The Numbers

These are my friends Jamie and Kirsten.


Their baby, Jack, was born almost a month early.

Kirsten has taught me that having a baby can make you behave like a person who is not you—who is the *opposite* of you. For her, that meant suddenly and unexpectedly taking on her husband Jamie’s personality. And becoming mind-numbingly obsessed with numbers. To the decimal point.

This is the antique scale that set the whole ordeal in motion.


In this episode, the woman who gave me the title The Longest Shortest Time talks about her own longest shortest time.

Playlist & Giveaway
Check out our Mamas Need Lullabies Too playlist! The first five tracks come from a mix Kirsten made for me after my daughter was born. You can win a free download of this playlist, plus a crazy amazing collection of my favorite unglamorous-but-necessary items for early motherhood, by entering our giveaway—a collaboration with A Little Bundle.

If you enjoyed this episode, check out our two-part follow-ups with Kirsten in episodes 112 and 113! They are some of our most popular episodes ever.

What did YOU become obsessed with after baby?
Tell us in the comments.

5 thoughts on “EPISODE #21: The Numbers

  1. First of all, I want to shout it from the rooftops how much I love LST. Seriously. I listened to the new podcast while driving home from work, exhausted, to pick up my son from my mom’s house, and it just made me feel so…not alone. I felt like I had friends in the car with me. You are amazing for what you do, and you don’t even realize the impact it has on new moms.

    My husband and I have a wonderful, stable, happy relationship. And yes, that was turned on it’s head 4.5 months ago with the birth of my preemie boy! Here’s the bottom line. I’m an oldest child of 4 and he’s the baby boy of his family. He never ever held a baby! So, I almost treat our son like a second child (“Oh, the paci is on the floor? Ok! Give it to him!” “Oh, the formula has been sitting out for an hour and half? Eh, it’s ok!”) whereas he is SUPER high strung about everything, mostly things related to eating. We’re still working on finding a balance…it isn’t easy. But, I think something Kristen mentioned was that as a new mom, this isn’t our FOREVER PERSONALITY, but we’re just figuring shit out! Leave us alone to figure things out, and don’t assume we will be bitch forever! Anyway, thank you so much for doing what you do.

  2. I can totally relate to this story. The anxiety, the weeping, the personality change. And the numbers. Oh the numbers. We had a terrible time with breastfeeding, and eventually had to give up and pump. We supplemented with formula too due to low supply. I became SO obsessed with how many ounces I was pumping. I would honestly stop and spend valuable brain cells pondering, “did I just pump 3.4 or 3.45 ounces? ” “oh, no! I’m down 0.2 ounces from yesterday! My supply is TANKING!” I was so preoccupied with avoiding formula, it made me into a crazy person. I’m still a crazy person, trying to figure out how to stop pumping, but gradually caring less about each tenth (hundredth?) of an ounce. I’m glad kiersten doesn’t know her 8 year old’s weight to the ounce today!

  3. Oh, how I can relate! My twins were born 6 weeks prematurely, and like Kirsten, I tend not to focus much on details or stick very closely to rigid schedules. Do I nurse one, then pump, then nurse the other, pump again, then bottle feed formula to both (since I wasn’t producing enough breastmilk and they were too weak to latch for a full feeding)… Or do I nurse both, then bottle feed, then pump? Or pump, then bottle feed? Do I wake up the finally-sleeping baby to feed them both at the same time, even though I know she’ll be too tired to latch on? I don’t think I ever figured out something that felt like it worked well, even though I obsessed over it continually.

  4. I am so happy that there is someone else out there that finds the “glass half empty” outlook as comforting. Expect the worse, so when the worse happens, it’s no surprise. I think that’s why the list making is also comforting, always planning to never been surprised. It does give that sense of control.

  5. I totally relate to this. My daughter was born at 36.5 weeks and I was so worried that she wouldn’t gain weight even though she was a surprisingly good breastfeeder for a premie and I made SO much milk and ended up with oversupply issues. I bought an expensive scale, which drove my husband crazy….. And then she gained weight so incredibly quickly that at our most recent doctors appointment or DR said she was heavier than she would like (she’s gone from 3% to 75% in 9 months), although we all think it will fall of when she starts walking (or when she stops nursing so much!)…But ironic considering how worried I was that she wouldn’t gain weight at all!

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