1993: Cassie suffered through a difficult pregnancy with her and Andrew’s child. Dorian didn’t help things, either, getting on her case, trying to win back her daughter’s love. At eight months pregnant, she fought with her mama, and ended up falling down the steps. The baby survived, but Cassie was ordered by doctors: Watch your high blood pressure. Dorian didn’t give up, asking over and over for Cassie to love her again, and Cassie went into premature labor. William was delivered, but he died a few hours later. But Christmas brought a special present to the church manger: a live baby, abandoned by its biological mother, Beth. Cassie and Andrew started adoption procedures.
1994: Beth thought things over and decided to keep the child she called River (who the Carpenters had renamed William). Frantic, Cassie kidnapped the child and tried to flee the country, but was talked off the metaphorical ledge by Dorian, and gave up the child. But without the baby in her arms, she began to believe (wrongly) that her deceased child William was still alive, and Andrew was hiding him from her. Seeing an in, Dorian went along with the story Cassie’s disturbed mind was concocting, while at the same time working on Beth to relinquish the baby again. Cassie was admitted to St. Ann’s and withdrew from her loved ones. While there, she came down with a pelvic disease, and doctors told her she’d never bear any more children. Faced with this future, Cassie decided to divorce Andrew, but that was put on hold when she took drugs that would fix the sterility issue — and which instead made her gravely sick.
A killer virus swept through Llanview, fortunately sparing Cassie and Andrew, but Beth was infected. When her illness became terminal, she asked that River be handed over to the Carpenters. They agreed and named the baby William “River” Carpenter.