So It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged and I’ve had a lot of huge life events happen in the last six months! My husband and I bought a condo, we moved, I quit my job, and I found out I was PREGNANT! Yes! and all these events happened right around Wonder-Con 2013. After the initial joy and happiness that comes with finding out that you are carrying a little -soon- to- be- geek in your belly, my mind went straight to San Diego Comic-Con. I did the math and figured I would only be 6 months pregnant during SDCC. Everything should be easy right? WRONG! A few weeks after I found out I was pregnant I found out I was carrying not one geekling but TWO! TWINS! This. Changed. Everything. I recently visited my doctor and he said that I am now at the stage of a 9 month-ready-to-pop pregnant woman. All the swelling, aches and pains, and lack of sleep are due to my little Jedis growing at a rapid rate. Okay, so really? Whats a geek girl to do???!
That’s me at 5 months pregnant during Bot-Con. Although it’s a tiny show compared to San Diego Comic-Con I wasn’t very prepared for hanging out all day.
PREPARE, have a game plan, and of course pray to the lords of Kobol.
I call this a tentative survival guide because I’ve never had children and I have yet to attend a con of this size while this far along in my pregnancy. Once everything is said and done I’ll report back. Here are the list of the top ten problems that may arise and some possible solutions.
Problem #1 Long Lines
Last year, I stood and sat in lines that were 10 hours long. It’s kind of something my friends and I do. It’s unfortunate but its the reality of the con. Sitting Indian style and leaning back on your friends can be relatively comfortable. Not so much right now.
Solution: A portable lawn chair (with a strap) and being a little more elevated will help out on those days that the line does not move for hours at a time. Have a friend help you carry it so you don’t over do it. I also plan on using mine and my friends backpacks to elevate my swollen feet. Yikes! Don’t forget that travel sized bottle of lotion to massage your feet while you’re waiting.
Problem #2 Walking more than you are used to
Walking from your parking stall or the trolley past the hoards of people into the convention hall can sometimes feel like forever (especially if you are crossing that massive bridge). Once you have made it to your destination you might have to walk swiftly upstairs to make it to a panel on time or you might want to walk the massive exhibit hall, which can take a few hours. All this can be daunting for aching, swollen feet, and a sore back.
Solution: Pregnancy support back brace and two pairs of shoes. Why two shoes? Well, one pair of comfortable walking shoes to withstand the long walks (don’t forget the insoles) and a pair of flip flops because they are breathable and might fit your feet better once they start to swell. The back brace I recently purchased at a maternity store and it helps straighten your back so it’s not arching so heavily and it takes a little bit of weight off the belly and your legs. This could come in handy when you’re walking all day! The only downside to the brace is that it’s not seamless and may intrude with your awesome outfits. Carry it in your backpack and when you feel the aching feeling get ready for the belly support!
Probelm #3 Getting hungry every hour
For some reason every time I have attended Comic-Con I am a ravenous beast. I get hungry at all hours. I think this is due to the long lines and overall wait periods that you have to endure. This time around though, the hunger will be all too real.
Arm yourself with a variety of healthy and filling snacks. I’m planning on taking a backpack and packing apples, crackers, trail mix, water, and a sandwich. This should be enough to get you through the day until you decide to have dinner downtown.
Problem #4 Having to use the restroom every 30 minutes
This is a tricky one. Getting out of line or having to go to the restroom during a panel is definitely annoying under normal circumstances. Get familiar with the locations of the restrooms. If you aren’t sure always ask the Comic-Con staff. You cut down the time you are wandering around if you already know where you are going.
Go every time you have to. Holding “it” can lead to complications and even preterm labor. If there are massive lines and you cannot wait the extra 5-10 minutes ask nicely if you can cut ahead. Your health and the health of your baby(ies) are worth asking strangers for a little help. Also, during panels the room staff will give away bathroom tickets that allow you to return to your seat. They will understand if in the course of the time you are in there you ask for several tickets. If not, assure them that the belly is very much real and not a costume.
Problem #5 Not being able to cosplay comfortably
I was disappointed that I wasn’t going to be able to dress up in cute sexy costumes but the reality is COMFORT IS KEY. The belly also doesn’t really help with keeping most cosplays authentic. Lets face it wearing heels and super tight revealing clothes isn’t very practical right now.
Solution: Do your research before hand! There are many characters from Sci-fi and comics that have been pregnant at some point. If you know how to sew and have the time, go for it! I’m taking the easy way out and dressing up like Lori from The Walking Dead. I found my outfit at the Goodwill and will be aging it over the next few days. It was inexpensive and is going to be pretty comfortable to wear. The only thing I will have to compromise with my outfit is Lori’s shoes. In my version of things, Lori wore flip flops not bad ass boots.
Problem #6 Crowds pushing into you
Crowds are everywhere downtown but pushing isn’t usually a problem. It’s not until you get into the exhibit hall and you walk by the major gaming or TV network booths that you start to feel like you are at a rock concert.
Either avoid these highly populated areas or have a group of friends walk with you and help protect you from really tall guys that don’t notice that you’re next to them and accidentally hit you with their poster tubes or push you out of the way (totally has happened to me).
Problem #7 Sitting comfortably for a long periods of time
If you love panels as much as I do, chances are you are going to be sitting for very long periods of time. This can be bad on your feet and your back.
Get up and walk around every so often. Try to sit at the end of an aisle and get up and walk around when you are starting to ache. It may be annoying but it feels like the only solution.
Problem #8 Being Sleep deprived
Every year I take a vacation from work in order to attend the con and every year I go back to work more exhausted than when I left. There is just not enough hours in the day or enough energy in the human body to be able to do all the cool stuff that this week has to offer.Do you guys remember that episode of The Guild where the gang goes to ”Megagame-o-ramacon” and Zaboo ends up living off of energy drinks with no sleep and ends up turning into a super villain? Well, I can relate…even to the villain part. This year I cannot live off energy drinks and adrenaline so what the heck?!!
Plan accordingly. The SDCC schedule comes out a few weeks in advance and gives you enough time to plan what you want to do. Take whats most important and go for it. You may not be able to see everything your heart desires but you will feel good when you get into the panel you were dying to see. I’ve decided to not go to sleep at 10 pm and wake up at 4am every day like previous years. Its hard to sleep at this stage of pregnancy anyway so if you can muster it, try to take naps while you are sitting waiting for a panel. If you can afford a hotel close to the convention center GET ONE! You can go back to the hotel and take naps to give you that boost of energy you may need.
Problem #9 changing body temperatures
San Diego is known for having beautiful weather! But sometimes when you are waiting out in the sun for a panel it stops seeming so beautiful because you start to fry. Then when your body has adjusted to the heat you get put in a room where it starts to feel like Hoth. Well take that, plus the intensity of feeling like you have an oven strapped to your belly and it can be unbearable.
Layers, shorts, and water! Try to stay cool by dressing like you’re going to hit the beach but also bring one or two light sweaters to layer on when it starts to get cold. Stay hydrated and if you’re anticipating being out in the sun. Freeze a water bottle and use it as your own personal cooling system while you are outside. If Hoth is the perfect temperature for you, then have no fear! you will bask in your shorts and tee shirt in the freezing panel temperatures. It’s better to play it safe than sorry that’s for sure.
Problem #10 Morning sickness and the general smells of Comic-Con
Oh the smells of the con! It’s something that should be expected and frankly a staple of any big convention. The smell of junk food from the food court might have had you salivating years prior but now it may make you want to hurl. Then there’s that dude that you kept on passing up in line that had a very distinct smell. The luck of the draw has you now sitting next to him in hall H for the next 4 hours. He Probably hasn’t showered since he left his hometown and you are wishing that the panel wasn’t completely full. How will you survive without hurling on everyone you care about? (Again may or may not have happened to me)
I’m very grateful that I didn’t really suffer with morning sickness during my pregnancy but I know many that have and some that have gone through suffering their entire pregnancy. As an ex mortuary employee I can tell you that dealing with smells when you can’t stand them is something that takes practice. There are morning sickness products that contain ginger and other wonderful vitamins that may help you combat wanting to barf all over the place and are rather tasty at the same time. Then there’s the good ol’ Vicks trick. If you aren’t opposed to the smell of vicks or anything similar you can rub some on the inside of your nose or some essential oils on a handkerchief and focus on smelling things that aren’t offensive to your olfactory senses.
Wish me luck!
Edit! Thanks to another couple that was expecting we learned that being pregnant gives you the opportunity to get a disabled pass so you can sit down wherever there is chairs and wait in much shorter lines for panels.This tip was invaluable and I’m so grateful for awesome helpful people.