Ambitious model named Jan Carter arrived in Los Angeles with dreams of show business glamour and began pursuing Ted for his prestigious connections. Jan's roommate, Dr. Mary Leland, was a dedicated surgeon who was constantly encountering prejudice because she was a woman doctor. There was one patient, however, who trusted Mary implicitly: a warm, down-to-earth German immigrant known simply as Mama Bauer. Mama and her husband, Friedrich (Papa) Bauer, had three children: Meta, Bill and Gertrude (Trudy). Six years earlier, Meta had fled the family home because Papa was an Old World tyrant who refused to allow her the freedoms enjoyed by typical American girls. Papa had since destroyed all pictures of Meta and forbade the family to ever mention her name. However, now Mama had cancer, and she longed to see Meta again.
Pained to see how much his sick wife missed Meta, Papa told his family that he regretted driving his eldest child away. It was now his fondest wish to find Meta and bring her home before Mama died. What the Bauer family didn't realize, though, was that Meta was already back in Los Angeles. Jan Carter, Dr. Leland's roommate, was really Meta! Meta kept this secret until she found herself in a sad predicament -- she was pregnant by Ted White, a man she had used but did not love. Meta confided in Rev. Dr. Charles Matthews, the pastor of the Church of the Good Samaritan, and sought refuge at a convent in New York, where she gave birth to a baby boy who Dr. Matthews and Dr. Leland arranged to be adopted -- by Charlotte and Ray Brandon. Meta tearfully returned to the family fold on Mama and Papa's silver wedding anniversary and eventually told them her painful story. She also told Ted in hopes that they would marry and get Chuckie back. Ted had no use for Meta, so Meta and Ted each filed separate custody suits against the Brandons. During Meta's court case, Ray was appalled when Charlotte spoke sympathetically about her! Identifying with Meta, Charlotte came to believe that Chuckie would be better off with his biological mother. The court awarded the boy to Meta, leaving Ted to formulate a secret plan: He would marry Meta, prove her to be an unfit mother and get the boy all to himself. At this time, however, Meta and Ross Boling were beginning to have feelings for one another, leaving Trudy >to bitterly resent her sister's return. But Meta succumbed to family pressure to marry for Chuckie's sake, and she and Ted tied the knot in Las Vegas. Dr. Ross Boling on the other hand stopped seeing Trudy and started dating Dr. Mary Leland.
Amid all this turmoil, the Bauers found a reason to celebrate -- on December 9, 1949, Bill and Bert were married. However, the marriage was troubled from day one because Bert proved to be a nagging shrewish wife who pressured Bill to become successful so she could have a big house and >fancy clothes. On their honeymoon, they were having the first of what would be many arguments over money when they received the sad news that Mama Bauer had died.