Cassandra Walker

In those days you just automatically took your doctor’s advice. There was no second-guessing, and a second opinion could be looked upon as mistrust. No “www” was available to locate  “WebMD,” and this was way before the book “What to Expect When You are Expecting.” So, you did what the doctor said, and that was the end of the conversation.

Odessa Walker did not agree with the word that her doctor gave her when she was four  months pregnant with her second child. Yes, she was a registered nurse and that gave her some medical knowledge, but this gut feeling, this mother’s intuition, went beyond the science of medicine. It was about life.

A doctor told her that she needed an operation to remove adhesions from her abdomen. These adhesions were misdirecting her uterus and interfering with the uterus’ ability to expand, allowing the baby to grow.  The doctor told her that it was necessary to abort the baby, and that her condition would only worsen over the next five months of the pregnancy if she did not.

After all, this was 1966, a time of great advancement in the world of medicine and, in particular, of obstetricians and gynecology. The medical team at the Chicago hospital had been researching for years, and they did not need a RN to tell them what was best. She must proceed with the termination of her baby so they could operate, and that was it. There was no way around it. The baby would not survive the operation.

“My baby,  my choice!” Odessa reminded them. “Put us both under and operate on me, we will both make it.” With that, she switched doctors and proceeded with the operation to remove the adhesions and to have her baby. She decided to trust in the Lord and know that He would provide.

Five months later, a baby girl was born. Odessa and her husband named her Cassandra Walker. Yes, the same Cassandra Walker who writes this column. Mother’s Day meant so much to Odessa that year – and still does some 50 years later. 

Mother’s day brings various memories for all mothers. Since I am now a mother, I can so appreciate all the sacrifices of my mother and of every woman who has ever been a mother. We all owe our lives to some woman.

Happy Mother’s Day! 

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