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Had a fun, if exhausting, weekend! The Boy and I enjoyed our annual Red Sox at Rangers baseball game at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas and I did pretty well considering I'm seven months pregnant! It was interesting to me to visit the ballpark while hosting a uterine parasite – it was definitely a different experience than in the past. Here's what I learned about attending a baseball game while knocked-up:
People are really sweet about clearing space for you when you're visibly pregnant. Ballparks are CROWDED but people were great about trying to move around me (instead of the other way around). This was nice because I'm not as nimble as I used to be!
Finding food at a ballpark that you can eat while pregnant is a bitch. I always get a hot dog when I go. Obviously, I couldn't get one this time (though my husband did and ate it with relish in front if me…) so I looked for alternatives. Not much to choose from y'all. Crappy fries or a burger. Neither was very good. Really wish they offered wraps or a salad – I could have eaten those!
Bring your own snacks. I kind of anticipated the above situation so we brought our own water, mini Diet Cokes, bunches of grapes, and some sliced up strawberries in our own cooler bag. Those grapes were a life-saver during the game! It was a pain to get up and get a snack out on the concourse (and all the vendors seemed to have was beer or hot dogs) so I was relieved to have those grapes!
Chairs are smaller when you're pregnant. This appears to be a no-brainer but still surprised me! I didn't realize how awkward it would be to sit in one when I couldn't put my legs together like normal. Also, getting in and out of that chair was a bitch because it was so low and tilted back!
You'll realize just how much you stand up and sit down during the game! We were on the aisle (planned this so I had easy access to the bathrooms and in case I needed to stretch my legs) but people in your aisle will constantly be coming and going. This was an unavoidable pain but everyone was really sweet about being patient while I hauled my fat ass s-l-o-w-l-y up and out into the stairs. No more standing right up and moving back into my folded up chair area! Also, be friends with the people in the seat in front of you – you're going to need to grab on to the back of it to get up and down each time.
Ballparks offer lots of cute baby stuff – just buy something already. We picked up a pink Rangers onesie for $22. Expensive? Yes. Totally made The Boy's day? Absolutely. Now I'm counting on someone (coughcoughHelenandPeabscoughcough) giving us a pink Red Sox onesie to even things up a bit.
Pay for valet parking or take advantage of a shuttle system. We always stay in a hotel in the “Entertainment District” (Rangers Ballpark is located an area that also has the Cowboys Stadium and Six Flags) which offers a trolley to and from the games free to guests. This not only saves us money we would normally spend on parking but it really cuts down on walking – the parking lots are located away from the ballpark while the trolleys pick up right next to the centerfield entrance.
Dress in layers. When you're pregnant, one minute you're SUPER hot and the next you're SUPER cold. Wear layers so you can adjust your clothing as needed. We attended a night game and knew that the weather that day was windy so I wore sneakers, jeans, and layered a lightweight cardigan over a tank top (and my lucky Red Sox baseball cap). It was just enough to keep me warm when the weather turned cooler in that late innings.
Take as little as possible with you. It's exhausting hauling stuff around the ballpark so I made The Boy carry the heavy cooler bag and all I was a small purse with my camera, phone, the tickets, and some chapstick. And even that got heavy after walking around for a few hours pre-game!
Get ready for baby to MOVE. Baby Voldemort LOVED Lance Berkman's at-bat song and would “dance” every time it played! She also reacted to the noise from a crowdwave during the 8th inning (I was too tired to get up and down for that one but I did lift my arms each time) and to the cheering after a home run from Big Papi (I've definitely got a Red Sox fan here – she didn't do a thing when Ranger Ian Kinsler hit a homer in the 1st).
Get up and pee or stretch when you need to. I have always been adamant about staying in my seat for the entire game (we splurge and buy the best possible seats we can and I'll be damned if I'm missing a moment of it!) but just couldn't do it this time. I tried to hold out but had to get up twice during the game to use the bathroom and stretch my legs. Honestly, I should have done this more than twice during the game because every time I got up, my legs were really wobbly and shaky. Also, during one of my trips to the bathroom, I took a moment in the stairwell to grab on to a railing and stretch my lower back, calves, and quads. A ballpark attendant sweetly kept watch for me to make sure that I wasn't accidentally getting in anyone's way.
Do not underestimate how wonderful people will be. I'm not a “I'm pregnant now bend over backwards for me” kind of person. I try really hard to respect other people's rights and modify my needs so that I don't inconvenience anyone. But sometimes, people will surprise you by going out of their way to accommodate you. For example, we were outside and waiting for our trolley and a woman was there smoking. I told The Boy that I didn't want to stand there because she was smoking so he could stay in line and I'd go wait in a different area. The woman very kindly offered to move away from the line so that I could stay with my husband. She totally did not have to do this and I really appreciated her offer!
What was different for you about attending a sporting event while pregnant?