When I was about 15 weeks pregnant I caught a viral infection. I thought it was just a regular cold. I worked at a daycare at the time. So over the next few weeks when I had to go back to the doctors for ultrasounds, the doctor acted like things were on the right track. But I wasn’t growing much of a belly by 18 weeks. My mom thought maybe it was because she was my first baby. Well by 23 weeks things started to decline with the pregnancy. But they didn’t tell me things were off until I was 26 weeks. Then I had an MRI done at Children’s around weeks so they could take a look at her brain. They did find calcifications and small cysts on her brain. Then they told me she was not really growing in the womb. She wasn’t getting enough nutrients through the umbilical cord. So I had to keep going back twice a week for ultrasounds to see how she was doing. They wanted to wait until I was further along to basically deliver. So I had an ultrasound at 29 weeks and the doctor said she was in distress and it was that time to finally get her out. She was born at 1 lb, 6 oz and she spent 3 months in the NICU. After she was born they did test her for CMV and she did test positive. I also tested positive as well. She was not able to be breastfed because the doctors were not sure if she would get more sick drinking from me. She had multiple eye exams, head ultrasounds, picc line, multiple tests done. She had to go to Boston Children’s to see the infectious disease doctor. CMV affected her in that she has microcephaly, polymicrogyria, developmental delays, feeding issues, sensory issues, mild to moderate hearing loss, non verbal. She is 6 years old and weighs 31 lbs and her name is Luciana. She will always be on the small side but she’s doing amazing!

-Samantha Brennan (Rockland, MA)

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