Ep. 3: The Big Reveal
August 27, 2018
In Episode 3 of the Big Fat Positive podcast, Laura reveals the sex of her baby, and Shanna discusses becoming an even more geriatric mother than she was before. The moms-to-be also discuss fun and unusual pregnancy facts they learned recently and divulge their highs and lows (BFPs and BFNs) this week. Laura is 10 weeks pregnant, and Shanna is 14 weeks pregnant.
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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 got pregnant at the exact same time, so we started a podcast about it.
Laura Birek: This week we’ve got our weekly check-ins, we’ve got a new segment called, “Today I Learned,” where we wonder, is Shanna’s baby really a werewolf, and then we’ve got our BFPs and BFNs for the week where we hit the highs and lows of this week in pregnancy.
Shanna Micko: Just a heads up, we were still figuring out all the technical details when we recorded these segments you’re about to hear. So you’ll probably notice that in the audio, but we promise that things only get better especially once we really get going in episode five. Let’s get to it.
Shanna Micko: Welcome.
Laura Birek: Welcome, everyone. Every week we do our weekly check-in where we discuss what’s going on with our pregnancies this week and this week, Shanna, you are at how many weeks?
Shanna Micko: 14.
Laura Birek: Oh, dang.
Shanna Micko: Out of the first trimester.
Laura Birek: Praise the Lord! That’s amazing.
Shanna Micko: Yeah, it is amazing. You have something to look forward to my friend. You do.
Laura Birek: I cannot wait.
Shanna Micko: My biggest note for this week check-in is my morning sickness is gone.
Laura Birek: Really?
Shanna Micko: I mean, I’m a little bit queasy here and there, but my smell aversions, my food aversions for the most part are gone, because that’s what usually causes me queasiness.
Laura Birek: That’s amazing.
Shanna Micko: Things are back on the table now. LaCroix, morning coffee, all kinds of things and I just feel so much better. It’s awesome.
Laura Birek: Was it a flip that switched, like suddenly it was gone or was it gradual?
Shanna Micko: It was gradual only over a couple days though. It was actually pretty quick.
Laura Birek: Oh, God. I can’t wait.
Shanna Micko: Yes.
Laura Birek: Oh my God. That’s amazing.
Shanna Micko: There’s hope for you.
Laura Birek: Oh, thank you.
Shanna Micko: This week something that’s been on my mind, oh, well, I turned 40.
Laura Birek: That’s right. I can’t believe I forgot about that.
Shanna Micko: I had a birthday.
Laura Birek: Yes, that you ran away for. We didn’t get to celebrate together.
Shanna Micko: I know. I went up to Northern California with my family and my best friend, Melissa, and turned 40 as a pregnant lady and it was kind of weird I’m not going to lie. I never thought I’d be pregnant on my 40th birthday and here we are. It was all right. It was fun. It was good to be away, but we definitely need to celebrate.
Laura Birek: Yeah, when are we going to have a party for us?
Shanna Micko: I don’t know. Probably sometime in July.
Laura Birek: It’d be a fun sober, pregnant person party.
Shanna Micko: Woo-hoo!
Laura Birek: Our husbands can get drunk. It’ll be great.
Shanna Micko: Exactly. Someone can have fun. What about you? You are at?
Laura Birek: I’m at week 10.
Shanna Micko: Okay. You’re getting close.
Laura Birek: I am. I’m making progress and for me, the big news is that I got my noninvasive prenatal screening done. I got the results back. Well, let’s see. We recorded some tape earlier this week, because you couldn’t wait until our regular recording date to find out whether I was having a boy or a girl.
Shanna Micko: I could not wait.
Laura Birek: You could not wait and I don’t blame you, because it was really exciting. I can’t believe I didn’t slip up and just text you about it.
Shanna Micko: No.
Laura Birek: I feel like I deserve a medal for that, so we should probably roll the tape of where you found out, right?
Shanna Micko: Roll it.
Laura Birek on tape: Hey, Shanna. Okay. This isn’t where we usually record the podcast.
Shanna Micko on tape: You’re right.
Laura Birek on tape: It’s my 10th week and I was able to get that cell free gene testing or screening or whatever, the thing that tells me whether I’m having a healthy baby and also it can tell me, whether I’m having a boy or a girl.
Shanna Micko on tape: Right. Because it checks the DNA of the baby.
Laura Birek on tape: I take my blood and they isolate the fetal DNA from my blood. My blood was 7.5% fetal DNA, which is creepy.
Shanna Micko on tape: That’s so crazy. Oh my gosh.
Laura Birek on tape: It’s so weird and then they sequence that DNA and tell me if it’s healthy according to its chromosomes.
Shanna Micko on tape: Which it is.
Laura Birek on tape: It’s completely healthy, so everything was completely low risk, which is great.
Shanna Micko on tape: Good. Yay!
Laura Birek on tape: Because I’m in advanced maternal age so you never know.
Shanna Micko on tape: As am I.
Laura Birek on tape: I know what I’m having. Do you want to know?
Shanna Micko on tape: I’m dying to know.
Laura Birek on tape: Do you want to take a guess?
Shanna Micko on tape: No, no, no. I just want to know.
Laura Birek on tape: Ready?
Shanna Micko on tape: Yeah.
Laura Birek on tape: It’s recording. I’m having a…BOY!
Shanna Micko on tape: Oh my gosh. That’s so exciting. Yay! How do you feel about it?
Laura Birek on tape: It’s good. I’m just really happy he’s healthy.
Shanna Micko on tape: Oh my God. You’re happy he’s healthy. It’s so funny when you find out the sex, it just almost makes it more real all of a sudden.
Laura Birek on tape: As much as I’m like, fuck the patriarch and gender is a societal construct, it’s just so much easier to have a pronoun. It humanizes the baby in a lot of ways.
Shanna Micko on tape: I know. I think calling it, “It,” is so distancing.
Laura Birek on tape: Yes, very much.
Shanna Micko on tape: That’s wonderful. I’m so excited for you, guys.
Laura Birek on tape: We’re going to have some boy and girl friends.
Shanna Micko on tape: That’s awesome. They’ll be besties. Congratulations. I’m really happy for you.
Laura Birek on tape: Thanks, Shanna.
Shanna Micko on tape: Yay!
Laura Birek on tape: All right. Now, let’s go eat some lunch.
Shanna Micko on tape: Let’s do it.
Laura Birek: So I’m having a boy and more importantly, everything’s healthy and good. That’s a big relief. That’s basically the big thing that’s going on this week. Things are rolling along. It looks like I’m going to have this baby basically.
Shanna Micko: All right.
Laura Birek: I was kind of hedging up until now, because I am very pro-choice and I am not interested in the suffering of a child unnecessarily. So if there was something really seriously wrong, as my mom, the geneticist, would put it: a disease that’s incompatible with life, which is what a lot of those prenatal screening tests are screened for, I wasn’t interested in putting a child through that. I know a lot of people have very different views on that. A lot of people don’t do the tests, because they know that they wouldn’t terminate a pregnancy no matter what and I totally respect that, but that was not something that I was interested in, so I wasn’t thinking I’m having a baby. I was thinking I’m pregnant, right?
Shanna Micko: Yeah.
Laura Birek: Now, I’m like, huh! I guess I’m having a baby.
Shanna Micko: It’s going to start to get more and more real. As time goes on, you start feeling those kicks and then you’re going to be like, oh, I’m really having a baby.
Laura Birek: Yes, right now it’s still a little abstract.
Shanna Micko: Very.
Laura Birek: He’s an abstraction now.
Shanna Micko: That’s so cool. Congrats.
Laura Birek: Thanks.
Laura Birek: Our next segment is a new segment that we’re calling, “Today I Learned.” When you are pregnant, you get all kinds of information from all kinds of different resources, including baby boards and your app that tells you which random fruit or vegetable your baby is the same size as.
Shanna Micko: She’s a peach this week, by the way.
Laura Birek: Oh, very excited. That’s big.
Shanna Micko: I know.
Laura Birek: Shanna, you had a really interesting, “Today I Learned.”
Shanna Micko: Yeah, I track my pregnancy on the What to Expect App. Every week it sends you the facts about your week in a little video and stuff and this week I learned that my baby girl is covered in body hair.
Laura Birek: Okay.
Shanna Micko: It’s called Lanugo.
Laura Birek: La what?
Shanna Micko: Lanugo. I think that’s how you pronounce it. I’m not sure.
Laura Birek: How is it spelled?
Shanna Micko: L-A-N-U-G-O.
Laura Birek: It sounds right.
Shanna Micko: It’s basically a downy coating of hair over the entire fetus to keep it warm inside my body, because I guess it gets cold and of course, people will freak out reading that like, is my baby going to be born like a Sasquatch with all this hair? Turns out, no. As the baby acquires body fat inside of your uterus, it sheds the hair.
Laura Birek: Where does the hair go?
Shanna Micko: I don’t know. It just exists inside of me.
Laura Birek: Great.
Shanna Micko: And you too. You need to be happy.
Laura Birek: I can’t wait for the lanugo phase. It’s so good that you can’t see that.
Shanna Micko: I know. I’m really glad. I mean, we all have a little peach fuzz, but this just is, I don’t know.
Laura Birek: I have to say that with this pregnancy, I’ve started to notice a little lanugo of my own on my face.
Shanna Micko: Same.
Laura Birek: It’s invisible basically. We’re both very fair-skinned people and we have light hair, but I’ve just noticed the bit of baby fuzz. I try to be very body positive about it, but when things change, it’s disturbing I feel like.
Shanna Micko: It is. But I’m glad that you said that you notice it too, because I did the other day. I actually took my eyebrow trimming scissors and was trimming this extra hair on my cheek and I was like, what? Have I just never noticed this in my lifetime? But maybe it is pregnancy related.
Laura Birek: I bet it is.
Shanna Micko: Wow.
Laura Birek: By the way, only now that you’ve pointed it out, can I even see anything on there?
Shanna Micko: Yeah, I did trim it, but also it is basically translucent.
Laura Birek: I have to say that there are many things I’m genetically blessed with, but one of them is having essentially translucent body hair.
Shanna Micko: It helps.
Laura Birek: As a woman in our society, it’s so hard to have body hair, so I’m grateful that that’s one hurdle I don’t have to jump over in our constant struggle for body acceptance.
Shanna Micko: Same. What about you? Did you learn anything about your pregnancy this week?
Laura Birek: I didn’t get any interesting dispatches from my apps, but I did learn that Disneyland is actually very pregnancy friendly.
Shanna Micko: That’s good to know. In what way?
Laura Birek: Well, you’re not supposed to go on fast rides and there are a lot of rides you can’t go on at Disneyland, but they actually put a little red, almost like a yield sign with an exclamation point on the map of Disneyland for rides that you can’t ride and there is no brainers like Space Mountain. It’s a rollercoaster. You’re not supposed to ride it, but there are things like Splash Mountain. You think, oh, maybe one drop wouldn’t be that bad, but they you, “No.” So I thought, oh gosh, I’m going to go to Disneyland.
Shanna Micko: So you went to Disneyland?
Laura Birek: Yes.
Shanna Micko: Oh, okay.
Laura Birek: No, I was just reading up on Disneyland facts. I went to Disneyland on Friday this week with my friends, Jen, and you’re friends. Jen and Steven are very close friends and their little three year old who had a blast. We kind of let the husbands go on Space Mountain. The good thing is that Jen does not like fast rides, either.
Shanna Micko: Right. She doesn’t. Good.
Laura Birek: But there were a lot of really fun little things to do for people who can’t go on the fast rides. We had a great time.
Shanna Micko: Good. That’s awesome. Yay, Disneyland.
Shanna Micko: Our next segment is our BFPs and BFNs, which as we’ve said before, comes from the pregnancy boards for big fat positive and bit fat negative pregnancy tests. But we do it in terms of things that are great. We’re not so great this week in our pregnancy and I’ll go first. No, why don’t you go first?
Laura Birek: Okay. I have a BFP and mine is that I’m finally able to start telling people about the pregnancy. I’m telling people slowly, but ever since we got the totally normal, low-risk nipped nips, cell-free gene, whatever they’re called screening back. All of our ultrasounds have been good and our carrier screening, which is when my husband and I both split into two basically in our gene sequence to see if we were carriers of any recessive gene, nothing matched up. I carry like two weird random diseases that aren’t even that bad and my husband carries one random disease that’s not that bad. But they don’t match up, so we’re all set there. I feel like it’s safe to start telling people. I don’t want to do a social media announcement. It’s just not my style. I was kind of joking with my husband that it would be really funny to do a handmade tail themed one.
Shanna Micko: Oh, geez.
Laura Birek: Which I know is like super dark, but with the politics as going as they are, I thought it would be really relevant, but we’re probably not going to do that because I don’t think I can follow through with that kind of costume design anyway.
Shanna Micko: It’s a commitment.
Laura Birek: But it’s fun to see people and to be able to tell them in person and everyone gets so excited. That’s been good and my nausea’s been getting a little better. I had none at Disneyland, which is a miracle.
Shanna Micko: Wow.
Laura Birek: I know. I think that Diclegis is helping. Hopefully, I’m on the tail end of it. That’s my BFP for this week. How about you? What do you got for us?
Shanna Micko: Mine is a BFN this week. As I mentioned, I turned 40. I had my birthday and my BFN is just no wine, W-I-N-E. I’m full of wine, W-H-I-N-E. But I miss it. I’m not going to lie. I love wine. I actually love beer. I love scotch. Let’s not lie.
Laura Birek: Me too.
Shanna Micko: I do miss it, especially for a big birthday like that, it was kind of sad to just be like, cheers with my little water and just in general, it’d be so fun to have a glass of wine. It was actually a stressful vacation, because my daughter got sick. I was sick most of the days and so I was really stressed out plus being pregnant and not at home and it would’ve been so great at the end of the day to just like kick back and have a glass of wine. But no, not yet. A few more months.
Laura Birek: My doctor said, “Second more like third trimester, it’s one glass here or there is usually fine.” I’ve read a lot. The book you recommended to me, “Expecting Better,” basically could not find any evidence that casual, very light drinking in pregnancy had any negative effect on a baby.
Shanna Micko: Right.
Laura Birek: I feel pretty strongly about that. I do think that it’s very controversial.
Shanna Micko: It is and you get the message for so long that it’s bad. It’s bad. It’s bad. It’s bad. It’s bad. So even when you do kind of hear the evidence that it’s probably okay, there’s still something inside of you that’s like, oh, but I’m doing damage. I have had a couple sips here and there. I’m not completely obstinate I will admit that. It’s really nothing.
Laura Birek: It’s not going to do anything.
Shanna Micko: No.
Laura Birek: I feel you on that. I was going to say, I feel you real hard and it sounded kind of sexual. I know what you mean.
Shanna Micko: There you go. It’s a nice turn of phrase.
Laura Birek: Anyway, that’s our show, guys.
Shanna Micko: Yay! Thank you so much for tuning in.
Laura Birek: Yes, and be sure to like and subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes and we’ll see you next week.
Shanna Micko: See you next week.
Laura Birek: Be sure to check us out on Facebook at Big Fat Positive Podcast and on Instagram at Twitter at BFP Podcast. We also have a website, bigfatpositivepodcast.com. Hope to see you there. Thanks for listening.