When they announced that BlogHer 2013 was going to be in Chicago I knew I had to go. I’d managed to talk myself out of it every other year but the fact that all I had to pay for was the (early bird priced) pass, not even the hotel, took away all my excuses. At the last minute Joel decided to get an expo only pass so he could join me, check out some of the brands, and help me with Wesley. I’m so glad he did.
I prepared for BlogHer by… oh wait, nope, no I didn’t prepare at all. I’ve read about people buying all new wardrobes and meticulously planning every outfit and accessory. Uh… yeah… I not only don’t have the money or time (hello, new mom here) but I’ve never been very good at fashion trends. So I just wore stuff I already had in my closet and meant to repaint my toenails buuuut didn’t even get to that. Did I mention I’m a new mom?
Oh wait, I lied. I did order business cards. A week in advance and had to pay for rush shipping because I totally spaced, but they got ordered and arrived before the conference. Winning.
Joel and I both went to the opening of the expo hall and had a chill evening there wandering around and checking out the booths.
The next day was decidedly not chill. Our first mistake was sticking around the expo hall way too late. Wesley did sleep a good amount of the time but Joel and I only got about 3 or 4 hours of sleep. Then we had to wake our sleeping baby.
Never do that.
We managed to get out the door on time and actually got to the conference early!
Only to find that Wesley had had a massive blow out poop all over the adorable outfit I dressed him in.
Don’t worry, there’s no picture to go with this part of the story. You’re welcome.
Anyway, that ate up all the “early” we had and then some so I showed up to the newbie breakfast late and even then only got to shove food in my mouth really quickly before Wesley needed me to walk him around. He was okay-ish for most of the morning but only if I was pacing with him. Thankfully I have my Maya Wrap so it was hands free feeding.
Unfortunately Wesley’s restlessness and fighting sleep made it pretty impossible for me to network and left me feeling kind of frazzled.
Must. not. let. him. cry.
Anyway, he finally gave in and napped and I got to have some much needed caffeine and sitting down time.
Throughout the whole day Joel’s help was invaluable.
He held Wesley as much as Wesley would let him so I got to eat a little and listen to at least part of some sessions without bouncing and pacing.
It was a long day and then, as I was on my way to hear the Voices of the Year keynote, I realized my wallet was missing. We dug the car apart and nothing. So we drove all the way home and dug through the swag bags and found it. Stupid swag.
Wesley was not impressed by our early morning and late night and our night ended looking like this.
Saddest. baby. ever.
We fell into bed as fast as possible and decided not to force ourselves out of bed the next morning. When you wake a sleeping baby once you don’t make that mistake again if you can help it.
The last day was much, much better. I finally got to meet a few of my favorite online people and sat at the silliest lunch table ever.
There was a for real spit take, complete with Diet Pepsi out the nose from one person at the table. It was that good.
We also ended the night a lot earlier and things didn’t end in complete meltdown like the previous night.
Overall I’d say I’m glad I went, if only because I would have regretted not going. I do kind of feel like I did BlogHer “wrong.” The sessions were okay but I was distracted during them and only got to sit down through one full one. I also didn’t get nearly the full conference experience by not staying at the hotel and not being able to attend any of the official parties. Plus the fact that I was constantly on edge trying to make sure my baby wasn’t fussing and bothering everyone made it so I wasn’t able to fully engage or have many real conversations with new friends.
I will say that my being on edge was my own thing. Everyone was so friendly about Wesley and I never for a second felt uncomfortable breastfeeding him. I even got a few “you go girls” about it. I really appreciated the encouragement for sure. Still, I wanted to make sure he stayed quiet and didn’t disrupt anyone’s experience.
Next year Wesley will be old enough to be left home with Joel. If I decide to go again that’s the only way I’ll do it. I got a little taste of BlogHer this year but if I ever go again I won’t half ass it. Except for the planning out my entire new wardrobe part because seriously? Ain’t nobody got time for that.