that expired six years ago that we must have moved with because we moved just over a year ago.

Shanna Micko: Oh my God.

Laura Birek: I purged all of it and it felt really good and I was sending my husband updates. He was like, “Great. Don’t you have work to do?” It felt so satisfying and I had absolutely no idea that this connected to pregnancy until later I was on the baby boards and someone was like, “Is anyone nesting? I just had an uncontrollable urge to clean my house and nothing would stand in my way.” I was like, wait, is that nesting? I Googled it and it was 10 signs you are nesting. Number three was, “You suddenly feel the need to clean out the pantry.”

Shanna Micko: Classic.

Laura Birek: I was like, oh, I’m such a stereotype, but our pantry is spotless now. I had to make a new recipe recently and I didn’t have to be like, do I have molasses? I knew I had molasses that wasn’t expired.

Shanna Micko: That’s a good feeling.

Laura Birek: You can see everything in it. I’m very proud of it, so I totally want to clean everything, not in like a germaphobe kind of way. It’s not about the surfaces. It’s about organizing.

Shanna Micko: It helps clear up a mental space I think so that you can focus on the baby. I definitely remember having that with my first and there was some sense of pride of knowing where everything was and I could just take care of her and then go grab the thing I needed and it didn’t clutter my head. So I think that might be a big part of it.

Laura Birek: Gretchen Rubin, she’s written a bunch of books on happiness and habit forming and she has the amazing podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin, which I am obsessed with. She always says, “Outer order brings inner calm.” I think that’s so wise and true. Anyway, I got outer order at least in my pantry.

Shanna Micko: Yay!


Shanna Micko: Our next segment is a big topic and this week’s big topic is trying to conceive or TTC on the baby boards and this week we are going to talk to Laura about her journey of trying to conceive. So Laura, why don’t you tell us a little bit about how you guys did your baby making.

Laura Birek: Mine is fairly boring I have to admit.

Shanna Micko: Get ready, listeners.

Laura Birek: Get ready for a really boring topic. I guess boring is the wrong term. Mine is pretty conventional and straightforward I guess I should say. Once I decided to have kids, which we discussed in episode nine, which was a big decision for myself and my husband, the actual trying to conceive actually went very relatively easy for us.

Shanna Micko: Well, I think what’s interesting about how you did it, I feel like you were a little methodical about it.

Laura Birek: Yes, once we decided I was not ready to fuck around, I guess that’s exactly what we were ready to do. But I wasn’t going to just leave it up to chance, because there’s a couple things. I’m a very data-driven person. I love gathering data on myself. For years, I have kept an almost daily weight log. Not because I care that much about my weight, but I like seeing the graph. I like being aware of what’s going on. So I wasn’t about to approach it sort of well, we’ll try and see what happens. I figured if we were going to try and possibly take a long time because I was 35 when we started trying almost 36, there was a very good chance it was going take a long time for us. I wanted to know that we were trying at the right times, I wanted to know that we were doing everything we could to set us up for success because I wanted the hard data to be able to go back and analyze and be able to tell my doctor. My doctor basically said, “Try for six months on your own and then we’ll talk about whatever: starting to take drugs or do any sort of fertility treatments if necessary,” but six months is what he gave us. I wanted to really use those and not just guess that we were having sex at the right time, basically. I had been using Clue to track my periods for a couple of years. So I actually had a pretty good sense of my cycle length and using Clue for the last few years, I actually could tell when I was ovulating pretty well. When you’re trying to conceive, it gets pretty gross pretty quickly. There’s a lot of testing of bodily fluids. There’s a lot of peeing on sticks. There’s a lot of feeling your cervical mucus, seeing how that works. You get into the nitty gritty really quickly. Thankfully, even before we were trying, I decided I didn’t want to be newly pregnant around Christmas time so we decided that we wouldn’t start trying until January of this year. So I already knew sort of where my cycle lengths were going to be and we were trying. We tried for January, February, March, and March was kind of a wash because my husband was actually shooting a pilot out of town and I actually went up to visit him.

Laura Birek: He was up there in Portland, Oregon for a month. I was up for there for three weeks. Of course, I brought my ovulation test strips with me and you can buy them pretty cheap on Amazon. They just test your levels of follicle stimulating hormone, which is what peaks right before you release an egg. I was doing all that, but in Oregon, those test strips never really worked right and it was just a very stressful and also, Corey was out at all night shoots. So it’s not like we were really feeling upped for the trying to conceive game. When he came back from shooting all night in a waste treatment plant and coming back at 5:00 a.m., it’s not really the time to tap him on the shoulder and be like, “Hey. I know you just had a 14 hour day in a building that smells shit. Do you want to have some sex now?” March was kind of a wash and so I hadn’t gotten pregnant by March and then my friend, Sarah, who had a four-month-old, when I was talking with her when I got back to LA, she was like, oh, here. She handed me a box of Clearblue Easy Digital Ovulation kit, that actually tests two hormones. I think it tests your estrogen and then your follicle stimulating hormone and gives you a window of your fertile days. 

She’s like, just do this. This is what we used. It worked like a charm and she’s like, I have an extra one, because I thought it would take at least two months to get pregnant, but it only took us one month because of this thing. So she gave me the one she had and which is nice, because they’re expensive. I can say that did the trick.

Shanna Micko: Oh my God, that’s awesome.

Laura Birek: The good thing is that when I did finally get the pregnancy confirmed and we got the little tiny embryo measured, I thought I was three days further along than I was. My doctor said that, if I hadn’t used that test, I probably wouldn’t have gotten pregnant, because it looks like I ovulated three days before I thought I did.

Shanna Micko: Ovulation is so tricky.

Laura Birek: You know that’s the thing I realized is that I never did the temperature thing. I was waiting to do that to see if the other things didn’t work and the follicle-stimulating hormone, those are good indicators, but you might have already missed it I guess once those things show up and I guess that’s what it was. Those indicators were later for me. But it all actually worked out pretty easily, which I’m very grateful for because I had no expectation that it necessarily was going to. Part of the reason we decided to start trying and had this idea that it might take a while is because I’ve watched you go through your journey and I know that it’s not always that straightforward for people. I mentioned how Shanna’s path and trying to conceive inspired mine. But we are going to talk to Shanna about her journey on a future episode because it deserves a segment of its own.


Laura Birek: All right. At the end of every episode, we discuss our BFPs and BFNs, our big fat positives, and big fat negatives of the week. Shanna, you’re up. What do you got for us this week?

Shanna Micko: BFP.

Laura Birek: Nice.

Shanna Micko: Which is I think we have our name.

Laura Birek: What?

Shanna Micko: At least the first name and don’t get excited. Anyway, I’m not going to reveal it on the show. We’re going to wait until the baby is born and see her face and make sure it all lines up. But part of what happened this week that solidified this I think is that I did run this name by a couple of my friends because I was feeling a little insecure.

Laura Birek: I just want say not me.

Shanna Micko: Not you, sorry. You weren’t there.

Laura Birek: All right.

Shanna Micko: I’ve been feeling a little insecure about this name. I do like it. It’s not really a name that you would find on a name list, you know what I mean? You’ll find out what I’m talking about whenever we announce it, but I wanted to run it by other people just to be like, is this insane? Are we totally insane for thinking this? I ran it by a couple friends and I got positive feedback. They said it was nice and beautiful and they liked it and I do like it. Steve loves it. He is ready to charge forth with this name.

Laura Birek: I hope you like it. You should have taken the first criteria.

Shanna Micko: I do. It’s been really, really hard for us to agree on a name. So I felt good that I got okay. I don’t think I’ll feel it’s super weird announcing this child’s name. I’m sorry, Laura.

Laura Birek: It’s okay, because I know I’m going to do the same thing to you, which is we’re not going to announce the name till we give birth, but I’m just like, I didn’t expect to be so anxious to find out. I’m just dying to know maybe because I’m also thinking about names and so it’s a topic that’s so on my mind and I’m a little bit jealous that you’ve come up with something and it’s just like, I want to know. But I don’t. I want to respect your wishes.

Shanna Micko: Thank you.

Laura Birek: It’ll be a fun surprise too come December.

Shanna Micko: What about you: BFP, BFN?

Laura Birek: I’ve got a BFP this week, which are nursing bras.

Shanna Micko: Tell me more.

Laura Birek: Talking about TTC earlier in this conversation, the very first sign that I knew I was pregnant, that something had worked on this cycle was that my boob started hurting really bad and they didn’t normally hurt my cycle like that. I was like, “Hey, hun. I think it worked this time because something’s off,” and lo and behold, five days later I got a positive pregnancy test and that was clearly a precursor to my boobs growing super-fast, like really uncomfortably big, very quickly. I already kind of had big boobs, not in super sexy way, but in that makes my back hurt kind of way for my whole adult life and I was already struggling to find bras that fit. Before pregnancy, I was a 32 DDD or I guess that would be equivalent to an F, which you could just barely get in stores. They usually carry up to that size, but instantly, I swear by week six I want to say, I went up three cup sizes and two band sizes.

Shanna Micko: Holy smokes!

Laura Birek: So none of my bras were fitting. They were all super uncomfortable. Have you ever heard of the Wizard of the Bras?

Shanna Micko: No.

Laura Birek: There is a place in Monrovia, which is sort of northeast of Los Angeles and it’s this little house in Monrovia that’s called Creative Woman: The Wizard of Bras.

Shanna Micko: That’s a funny name.

Laura Birek: It’s an amazing name and it’s meant for people who have special needs with their bras and you go in and none of their bras are actually out. You have to go back and you get measured by a woman, usually like an older either like Hispanic or Russian woman who is not there to make you feel comfortable. She is there to get you the right size bra. It is not a comfortable experience. I was going to say, it’s not a touchy feely experience, but it’s a very touchy, feely experience.

Shanna Micko: I feel like man handle is a word that’s coming to me.

Laura Birek: Woman handle.

Shanna Micko: There you go. Woman handling you.

Laura Birek: They definitely size you up both with a measuring tape and sort of with their hands and then decide what size you need and what style of bra and you just wait for them to bring you the bras that work. I did that and I got one good bra out of it. I got a 36G.

Shanna Micko: Whoa! I didn’t know that G was a thing.

Laura Birek: Well, I guess instead of DDDDD, there’s D, E, F, G. So it’s like a quadruple D equivalent and because it was a 36, that’s three cup sizes up from what I was before. Before anyone’s like, oh, I’m so jealous or people who want big boobs, it is not something you want. This is not an appealing prospect. You’re just going to have to trust me on this, so I got my one really well fitting bra from there, but it was underwire. It’s like a wearing out bra, so I didn’t know what to do and then I was talking to some friends about who had had kids and my friend Ariel was like, “Just buy nursing bras,” and I was like, “Nursing bras are for after the baby, right? That’s why you think they’re called nursing bras,” and she’s like, “No, you get them now because you’re going to need them later. So it’s not like they’re going to go to waste and they are the most comfortable bras.” I took her advice and I got these nursing bras. They’re made out a French Terry cloth that is so soft from a company called Kindred Bravely and they make all kinds of, I think, undergarments and stuff for pregnant and nursing women and it was so great. I bought one on Amazon and then I went to the actual Kindred Bravely website and bought six more the following week.

Shanna Micko: Wow.

Laura Birek: They’re super comfortable. They’re basically the most comfortable kind of sports bra you can imagine and the great thing about them is there were a lot of companies that had nursing bras, but none of them seemed like they would fit me because I have a relatively narrow rib cage, but bigger boobs. So Kindred Bravely is great because they’re small, medium, large, but they also have them in small, regular and small busty. I got the large busty, which has extra room in it and I’m wearing one right now and I have to say it’s super comfortable. So this has been a huge improvement in my life. I can wear them to prenatal yoga because they’re kind of like sports bras.

Shanna Micko: Awesome. I need to link this.

Laura Birek: We’ll put the link in the show notes and again, this is not an ad in any way. But hit us up if you want some good promotion because I love these bras. That’s my exciting BFP for the week and I think that’s our show.

Shanna Micko: Awesome. We’d love to hear about your journeys of trying to conceive or maybe what your BFPs or BFNs were for this week. So why not hit us up on social media? Laura, where can they find us?

Laura Birek: We’re on Twitter and Instagram at BFP Podcast. We have a website, bigfatpositivepodcast.com, or you can find us on Facebook. Just search for Big Fat Positive Podcast and join our community.

Shanna Micko: Big Fat Positive is produced by Shawn Micko, Laura Birek and Steve Yager.

Laura Birek: Don’t forget to rate and review us. We’d love some ratings and reviews on iTunes and tell your friends about the show. That’s the best way to help the show gain audience and we’d love for you to do that.

Shanna Micko: Thanks for listening. Bye.

Laura Birek: Bye.