My youngest son Sean turned ten years this old week. A full decade. I can’t believe it’s been that long.
When he was born, I was still the executive producer of the John Records Landecker show on WJMK Radio. Like we did with the birth of my two other sons (Tommy and Johnny), the John Landecker show followed the pregnancy on the air. I even recorded the actual birth on digital audio tape as it was happening, and then called into the radio program with a full report live from the hospital.
His brothers were both born early in the morning (Tommy at 4 AM, Johnny at 2 AM), but Bridget was in labor DURING the show for Sean. I called into the show every hour and gave updates, some of which are referenced in the transcript below. Sean was born less than hour after the show ended that day.
This is the transcript of the call the following morning, September 20, 2002. The show members at that time were John Landecker, Leslie Keiling, and Bonnie Greene.
John: Magic 104.3, 8:14, John Records Landecker along with Leslie Keiling, that’s Sister Sledge “We are Family”. Rick, our producer, are you there?
Rick: I’m here.
John: You’re a brand new dad.
Rick: Yes I am.
John: Bridget are you there?
Bridget: Hello. I’m here.
John: Do you have a radio at the hospital?
Bridget: No. We had one down at labor and delivery, and we were listening. The anesthesiologist thought you were really funny.
Leslie: Oh great.
John: You mean when he called him “Shakes”?
Rick: And a heroin addict, I believe.
John: Ha! So, how long do they let you stay in the hospital these days after delivery?
Bridget: 48 hours, and I’m taking every last second of it.
John: Well you sound good.
Rick: She looks good too.
John: Do you feel good too?
Bridget: Yeah. And we got a little trooper here too.
Leslie: Is the trooper in there with you?
John: No hold on a second, we’re not giving anything away here. OK, so Rick. So far you have Tommy…
Rick: He’ll be seven next month.
John: And Johnny…
Rick: He’s 4 1/2.
John: Now people want to know. Hit it, Vinnie.
(Music: Theme song from “My Three Sons”)
John: It would be my three…
John: How big was our boy?
Bridget: 7 pounds, 12 ounces.
John: How long was labor?
Bridget: I’m not exactly sure because when we got here I was already in labor.
Leslie: That’s the best way isn’t it?
Rick: It really wasn’t that long. I think she only had to push about ten times.
Leslie: And then went to the prom.
John: Let’s get to the tape. Now Rick, you taped this yourself?
Rick: I did.
John: Any problems?
Rick: None at all this time. I had the surgical gloves on, and was helping the doctor. I had a leg in one hand, and..
John: Now wait a second here. What leg were you hanging on to?
Rick: I was hanging on to one of Bridget’s legs.
John: Oh. So let me get this straight. You’re hanging on to Bridget’s leg with one hand, and the microphone in the other hand?
Rick: No, I set the microphone down on the table.
John: Oh geez. I had an image in my head here…
Rick: I’m very talented.
Rick: I did test levels.
John: The first time you didn’t even know the microphone was on, the third time you’re testing levels.
John: OK, roll the tape.
Dr. Sabbagha: Hi, hi, there it is. Can you push a little more?
Dr. Sabbagha: Hi there. Push push.
Nurse: Hi pumpkin.
Dr. Sabbagha: God, you’re beautiful. Say something, precious.
Rick: It’s a purple baby. That’s Johnny’s favorite color.
Dr. Sabbagha: There he goes.
Rick: It’s a boy!
Bridget: It’s a boy?!
Rick: My three sons. Good work!
John: Rick. Guess whose crying in the studio? Oh, look, I got two of ‘em crying.
Leslie: That’s so beautiful.
Rick: It was soooo cool. I really got to enjoy it this time.
John: (sarcastically) Oh, and I know how hard the whole birthing process is for you.
Bridget: I actually thought he was funny this time. He made me laugh.
Bonnie: Because you hated him the other two times, right?
Rick: She kicked me in the knutchkies the first time she was so mad at me.
Bridget: I did not.
Rick: You did too.
John: Oh come on now, you two. You just had a baby.
Rick: I’m actually really proud of her. You should see her. You’d never believe she just had a baby.
Leslie: How are the boys. Are they excited?
Rick: (long pause) Uh…no.
Bridget: Tommy was so excited for about ten seconds. He came running into the room, held the baby, and then…hey what’s in this cabinet?
Rick: And Johnny didn’t even want to hold the baby.
Bonnie: Johnny’s the middle child now.
Rick: Yup. My mom asked Johnny yesterday how his day went, and he said…Um, let’s see…I went to school…I played in the park…um…She asked, ‘Did anything special happen?’ and he answered…”No.”
John: Oh well, that will be an on-going story.
Rick: We’re going to all go to a White Sox game tonight and beat up a coach. (This was the day after the William Ligue story)
John: You were gloating all morning, weren’t you?
Rick: Yes I was.
John: I told you! Cubs fans are gloating all over the city. So…the name of the child is…
Rick: Sean Harrison Kaempfer
(Baby noises in the background)
John: Is that him?
Bridget: Yup. I’ll put the phone up to him.
(More baby noises)
Bonnie: He sounds like a puppy.
John: OK, Sean. That’s Irish for John, right?
Bridget: Yes, technically it is. S-E-A-N.
John: Harrison, I’ve got to guess, is…
Rick: Let’s just say it’s not for Harrison Ford.
John: It’s for George Harrison, isn’t it?
Rick: Yes it is.
John: I knew it!
Rick: But I didn’t pick Sean. That was Tommy’s idea.
John: And Johnny wanted to name it…
Rick: Johnny abstained.
John: Johnny threw his headphones down and walked out of the Security Council meeting!
Rick: That’s right.
John: Well congratulations everybody. We now have Sean’s first on-air performance on tape too.
Bonnie: Are his eyes open yet?
Leslie: He’s not a kitten for Pete’s sake.
Rick: Blue eyes.
Bridget: He’s kind of dozing right now.
Bonnie: Poke him. Wake him up.
Leslie: Isn’t it good that Bonnie doesn’t have children? Have you taken him out for a walk yet?
Rick: We’ve got newspaper all over the floor…
John: Bonnie, it’s a baby.
John: Well thanks for procreating.
Rick: My pleasure.
John: I’ll bet it was. And now we have the vasectomy next.
Rick: Yes we do.
Leslie: And then we’ll hear Rick making baby noises.
John: Sean Harrison Kaempfer. That’s a cool name. You’ll have to change your answering machine message you know.
Rick: I’ll do that today.
John: Cause it says, Rick, Bridget, Tommy & Johnny can’t come to the phone. Well thanks guys, and congratulations.
Bonnie: Of course, it will be awhile before Sean can come to the phone.
John: The next time we do anything with children, you don’t talk.