Years ago, after the birth of my “Irish Twins,” Johnny and Jenny, I had surgery that prevented me from having more children. Everyone reassured me that it’ll be fine, you have the “million dollar” family. A boy and a girl. They were only 11 and a half months apart. They were like twins in so many ways. They were in diapers together, they were both drinking from bottles, they even potty trained at the same time. Jenny was not going to be upped one by her brother, so when he was three, she was two, the potty training started.
They were adventurous kids. I remember one time, when John was almost three, Jenny was almost two, they went on an early morning adventure, to the kitchen. I woke up around 6:00 am, to the sounds of laughter coming from their bedroom. This is what must have happened: John got out of his twin bed, and lifted Jenny out of her crib, they quietly went to the kitchen where John pushed a chair over to the counter and climbed up onto the counter-top. He opened the cabinet and found the container of Nestle Nesquik Chocolate Powder Milk mix. They returned to their bedroom, closed the door and proceeded to pour the powder drink mix onto John’s twin bed. Then they ran their Matchbox cars through the chocolate powder. As they were doing this, they would lick their fingers, so now we have chocolate powder mix all over their faces, their little hands, their pj’s, sheets, floor, and anywhere else it could stick to. When I walked into the scene, I almost fainted. I called my Mom, who only lived a few minutes away from us. She came over to help me clean up the chocolate mess that by now was all over the bedroom, and the kids were covered in chocolate! When we put them in the tub, it looked as though they were in a bath of chocolate milk. This was truly one of those moments where you either laugh, or cry. I laughed.
Another time, John got up early again, got Jenny out of her crib, they went into the kitchen to the rather large, 30 gallon fish tank. Johnny thought it would be fun to add potatoes to the tank. Thankfully no fish were injured during this. I’ll leave it up to your imagination as to what the surrounding area looked like by the time I got to them. Coincidentally, after they did this, I started having nightmares about them falling into the tank, so we got rid of it.
You get the picture that I had my hands full when these two were young, but it was so much fun, never a dull moment. Thank God that I was young!! John and Jen are all grown up now. They are both married to wonderful spouses, have beautiful children and great careers. I couldn’t be more proud of them.
Fast forward 13 years, Joe and I were talking about getting married. I told him my concerns about not being able to have children, I didn’t want him to miss out on having kids of his own. We really didn’t know where to start looking for a Doctor that would be able to help us. We were at our friend John’s house, where I was introduced to his mom. She started to tell me that after her first two kids were born, she had a tubal ligation. After many years, she had a tubal ligation reversal and had two more children. She gave me the name of her Doctor, who was right here in Wauwatosa.
Our journey started the very next week with a phone call to Dr. Philip Pelland. He was a OBGYN, with a positive record of tubal reversals. We went to see him, he told us that after reviewing my medical records from 20 yrs earlier, he thought that we could have success with the procedure. Then he told us that we should go home, save $20,000, because that is how much the surgery costs, and he only knew of one insurance that covered it, and we didn’t have it.
Joe and I were married in 1992. I remember Jenny telling us that she learned in her health class that the most successful marriages wait at least 5 years before bringing a child into the family. Funny enough, it took us 5 years to save the money for the surgery. We had the surgery in January, 1996. By this time, I was working at Ameritech; the local phone company. Before the surgery Joe asked me to call the insurance company, just to advise them that I was having the surgery. When I called and told them the name of the two procedures I was going to have, the representative told me that the procedures were both covered 100%. I hung up and called back, gave them the same information again, and received the same response!!! The surgery was going to be covered 100%. I couldn’t believe it, neither did Dr. Pelland, who advised we pay up front, and if it was true, we’d be reimbursed. Exactly 30 days after our surgery, we had our money back. The perfect amount for the down payment on our first home that we would build.
After the surgery Dr. Pelland sent us on our way with his blessing to start trying for a child. We were going to Green Bay for the weekend, to a Packer pregame, I was a day late on my cycle, so I took a pregnancy test, didn’t want to be tailgating and drinking beer if we had a little one on the way. The test was negative, another month of disappointment.
On Monday, I was still late, it’s now day 31 of my cycle, so I called Dr. Pelland, who had me come in and take a blood test to determine if I was pregnant or not. We were absolutely elated when he called to say that I was pregnant!!! The nine months of pregnancy were the best, I loved every minute of being pregnant, and Tony’s birth was the best experience. We had every nurse on the maternity floor peeking in our room to get a glance of Tony when he was born. It was really special. I remember after Tony had his circumcision, (Joe went in with him, he wouldn’t let him go through it alone) he was only 24 hours old, Joe handed him to me, and he looked at me with a very concerned look on his face, and he started to whimper with his bottom lip turned out. He was telling me that he didn’t appreciate that I let the Dr. do that barbaric thing to him, and please don’t let anything like this happen again. I never did!
Next, read about Joey’s miraculous story. Tony had a hand in it.