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Cassie at 1 yr. old

Cassidy's Story

Cassie at 2 yrs. old Cassidy enjoying life at 3 yrs old
Sept. 1999   Sept. 2000 Sept. 2001
Click on the pictures above for Cassidy's yearly update

On February 14, 1998 (Valentine's Day!), a home pregnancy test confirmed that we were expecting our third child!! What a fun and unexpected surprise because we didn't think we would be able to have any more children because of infertility problems.

At 21 weeks, we had an ultrasound, just for fun to see if we were having a boy or girl. The excitement and anticipation of seeing our child for the first time was abruptly interrupted when the technician got a concerned look on her face and said, "I'm afraid there is a problem........ you're going to need to see a specialist today......there is too much fluid in the baby's brain......this could mean other problems......" The whole world came to a abrupt halt. What had she just said? Was I dreaming? Did she say something was wrong? What could be wrong? Could this really be happening to us? Please tell me what's wrong!!!!

Reality hit when I felt my own tears. Little did I know, they wouldn't stop for days. An incredible journey began in that dark, little room. A journey that caught us all by surprise and would take us places we never thought we would go.

Later that day, a perinatologist confirmed that our baby had hydrocephalus and spina bifida. He basically told us that our child could end up being a vegetable in a wheelchair. Retardation, no mobility, bowel & bladder problems, learning disabilities, financial devastation, marriage problems, too much for our other children to handle..............he went on and on and on. I just wanted to scream---"Stop! Be quiet! I can't listen right now. It's too painful to let in. You can't throw all this at me at the same time!" But he kept going and going. The world kept caving in. He seemed to think it was his duty to warn us of the worst possible scenario and convince us that we needed to terminate the pregnancy. We kept insisting that we would never abort, but that didn't seem to sink in for him. He kept pressuring us. After a painful amnioscientisis, my husband and I literally had to pick ourselves up off the ground and then walk out the door in what seemed like slow motion. What do we do now? What are we supposed to feel now? How do we just get in our car and drive home? The world is going on like normal for all these other people bustling about, but our world stopped a few hours ago. How do we explain this to our kids, our family, friends, everyone we know? We don't even understand what just happened!

During the next few days, several spina bifida websites(Click Here for our Our Favorite Links Page) provided much information that was invaluable to us as we learned about spina bifida and the realities we would be facing. We read beautiful letters from parents, saw pictures of darling children and all of a sudden, things didn't seem so dark and scary. These kids were very normal looking and the parents were so encouraging. There seemed to be such a wide variety of outcomes for these kids----and a lot of it was positive!! We didn't have to fill our minds with the doctor's negative words. We could have hope!! We grabbed that hope with every bit of strength left in us.

So now, two years later, it's time for us to tell Cassie's story and hopefully encourage other parents and families as they face a tough diagnosis, but a wonderful future!!How Cassie Found Our Family

Three days after the diagnosis, I awoke sobbing from a fitful sleep. But amazingly, these were not tears of fear and sadness anymore. I sensed a new peace in my heart. God had finally answered my prayers for acceptance of our situation. I realized at that moment, that I would not change our daughter for the world. I loved her deeply, just the way she was. She and God had already changed us so profoundly and she wasn't even born yet. I couldn't wait to meet her and I knew, without a doubt, that He would give us the strength to get through whatever was ahead. What a wonderful feeling!! I got up at 6am and wrote my daughter this poem:A Poem for Cassidy Anne--Pg 2

TOP A Poem --Pg 2 Pg 3-- Our Precious Gift

A Poem for Cassidy --Pg 2 Cassidy--pg 3-- Cassidy--pg 4--
Update Summer 2000 How Cassie Found Our Family Spina Bifida Info Links
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