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Mollie Drive Mommies

One street, 13 months, 10 kids

Published: Saturday, May 12, 2012 5:00 a.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 7:31 a.m. CST
Caption
(Photo provided)
The 10 children, only 8 of whom are pictured, who were born amongst nine Mollie Drive families within a 13-month span include: Brandon Evenson, born Feb. 3, 2001; Zach and Patrick Callahan, born March 28, 2001; Alex Ferrari, born April 24, 2001; Sydney Trotter, born May 22, 2001; Hunter Welch, born June 11, 2001; Macey Olson, born July 3, 2001; Olivia Schultz, born Aug. 24, 2001; Zachary Reddinger, born Dec. 11, 2001; and Avery Schimmel, born March 17, 2002.

Eleven years ago, nine families on Mollie Drive in Morris were going through very similar experiences.

To nine couples living on the same street, 10 babies — five boys and five girls — were born between Feb. 3, 2001, and March, 17, 2002. Nine of the babies were their parents' first.

"Cigars were passed around the neighborhood for months and months," said Jen Olson, still a Morris resident, but no longer on Mollie Drive.

The first baby, now the oldest at 11 years and 3 months, was Brandon Evenson, son of Eric and Megan Evenson. He was born Feb. 3, 2001.

Zach and Patrick Callahan, the next two babies in line, were the only twins in the group. They were also 12 weeks premature, born on March 28, 2001, to Amy and Ron Callahan. 

"Amy called me from the hospital and said, 'I just had the boys,'" Jen remembered. She didn't believe Amy, though. Jen's due date was before Amy's, but Amy gave birth first in the end.

Amy said the fact her boys came into the world so early somewhat set her apart from the other mommies on the block.

She and the boys were in the hospital for three months after their birth. But once she was finally able to bring her new babies home, having her friends there provided her with a much-welcomed break.

"It was nice to have friends to lean on," Amy said.

She said the other women even helped her raise money to buy for Patrick, who has cerebral palsy, a specialized bike and to send him to a specific therapy Amy wanted for him in Michigan.

"Maybe they didn't always know what advice to give, but they were always supportive," Amy said about the other Mollie Drive women.

Alec Ferrari was born next, to Alan and Cassie Ferrari, on April 24, 2001.

At first, the women just laughed about the "domino effect" in the neighborhood when they started to find out how many of them were pregnant.

"It was a big joke," said Debi Schultz, mother of the eighth baby, Olivia.

But as time went on, the moms decided to take it a step further.

After they gave birth and had their routines down, the mommies would put their children to bed and sneak away together, leaving the husbands behind to watch the sleeping babies. Not all nine of the women were there every time, though.

They called themselves the "Underground Mommies' Club."

"We would sip wine in our pajamas and talk about our schedules," Jen said.

They would meet at one of the houses on Mollie Drive in the late evenings, sometimes until 1 a.m. or later, and would just relax together, put their feet up and talk about how their babies were doing.

"No one really knows that a nap at 3 in the afternoon is OK unless you're a mom going through it, too," Jen said.

Jen said the UMC also did some fundraising for Under his Wings and provided transportation to medical appointments and church services for some of the moms and children staying there.

Corri Trotter, mother of the fifth baby, Sydney, born May 22, 2001, said UMC met about once a month for a few years, but once the families started moving to other parts of Morris and beyond, the group slowly ceased to exist.

"We only quit because life got crazy," Jen said. 

Both the Ferraris and Trotters still live on Mollie Drive, Corri said, as does the Schultz family. She said the Welch family — Keegan, Sheila and their son, Hunter, born June 11, 2001 — just lives around the corner, however.

Macey Olson was born next, to Jen and her husband, Bob, on July 3, 2001, followed by Olivia Schultz, to Todd and Debi, on Aug. 24, 2001.

Baby No. 9, Zachary Reddinger, was born to Dan and Michelle on Dec. 11, 2001.

Tina and Jeff Schimmel, the only veteran parents before 2001, were at the tail end of the baby streak. Their baby, Avery, was born March 17, 2002. The Schimmels are also the only family to move out of state since that time.

"There was always someone to comfort you," Jen said. "At the time it was absolutely hilarious."

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