I knew throughout my pregnancy that I possibly had CMV. I had a high-risk doctor who told me that the baby could possibly have the virus because the baby was measuring small and I was losing amniotic fluid. When I was tested for CMV they said I didn’t have an active infection, but the baby could have had it in the first 3 months and there would be no way to tell until the baby was born. The baby kept measuring small and I needed a cervical cerclage. Around 20 weeks my doctor recommended terminating the baby due to possible deafness, blindness, and life in a wheelchair. Aliyah was born on November 13, 2020, weighing 4.7 lbs. She was screened for CMV at birth with both a saliva and urine test. She came back positive and was able to start on antiviral medication. Aliyah failed her hearing test at the hospital and is deaf in her left ear. The doctors have also found CMV in her brain but we won’t know if it has affected her until she’s older. She has already begun early intervention and speech therapy at 1 month old. I wish that women were warned when they were first pregnant about CMV, especially if they spend time around babies or work at a daycare.
-Lena Antar-King (Dedham, MA)