Changes by Cassie Salvitti

 

At the age of 16, I was presented with the most upsetting news a young woman who had wanted to be a mother since childhood could hear—apparently, I had a “bad uterus”, would probably need a hysterectomy, and, as a result, would never have children.  I was in shock and could not speak, but my mother stepped in on my behalf, refusing to take no for an answer. She searched high and low for a doctor that would take me on and try to save my ability to have children and before long I was undergoing a surgery to correct the uterine defect that could have left me unable to bear children later on in life.

A few years later, marital bliss was mine and I happily became pregnant.  An early miscarriage shook me to the core and my husband reluctantly admitted that he actually did not want to try again…he didn’t want children after all. With such an irreconcilable difference, that marriage did not last.  The desire to be a mother coursed through me and I felt a desperate need to try to get my broken body to carry a baby.  My second husband proved more compatible with my vision of family so even when heartbreak entered our home with another miscarriage, we pulled through our loss determined to try again. With a tumultuous tubal pregnancy ending in surgery, my chances of a healthy pregnancy were cut down to a 25% possibility with the removal of one of my fallopian tubes and a bout with chemo therapy.

Failure doesn’t begin to touch how I was feeling.  Depression loomed over me.  What kind of mother was I if my body insisted upon eliminating my babies before they could be born?  I felt like giving up on myself, but pulled myself forward with medication, therapy and implementing life stimulating practices, like falling deeper in love, enjoying sunshine, and focusing on the possibility of adopting someday in the future.

I became so caught up in the whirlwind of my life, that I didn’t notice it when my cycle failed to appear.  Only four months post chemo and still on anti-depressants, I was understandably terrified when a home pregnancy test showed a positive result.  How could my already flailing body support a pregnancy with all those medications in my system?  Had I unwittingly doomed yet another baby?

An ultrasound granted me relief as I watched a beating heartbeat within my uterus, but my doctor cautioned me and explained that with my history and current condition, he was hesitating to consider it a viable pregnancy until after 10 weeks, and even then, the baby could have problems from the lingering chemo in the cells of my body.

But, some things continue in spite of the odds…my pregnancy held, even if it was coupled with nearly every complication in the books.  Eight months later, a beautiful baby girl was placed into my arms. I sobbed uncontrollably at her first cries in the delivery room. I looked up at her father and he had tears streaming down his face. We were both immediately in love with her and that much more in love with each other.

Slowly it began to hit me that everything I had been through had actually prepared me for the major life change that becoming a mother is.  Had I not had the miscarriages and the tubal pregnancy the doctors would have never found and been able to remove my fallopian tumor and I never would have become pregnant. My first three angels had helped me become a mommy…I had not killed them. They had blessed me in preparations and began my change early on.  As I held my rainbow baby with my soul mate by my side, and nursed her for the first time, I knew my life was finally complete. I wordlessly thanked my first three children for their courage and for teaching me patience and strength.   But change isn’t a one-time event.  It continues throughout the life cycle, and my lessons in change were far from ending.   Even with my understandings of my path, and my beautiful rainbow baby, I found myself drowning in depression beyond my control.  My husband, through lack of education and understanding, couldn’t understand…and we began to fall apart.

I wish I could say that we managed to figure things out.  I wish I could say that we were a stronger couple as a result of our problems … but that isn’t how it happened.  Things got worse.  And worse.  My husband left me in the throes of a mental breakdown, alone with our daughter, as I seriously considered ending it all.   If it was not for the active love of my daughter, change would not have continued for me.   Step by step, she helped me pull out of the darkness.  Step by grueling step, I found my way into the sunshine again. Sometimes the only thing that would pull me through the day was being able to hold my rainbow baby and see her smile.

We learn things in life.  For me, the most important part has been that change offers us opportunities to develop inner strength.  It is possible to weather storms.  It is possible to be who you always wanted to be, even when it looks different than you imagined.  It is possible to find a rainbow after any storm.

 

Author Bio:

Cassie McNutt is a writer and mother of one.  She has long suffered with infertility, miscarriages, ectopic pregnancy and cancer.  She lives with her daughter who was concieved naturally after an ectopic pregnancy coupled with a tumor and right fallopian tube removal.

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Comments

  1. very inspiring story! thanks

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