Well good morning to all. Back to the workweek. Hope everyone enjoyed the weekend. Hard to believe that summer is in it's winding down mode. The temperatures thought these past few days have been hotter than most of the summer...go figure!
Well, todays topic for the blog is an interesting one to me, mostly because I was supposed to be part of it...and missed it! Well, at least part of it. You see 37 year ago, the team on AM Chicago TV were joking about a wedding on TV, They spoke of how one hadn't been done in good taste...the last one was Tiny Tim's and his was no tiptoeing through any tulips. Well, they announced that if anyone wanted to get married on TV to write in. They were joking and the general public had something else in mind. The TV station were bombarded with letters from prospective engaged couples. It just so happen that the couple chosen were best friends of ours.
Well, it was amazing as to what the television station had done to prepare our friends for the wedding. We were to stand up to the wedding and be on TV. I remember being picked up at my friends home in a Limo and driven to House of Brides for our gowns. The bride and all of the attendees got their gowns completely paid for. The men were taken to Seno tuxedo where there tuxes were takes care of as well. There was a jeweler names Gia from downtown Chicago that designed their wedding rings. Chef Louise would make the wedding cake, the receptions was to be at the Ambassador West hotel downtown. They had absolutely everything taken care of from flowers to honeymoon.
Now in addition to the wedding, all the stores from downtown Chicago were throwing her a Bridal Shower on the show. Her mother was quite camera shy, so they informed her that she could choose someone else to be there with her.,..well, that would be me. It was all set that we would be at the TV studios at 6 AM on Monday, May 17th. Now what I have not disclosed as of yet is the fact that I, at this point was 8 1/2 months pregnant. I had seen the OB/GYN on Friday and he informed me that I had at least 2 more weeks to go...not to worry about anything. Well, that morning upon awaking, I went to the bathroom and had the show...the first sign of ensuing labor. I panicked. What should I do? I quickly put in a call to my doctor and he told me that a show could happen up to 2 weeks before a delivery...he assured me it was nothing to worry about. That had not reassured me at all. I was not convinced. I called the studio and had them explain to my friend what was going on and that if all was well, I would be there the next day for the wedding. I didn't want to chance going on National TV and having my water break.
I was so disappointed on 2 counts. First that she had to be alone and secondly, that I missed such an opportunity. Well, watching her on TV that morning, they announced my name and that the reason I wasn't there was because I was on the way to the hospital. It was really funny...everyone was calling me at home asking me where I was and what was going on. I thought really...you call me at home, I answer the phone and you are wondering where I am? Well, I talked with her later...explained what had happened and relayed the doctors remark and assured her nothing else indicated I was in labor all day long...so willing..we would be a the TV station in the morning for the wedding.
Now, all day long nothing happened but I was afraid to eat, thinking of what my Lamaze teacher had warned us about eating during labor...well by midnight I was starved. So I had a Bing cherry Jello mold in the frig left over from the bridal shower I had thrown her on that Saturday, so I had some of that. I got into bed and within 10 minutes, I felt this pressure like I needed to go to the bathroom. I got up and went to the bathroom...but nothing happened. I returned to bed. Five minutes later....I had to repeat the trip, again with no results. Soon after, The labor pains began. I waited and timed them. Called the doctor and was now on my way to the 40 minute trip to the hospital. We were excited, this was to be our first child. Momentarily, I had forgotten all about the wedding. Halfway to the hospital, all the pains stopped. We had raced around like chicken with our heads cut off and now I didn't know how to tell my husband that everything stopped. We arrived at the hospital and I thought, well, as long as we were there, they could check me out and when I stepped out of the car and stood up...my water broke. We were going to have that baby now for sure.
The problem for me at that moment was that my pants were all wet and I was embarrassed. When we reached the entrance door...the security guard was waiting with a wheel chair. I asked where the ladies room was instead. When directed to it, I went into the stall, removed my wet underwear and pants. Put the wet pants back on and proceeded to dry the underwear off with the hand dryer. When they were dry, I switched pants and then dried my regular pants in the same manner. Now, as time went by, my husband kept knocking on the bathroom door to make sure I was all right! Once I was dry, I was ready to move on. Silly, how crazy I was thinking and acting.
Well the next 10 hours were crazy. Pain was horrible. I had all back labor. Difficult to say the least...oh, and remember the Jello? All over my husband. He was a real sight, between the red Jello and small pieces of cherries all over him! He had made the call to the TV studios to inform them that we were not coming and that the baby was! They would use theircamera lenses to compensate for our non appearance. We had a TV in the labor room, and the time for AM Chicago to be on came and we were watching it on TV. The first part of the show was with Miss Vanderbilt and a discussion about etiquette. I was so happy that at least I wouldn't miss seeing them get married. They broke for commercial and the wedding would begin right after....and just at that time they came in and wheeled me to the delivery room. Our daughter was born at precisely the time that our friends took their vows on National TV.
What a day for everyone involved. The sweetest part was that later in the day, my friend took time out of her wedding day...with all the excitement going on and called me to see how we were all doing. That was a day, May 18th, 1976, that goes down in history for all of us