The town of Transcona, which is part of Winnipeg now, did help immigrants considerably by paying the delivery cost of a baby, amounting to $110.00, to the hospital, with the understanding that the parents of the baby would pay the town $95.00 back within a year. Most immigrant family made use of this generous gesture, and usually waited to the very last date to pay the loan back. Sometimes the end-date was forgotten or for one or another reason the necessary funds were just not there, and the word would go around that those dutch immigrants were having a second baby already while the first one wasn't even paid for.
Janice was paid for at birth, but Anne insisted that we should get a health insurance which included the fees of a baby’s delivery as well but this was delayed until after I had been two months up north. So, then for once we were covered and were not going to be caught short. It meant another monthly payment as I had already two insurances on my death, one of $5,000, because I thought if I would die Anne would have sufficient funds to go back to Holland. When Janice was born I took another life insurance of $6,000, in case she would want to stay in Canada.
Anne and I still went for walks but not so much into the prairie as we had baby carriage now which I, being a gentleman would usually push. We must have made a nice picture but I pushed the baby wagon with my rear-end sticking out backwards more than needed, when Anne's doctor Grace, who had been following us in his car, slowed down beside us and said a few words about my posture, which made Anne giggle and embarrass me.
The doctor probably did not have an high opinion of me and had a reason for that. After Janice was not too long home from the hospital, she did what she did seldom, cry pitifully and could not be stopped.
“Perhaps she does not get enough milk from me, maybe she need some formula.” But we had no formula, so Anne, who never liked the telephone too much asked (ordered) me to call the doctor for the milk formula, but it was in the middle of night, and if he was like me, did not want to be disturbed at that time. I did call and was surprised that the doctor readily gave me the recipe, which I wrote down on the wall next to telephone.
When he was finished he asked me to read it back to him, but made a scream when I read the amount of either sugar or salt out to him.
“Would you really have given that to your baby,” he asked
“You are the doctor,” I said. The amount I read off to him was tenfold of what he said he instructed me.
“You would have killed the baby,” he said. My reputation as father got a severe setback and my self esteem in fatherhood equally a black eye. One of the reasons that our baby was so healthy I think was that Janice was at least a few hours outside in the fresh prairie air outside, where it was sometimes bitter cold, and because she was such a cute blond little toddler she grew up to be the darling of the neighborhood.
She might have some recollection when we traveled from Transcona to Vancouver as she was then about one and a half and I clearly remember her dapper walking on the sidewalk toward the town, and when we arrived in Kamloops, on our way to BC, and were standing at the desk of the post office to send some mail to friends and family, she waked with the same determination right under the desk into the clerk zone.
When we finally arrived into Vancouver and roomed with my brother John, and Sarina, we noticed the absence of a fence around their house and because Janice was used to fresh air but had also discovered that the world beyond was much larger than closeness of home, liked to explore and was not afraid to walk away from home, therefore Anne put her on a the end of a line which was attached to a cloths line, which was not an uncommon practice where we were born with ditches and canals all around.
The builder of a new house next door watched Anne's effort, and gave her a severe tongue lashing
“That kid is not a dog you know,” he said, which bewildered Anne, who quickly undid what grave error she had committed in the neighbor's eye, and kept her inside.
The problem was soon resolved when a fence was erected around the backyard. We thought...
But now Janice had a partner in Linda, the little daughter of my brother John and his wife Sarina, and together they squeezed under the fence to crawl to freedom, which was the back lane. Behind the back lane stood a church where frequently weddings were held and often nice organ music was played which we clearly heard and enjoyed. The little partners were not interested in music and started an adventure trip to downtown Vancouver. They made it to the nearest bus stop and were about to step in the bus when they were caught and returned.
Shortly after we arrived in Vancouver I was informed by Anne that a fourth person had traveled with us as a stow-away, which we did not know at the time we were traveling, Anne was pregnant. This proved one thing, that the young Ukrainian neighbor lady had been right – we were able to have more babies. We found out that Vancouver was not as generous as Transcona by advancing the cost of delivering to the hospital which did not hurt us since we had a life insurance that included a delivery fee.
This time we were ahead of the game, if only we could find the policy of that insurance, and we did, everything was in order. There was only one stipulation, the baby had to be born no more than nine months after the signing of the documents, which was of course reasonable. Just to be sure we started counting, actually we counted twice, just to be sure. We counted together for the third time.
We came up with the same result – our insurance was one day short of nine months, meaning that we had to pay the hospital ourselves.
Deborah Grace's second name was after doctor Grace of Transcona, who would never know, and not after Grace hospital where she was born. So, that is finally straightened out then, and that I paid double for Deb was not a joke even though Deb was born April the first, but she was definitely worth it.