Monday, October 28, 2013

Childbirth and The Chicago Bears

I was just reminded by John Tew of The Filiopietism Prism blog (see that genealogy is more than digging through distant past. History is happening right now and each of us is in the act of creating history of our descendants.  His reminder is the reason I decided to post the following story of my distant, but not too distant childbearing years. I hope you enjoy my history . . .

Childbirth and The Chicago Bears:

My husband and I are the proud parents of three adult children all born during various Chicago Bear’s football seasons.

The first intersection of my childbearing years and the Chicago Bears came one summer day in 1981. Six months pregnant and wearing heavy support hose, I attended an afternoon Bear game. It was a sunny, hot day and midway through the game, I became overheated. My father-in-law escorted me out of the stadium with the hope of finding some shade. It was in the shade of Soldier Field’s walls where we waited as my husband made his slow and premature exit from the game.

On Sunday, November 8, 1981, the Chicago Bears played the Kansas City Chiefs in an away game and won 16 to 13. It was the last year Neil Armstrong coached the Bears. Mike Ditka took the helm the following year and we all know what happened next.

While I labored away in the delivery room, my husband’s eyes were glued to the television screen and The Chicago Bears/Kansas City game. Did I mention that the doctor and all the nurses were busy watching the game too? Feeling neglected I asked, “Hey what about me?”

As I wrote my first draft of this little story, I gave credit to my husband for refocusing his attention to the birth of our first child. I shared this little story with him and he reminded that the game ended before our daughter was born. Our sweet baby girl was born the evening of November 8, 1981 weighing in at 8 lbs. 5 oz.

Twenty-two months later we were awaiting the birth of our second child. Now a Chicago Bear season ticket holder, my husband worried about me while he was attending the Chicago Bears games. He was so worried he felt the need to purchase a pager so that he could hurry home from the Chicago Bears game in the event I went into labor.

On Sunday, September 11, 1983, The Chicago Bears played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Soldier Field. My due date was September 29th. My loving husband kissed me goodbye and headed off to cheer his beloved Bears to victory pager in hand.  As it went, the Chicago Bears won the game 17 to 10. Their season eventually ended with 8 wins and 8 losses.

Sometime that afternoon of the game, I began to feel “something.” Was I in labor? Should I page my husband? I decided to phone my parents first. They weren’t home. I then called my in-laws. They weren’t home either. As a last attempt, I paged my husband and received no response. My 18-month-old daughter and I sat tight and waited for Daddy’s return later that afternoon. Boy, did someone get an earful that night!

Real labor pains began the next day. I had this little test that I did as my due date approached. I would put my hands under my tummy and wiggle my thumbs. Early that morning, my thumbs wiggled freely. My late afternoon, my thumbs couldn’t move. Our baby was preparing to be born.

I notified the doctor and was told to keep him posted on my progress. My husband returned home from work, I fed my little family dinner and immediately went into full-blown labor. My in-laws were called and quickly rushed over. There was no time to inform my doctor!

Meanwhile, in preparation for the long night at the hospital my husband headed upstairs to shave, I think he watched too many episodes of the Dick Van Dyke Show because that is exactly what Dick Van Dyke did when Mary Tyler Moore went into labor and needed to go to the hospital.

Dave received a second earful, this time from his Mother.


Down he came with a half shaved face and remnants of shaving cream.

It was just about 7:45 p.m. when we backed down our driveway and headed due east towards the hospital. I was terribly worried my baby would be born in the car and urged him to “SPEED!”  I knew the baby was coming quickly and demanded, “DRIVE THOUGH THE RED LIGHTS!”

We pulled up to the Emergency Room, with car doors left wide open; Dave placed me in a wheel chair never unlocking the brakes and rushed me inside. A young doctor greeted us and began questioning me with his list of 100 questions until an experienced nurse approached. She simply asked, “Is this your first child?” “No,” I replied. She then commanded, “Get her upstairs!”

It was just like the movies. The nurse grabbed my wheelchair, unlocked the brakes and ran me through the hospital corridors straight to the Delivery Room. The obstetrician was notified and rushed to my aid. Lucky me, he was across the street in a meeting.

No time was wasted. Our son was born at 8:30 p.m. that evening and I still wearing my ugly red and blue plaid blouse. He arrived just a mere 45 minutes after leaving home. While I held my newborn, my husband found a payphone and announced the birth of our son to both sets of grandparents. My in-laws couldn’t believe the news for we had been gone less than an hour! Dave then went downstairs to close and lock our car doors.

While all my children’s births were memorable, this birth was THE most exciting. Needless to say, my husband, learned an important lesson, got rid of the pager and began taking his family’s needs more seriously.

The 1985 Chicago Bears had us all singing “The Super Bowl Shuffle” and as you might guess, I was expecting child number three. Two days before our third child’s birth, the Chicago Bears played the New York Jets in the Meadowlands. The ‘85 Bears won again this time 19-6.

Our third child was born December 16, 1985, though not as quickly as his big brother. There was no birth/Chicago Bear game conflict this time around.

Instead in the wee hours of January 26, 1986, my husband headed off to the New Orleans for the Super Bowl XX game. What the heck! It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. The 1985 Bears ended their season with 15 wins, 1 loss and a Super Bowl victory. We will never forget the Refrigerator Perry, Walter Payton’s Sweetness or The Punky QB.

My parents joined the kids and I as we watched the Chicago Bears defeat the New England Patriots 46 to 10! My husband had the time of his Bear Fan life.

Our family of five was complete. There were lots of football games, but no more Super Bowl wins. Eventually, the season tickets were sold, repurchased, sold and then repurchased again. My husband enjoyed a few more years in comfortable Club Seats until they were sold for the final time.

Depending upon how the Chicago Bears are playing, He is now happy to watch or not watch Bear games from the comfort of our home. It was a fun time even though I was really, really mad at my husband that Sunday in September of 1983.

My loving husband has approved this story and by the way, those babies have grown into Chicago Bears Fans.

Two of my Bear Fan babies!

Go Bears!


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