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This is baby Dante’s journey into our world.  It is our greatest hope that his birth inspires you to tackle life’s most difficult challenges with courage, faith, and hope.

 

 

The Birth Story of Dante Lucian

“Our Everlasting Light”

I was overjoyed to discover that I was pregnant with our third child with a guess date of June 6, 2010.  We always wanted to have at least three children and now our family would finally feel complete.  It was soon after that John, my husband, got official word that we would be moving to Iowa and that he would also be getting deployed to Iraq around the time or before the baby was born.  I was saddened about John missing the birth.  He would also be missing the first year of the baby’s life including all the “first” milestones.  This was the start of one of many daunting challenges that lay ahead.

Life became more challenging when I discovered through an exam that I had breast cancer.  I was 23 weeks pregnant.  What I thought were challenges before paled in comparison.  I knew from my past two births that I really wanted a homebirth despite my recent diagnosis.  I would need a competent and understanding midwife. Sadly, the one midwife that I found that did homebirths sent me a rejection card in the mail.  I accepted the rejection as a sign that perhaps Iowa was not the place for me to birth our baby.  I also felt that because of John’s deployment and in order to get the best care, I really needed to be in Boston.  I would be able to get family support and the best treatment at Dana Farber.

It was recommended during my consultation with the surgeon and oncologist that the only course of treatment was breast removal and chemotherapy immediately.  I was shocked at the recommendation since I had no lymph-node involvement.  I could not imagine injecting chemicals during pregnancy.  My pregnancies and births had all been completely drug free.  It took much research and soul searching, but I came to a decision.  It was the words of the surgeon that kept replaying in my head that helped me decide, “Right now the cancer is contained to the breast and your survival rate is almost at 90% to live out the rest of your life.  Once it leaves the breast we can only keep you alive.”  Waiting three months until the baby was born was not an option.  The decision became simple, I needed to take the chemotherapy and  have the surgery.  I would have three kids that needed a mother and I had to consider the effects on all of them over the years of not having one.

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