Many parents will tell you about a phase during pregnancy (or after, in some cases) called “nesting.” It’s where people avidly and almost obsessively prepare their home for the impending doom– errr, I mean, the imminent arrival of offspring in their lives. Usually, it’s an instinct in the pregnant female but I’ve seen it happen in the non-pregnant half of the relationship, too.

Me? Oh, I nested. I had a rather insane fit of nesting, come to think of it.

Most of my nesting, however, happened in Azeroth.

An Idea…
I’m not terribly sure how it happened. I just got an idea one day. You see, I used to be a major pen-and-paper RPGer. As I was coming back from the grocery store, I thought, “You know, as a hunter, I don’t do very much hunting in the game,” which was then followed by, “Hey, what if I went ‘grocery shopping’ for the guild? I’d be hunting for meat and other goods, much like I am for my husband and me right now!”

And then the idea took off… or went downhill, depending on how you look at it.

This was back in the days of “Wrath of the Lich King,” and my guild was just beginning to progress in ICC10. We needed fish feasts and flasks. As an alchemist, cook, fisher, and herbalist, I took on a lot of the responsibility for providing consumables. It worked out well, since, being pregnant and jobless, I also had a lot of time on my hands. You’d think that I’d spend that time looking at baby things or unpacking wedding presents that were still stacked in our room.

No, I wanted to make sure the guild was stocked and ready for raid.

I’d only planned to just gather enough for the week’s needs, plus a little more to be safe. I’ve always been a “get only what you need and can use” sort of person in the interests of saving money. But, even when ammo was still required for my bow, this wasn’t real money at risk. There were times when I’d say, “Just one more deer/boar/creature with remotely edible bits, and then I’ll log off,” and have a hard time prying myself away. That only happened occasionally, though.

After the husband and I had the talk about how we’d handle raiding and running the guild after our daughter was born, my brain went into overdrive. When my hormone-ridden senses could only think of my starving raiders in case I wasn’t online to gather materials for fish feasts or flasks, I panicked. My husband jokingly told me to calm down, that things were fine and, ultimately, there were plenty of other people who could make feasts and flasks.

My burgeoning maternal instincts wanted to make sure everything was set in place and prepared for my kids– or, in this case, my guildmates. Yes, they were adults in real life who were perfectly capable of taking care of themselves… And their virtual selves. Yes, these were virtual avatars in question who don’t actually require constant feeding and nourishment. Yes, it’s just a game.

But you try telling that to a pregnant woman whose first thought every morning is, “I’m pregnant. My life is going to change drastically. How can I best prepare for it and not screw this up?” Yeah, good luck with that.

The Early Bird…
So I nested. Hardcore. Within weeks, the guild vault was filled to bursting with the three different types of fish needed for feasts, the feasts themselves, herbs, flasks, potions, elixirs, meats for every buff food imaginable… You name it, we had it. And then I went about organizing all of it. It was that bad.

Some of you might be asking, “Why? Why do all of that?” Well, as you may have read from my “about me” page, I was a transplant from California. Imagine this with me, if you will: You just finished college; just got married after nine months of hardcore planning; are in an alien place that you’ve hardly spent two weeks at before moving to it; everyone and every place you knew by heart are now 2300+ miles away; and, on top of all that, you’re a couple months pregnant. You’ve been told numerous times you’re not allowed to lift heavy objects and that you need a lot of rest, that your biggest priority is to take care of the human growing inside of you.

In fact, when you look at it on a bad day, your pregnancy is all you’ve got.

I went from being an energetic, bold, I-can-do-anything-myself sort of person to a scared, confused mom-to-be. I couldn’t unpack the majority of my boxes because it required, to some degree, an amount of heavy lifting. (That’s what I get for having so many damned books.) All I could think about was, “Don’t break the baby. Don’t break the baby,” and she hadn’t even been born yet!

That’s why I resorted to Warcraft and my main character of the hunter. Oh, here’s another funny thing: I refused to play my alts while I was pregnant most of the time. It all boils down to me trying to regain a grasp on my life and my identity. I felt like I was losing a hold on Estee so much that I fled to being Toriah. My hunter has been my main since the beginning of TBC and as much a part of me as I’m a part of her. She was still able to fend off foes, hunt Scourge, fly a dragon, and command her pet bear without even mussing her hairdo. I, on the other hand, contended with morning sickness, an abominably itchy abdomen, a baby with incredibly powerful kicks, and lacked the motivation (and energy) to do anything productive, only to feel bad for not being productive at the end of the day. In short, I freaked the f#$% out and ran away like a little girl to Fantasy Land.

Up until that point, I thought was a fairly open-minded and adaptable person. I was used to hitting the ground running. Moving? No big deal– did it all the time in college, right? Marriage? Bring it on. Having a baby? Not all that sure, but I’m up to the challenge. When all three happened at once, though, my brain imploded. It scurried off into a corner, whimpering, with its tail between its legs. A new place, a new life, and a new, ever-changing body proved to be a little too much for me. Maybe it was the hormones or whatnot, but I’m willing to own up to the fact that I bit off more than I could chew.

That’s why, when I nested, I did it in WoW. I won’t lie: I certainly paid the price for it afterward and spent months trying to play catch-up while taking care of an infant. Usually, playing as my hunter makes me feel superhuman; I could be more than what I am. For a good portion of my pregnancy, however, it helped me feel normal again.


About Toriah the Mom

Mom, quasi-librarian, gamer, writer
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3 Responses to Nesting

  1. Bravetank says:

    Really interesting post – both the fact your nesting showed itself by you becoming the provider for your guld and just the fact that you could live a normal (WoW normal!) life in Azeroth when in real life everything was changing so dramatically. It’s great you had an outlet though – a touchstone to some sort of constant in your life. And wow you had a lot of change happening all at once – all major things! I’m glad playing your hunter helped!

    • I think the lack of a job really played into the whole ordeal, as well. I wanted to be useful again! I’m very much of a doer and you just don’t tell someone like that *not* to do something, even when it’s for the best. We read a lot of stories about people with disabilities regaining a sense of agency when they play WoW; this is just another example of it. In the game, I was able to do anything I wanted *and* be around people who were familiar, both of which I lacked irl at the time.

      Of course, I hadn’t realized all of that until I thought about it the other day. lol Hindsight’s always 20/20!

  2. Pingback: Mother Knows Best | Mommy Jenkins!!

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