I don’t think I’ve been on TV before. Well, possibly. I think I might have been in the background of a local (Youngstown, Ohio) news broadcast when I was seeking the autograph of an American Gladiator who was making an appearance at a local county fair.
Anyway, this television debut was quite different. As I wrote on Thursday, The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet contacted me Wednesday to come on their show for a breastfeeding segment on Friday. I accepted not knowing much more than I’d be a “pro” breastfeeding representative. As word spread around the office that I’d be heading to New York to be on the show, a few people asked me if I specifically knew the questions the show would be asking me. I didn’t. I figured I breastfed for more than a year, I definitely knew about the topic, and could probably field most questions thrown my way. I wasn’t worried.
I flew into NYC Thursday night. A driver met me at the airport—complete with a sign bearing my name. So what if it read “Taela Durbin?” I knew it was me! At first the driver smiled and seemed happy he found me, but I must’ve made him mad by not being able to find my luggage quickly enough because he kept giving me dirty looks as I searched the conveyor belts (it ended up being in the “unclaimed luggage line” against the far wall of baggage claim). Or maybe he was mad b/c he thought he was picking up some super celeb with an alias and was disappointed to see a mom and her young son.
Whatev. As soon as I finally found my piece of luggage, the driver snatched from my hand and sped through the terminal toward the luxury SUV in the parking garage—nary looking behind to see if I was keeping up. I was, but just barely. I think he forgot I had to navigate the crowd with a stroller and young child. No matter, I hung with him. He couldn’t lose me!
We drove to from the airport to Times Square in style: the aforementioned luxury SUV. There were all these different buttons and things to play with, but I was scared to experiment. My limo driver already hated me. O loved the ride and all the lights as we drove to Times Square. I haven’t had a chance to turn O’s car seat around in our car yet, so it was the first time he had driven in a car facing forward. He was ecstatic.
The driver dropped us off at the Doubletree Guest Suites, we checked-in (Times Square view), got our cookies, and settled in for the night.
The next morning, Dan, a representative from the show met me, my sister, O, another guest, Alex from Formula Fed and Flexible Parenting, and her friend in the lobby of the hotel. Alex quickly started asking me questions.
“Are you one of the doctors?” she asked.
“Haha, no,” I said.
“Are you the surprise guest audience member?” she said.
“Um, I dunno?” I replied.
Dan interrupted us at this point and said “The format has changed slightly.” I started thinking that maybe asking a few more questions back when they were booking me on the show wouldn’t have been such a bad idea. Alex obviously had. Ruh-roh.
We all walked the block and a half to the studios, were introduced to various people, and shown “the green room”—a few chairs and couch in the middle of another larger room. Alex and I started talking again, but we were quickly interrupted by one of the producers. I didn’t know if i was being paranoid, but it seemed like they didn’t want us talking. I started thinking maybe I had unknowingly signed up for a Jerry Springer-like show. But I had watched clips online! It didn’t look controversial.
As the rest of the morning progressed, we all got our hair and makeup “did”, I met Geraldo, Mike, and Juliet, chatted a bit with Alison, a doctor on the show, and a producer finally came to talk to me about what I’d be doing on the show. Seemed I’d be a guest audience member talking about my breastfeeding experience. I was actually a bit relieved by that. Seemed more informal and less nerve wracking that way.
Our part on the show went by in a flash. Geraldo’s bit ran over and in turn, our segment was cut short. I haven’t seen the clip yet, but I’m told I looked good and did well. There is a clip online, but it cuts off before my part. I remember just a few things. I remember Mike calling J my husband, even though I told them I wasn’t married. I quickly forgave him though, because he was the one that got O on TV. Weee! I also remember ending the whole show with a comment about breastfeeding being easy b/c in the middle of the night you could just “whip it out.” K-lassy.
I found out later they labeled me “Reluctant Breastfeeder”—still not sure why they did that. Sure, I had some doubts in the very beginning, but reluctant? I don’t think so. You don’t breastfeed for more than a year if you are reluctant.
Then we were done. My sister, O, and I walked back to the hotel, gathered our stuff, and headed back to her place for the rest of our New York adventure.