Blizzcon and the Baby, Part 1

This is what happens when you have 20,000 bored gamers hanging around outside a convention center.

“I have good news and I have bad news.”

My husband loves to use this line, and my first thought is always “uh oh.”

“Well?”

“The good news is that they announced the dates for Blizzcon.  The bad news is that it’s in October.”

I did a quick mental calculation.  V would be five weeks old by then.  Not good.  Until then I was afraid Blizzcon would be in August like it had been in 2009.  August was bad.  I work in retail, and that’s back to school season.  Though I got time off in 2009, it was the retail version of time off- meaning they gave me endless crap about even asking, and tried to make me work anyway.   I was afraid the same thing would happen again this year, but the October date would mean a whole different crop of problems.

Five weeks.  Five weeks! My husband didn’t seem to think it would be an issue.  I anticipated all kinds of logistical problems.  Traveling with a newborn.  Feeding a newborn.  Being separated from my baby.  Having to pump milk in the bathroom of the convention center.  Having to find someone willing to babysit, preferably locally.

The pumping and separation anxiety scared me the most.  Bags are searched upon entry to the convention.  Would they let in a breast pump?  Would I have to find a line with a female security guard who might know what it was?  How would I store the milk?  Could I even pump comfortably in a public bathroom?

My husband brushed off my worries about separation anxiety.  I tried to explain it could be a real issue.  I’d seen coworkers come back after maternity leave mope around all day pining for their babies.  My mom used to explain it thus:  once the baby is born, there is an invisible string connecting the two of you.  The farther away you get, the more you feel the pull.  My husband was convinced I could just “get over it.”  I wasn’t so sure, and I really didn’t think we’d I’d be able to go.

Flash forward several months.   It’s now time to buy tickets, a difficult process itself.  Tickets must be purchased online, but there is a very limited number.  The trick is to have the web browser open to the right page and to constantly refresh (like SPAM IT) until they go on sale.  You then have to IMMEDIATELY select how many tickets you want and click a button to purchase.  You’ll then be put in a queue.  If you’re not in the queue within 30 seconds you will not get tickets.  There are that many people trying to purchase.  Just to increase your level of anxiety, they also add a nice little bar graph showing how many tickets are left while you wait in the queue.

Now it’s time for my husband to second guess going to Blizzcon.  He’s not sure we can afford it, or that we’ll be able to do it with a new baby.  I’m further along in the pregnancy, so perhaps it’s more real to him now.  Or perhaps he’s been talking more to his father friends, who are assuring him that his life will never ever be the same.  I’m honestly dying to go.  A and I rarely get to spend time together, and this is one even that we both love.  It’s become our sort of “anniversary” vacation every year.  So he now tries to talk us out of it, and I’m just hoping like hell we can pull it off.  At the very least we can go down and visit family and pick up our goodie bags, right?

Well it’s now October 18th.  We leave for Socal on Wednesday.  I have a huge list of stuff to pack for the baby:  clothes, frozen breastmilk, pump, bottles, diapers, Baby 411 (book), Boppy pillow, travel bed, Baby Bjorn, pacifiers, receiving blankets, the thing that props her up in the tub, misc. bath toiletries, toys, disposable changing pads, wipes, and extra towels.  This is our first time away from home with her, and we’re going to be gone for five days.   I feel like I have to pack everything baby-related since I’m not sure what will be in Socal.  Hopefully it will all fit in my car.  I have an SUV, but the Graco stroller takes up a ton of space.

We have sitters planned for both days.  My dad and stepmom were kind enough to spring a hotel room for us.  We normally stay with my mother, but she’s about an hour away from Anaheim in traffic.  Our hotel is pretty close so we’re having the babysitters (family) hang out there while we’re at the convention.  I can come back and feed when I can, and the rest of the time V can have a bottle of breastmilk (hopefully it keeps ok on the drive down).  I’m pretty confident that I can go to the convention and not feel like I’m abandoning her.

The only issue now is that my stepmother in law is sick, and may not be able to sit on Friday.  I’ve sent out an email looking for back up sitters, but so far just my sister has responded, and she has to work most of Friday.  Hopefully M will be well enough on Friday to sit.  She’s been sick for a week now, and I’m guessing she’s no longer contagious.  Still, it’s not the kind of thing you really want to risk with a newborn.

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