SHEBOYGAN FALLS (WITI) -- Last year at this time, becoming a father was only a dream for Jim Meerstein. The Sheboygan Falls man underwent a unique procedure at Froedtert Hospital that allowed him to be the dad he is today!
This Father's Day has been years in the making for Jim Meerstein.
"It's been a struggle - but things have really come through," Jim Meerstein said.
Jim Meerstein married Tricia six years ago.
Soon after, the later-in-life couple decided to expand their family.
One big stumbling block? Jim had a vasectomy more than two decades ago!
To remedy that, the couple was referred to male reproductive specialist Dr. Jay Sandlow with Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin.
"We have a procedure here that is rather unique. We're able to retrieve sperm directly from the testicle, freeze that tissue, and use it to fertilize eggs in-vitro," Dr. Sandlow said.
Dr. Sandlow helped pioneer the technique which requires no open surgery, and only a small needle.
"Most men have the procedure done on a Friday afternoon, and are back full activity on Monday," Dr. Sandlow said.
Jim also had his vasectomy reversed, and then it was off to the next hurdle.
"We never actually shared a whole lot with people that we were doing this," Tricia Meerstein said.
The couple went through four exhaustive cycles of in-vitro fertilization.
"We were almost ready to give up, and boy I'm glad we didn't, because it worked out nicely," Jim Meerstein said.
Last October, twins Noah and Anna came into this world.
"We prayed daily for this. By the grace of God and fantastic skill of the Froedtert surgeons - we are blessed with two beautiful children," Tricia Meerstein said.
So on this Father's Day comes a message of hope from Jim Meerstein to other couples struggling to conceive: Even if fatherhood seems like a dream that will never come true -- don't give up.
"I'm very happy where we are right now," Jim Meerstein said.
A spokesperson for Froedtert says men who have had vasectomies actually come to Milwaukee from other states to have this procedure done because it allows them to bypass open surgery.