Billy and I left home in Suburbia at 6:45am Friday morning and headed to McCormick Place for BlogHer '13. Meaning, we were up, clean, dressed, and he was nursed and in the car by that time. #epic
When we arrived I bumped into a friendly looking person wearing a BlogHer badge around her neck so I asked if she would lead the way to the conference. Yes! I thought, Already starting the day with a friendly encounter!
I picked up my pass from registration and headed to the bathroom with Billy strapped to my front and a bag full of cloth diapers strapped to my back. All that luggage and baby was pretty heavy, but I was so excited to see Ree Drummond I didn't care.
Turning out of the bathroom, I headed toward the Newbie Breakfast in hopes to sit with a few chatty gals and make best friends and spend the day together talking about how great life is.
And then this happened:
Once that happened, the rest of the day started to blur. I went into the Newbie Breakfast hoping to gab with my imaginary new best friends about how I just saw Ree...but when I walked in, it wasn't what I was expecting.
There was a speaker giving a presentation about how to network. Hmm. I'd been to many conferences before while I was in design school and in my professional career, so I pretty much knew how to network. I was a little frustrated because I was buzzing with excitement! I wanted to TELL EVERYONE my story and meet my new best friends! But, I had to sit there and quietly listen while I felt eyes all around me staring at Billy's round little head.
From there I went to the main conference room where the founders of BlogHer would be speaking, followed by Ree. I sat with some friendly gals and one even offered to take my photo with Billy as a memory.
From there, I headed to a track about being a social media leader, hopped into a Wordpress tutorial and started to head back to a social media marketing session when I bumped into some new friends. We chatted about our babes, education and cloth diapers for I'm not sure how long, and when I headed back upstairs I realized it's time for lunch! Billy was famished at the time, so I went back downstairs to the Lactation Lounge to nurse him before heading back upstairs and into the chaos.
I stepped into the Lactation Lounge and noticed my ears were ringing. There was so much busyness and commotion throughout the conference I hadn't taken a moment to stop and breathe. I nursed Billy and relaxed, then let him play on a blanket on the floor for a little while – we both needed a breather.
In this time I gave myself a chance to reflect how the day had been. I realized I am not a conference person. I don't enjoy the sessions, especially with a baby in tow.
Don't get me wrong, the conference was wonderfully welcoming to moms with their little babes but I found in the sessions many women around me were staring at Billy...so I was staring at Billy...and then I would realize "I spent money to be here today and learn, not stare at Billy!!" Not to mention all of the sessions I tried to hop in and out of were so spread out, I was completely exhausted by noon.
Billy was an absolute champion, he hardly made a peep all day long. A kind hearted woman held him for me while I ate my lunch and listened to Guy Kawasaki speak about his new book. I finished lunch, strapped Billy into the Ergo and headed to the Expo Hall for some swag while the other sessions were still on break.
Walking through the Expo Hall, I was completely drained. I didn't want bags of pharmaceuticals or samples of baby food. I wanted to go home. I was kind of heartbroken that I didn't run into Ree again for her to take a photo with Billy and I was too tired to look at anything else.
After drooling over the new Dodge Grand Caravan Blacktop for a moment, I headed toward the La•Z Boy booth and really wanted to take a nap on their beautiful couches. I took a photo with this man in the silly suit instead and you may not see it in my fake smile, but all I wanted to do was go home.
Billy typically goes 3 hours between feedings and I hoped since it was midday he would be safe until we got home in 45 minutes or so. No dice. I hadn't planned for 90 minutes of traffic... So Billy screamed most of the way home from hunger and I cried tears of exhaustion.
When we got home, we immediately jumped into our jammies (after he nursed) and he passed out.