top of page


Updated: Jul 17, 2023

Written by MarySusan Asters

"You've lost 9 lbs, do you feel okay?" These are the words my doctor asked at my 32-week check-up. I think I vaguely just stared at her in shock and I remember responding sarcastically, "I work full-time, I have a 22-month-old and my husband is a full-time student, and I am 1000 weeks pregnant, how exactly am I supposed to feel??"

Looking back I think I was deflecting, because in my gut I knew I felt bad but didn't want to look at possibilities, hell, I didn't have time to consider possibilities. Flash forward a week, and my mother-in-law was admitted to the hospital with Cytomegalovirus {a nasty virus closely related to mononucleosis & is only dangerous to those with weakened immune systems and those who are pregnant} and on the Infectious Disease floor. I went to my OBGYN, who informed me, I had in fact lost more weight and needed to be tested. I googled (don't). I panicked. I promptly shut down and pretended it wasn't happening.

It was happening. I went to the high-risk OBGYN. No one could tell me if my baby was okay or not, just that thankfully my body was doing what all mamas do, putting him first, I was losing weight rapidly but he was growing beautifully.

He came into the world at 39 weeks weighing 8 lbs 2 oz, after a quick induction and an easy delivery, surrounded by nurses and doctors in hazmat-looking suits in case he was infectious. The door outside had a 'biohazard' sign on it. They took my little one before I could hold him to immediately test him for CMV, lest I contaminate him.

A week later we were in the Sonic drive-thru, ironically this was my first 'brave enough' outing with both my babies alone. The children's hospital called, but I already knew the results. He had CMV.

We took our little guy to heart scans, retinal tests at the pediatric eye doctor, years worth of hearing tests and developmental pediatric appointments - and you know what, he nailed all of them. Not to say, we escaped home free, but based on those early days when all they give you is the bleakest, scariest news, filled with sympathy looks and pity, his life is nothing they could have imagined.

Our little guy has had rounds of PT, a small stint with leg braces and ankle braces, heart murmurs, lots of blood work and scans to get our 'growth hormone deficiency' diagnosis, and a battle with Encopresis (that's a story for another day and a novel itself). He is starting kindergarten with a 504 which was something that churned my stomach because even though he beat all the worst of the worst, he still has the lingering effects of a small little virus that took our family by storm in 2018.

We are the best-case scenario for CMV, something I am thankful for every day and every time I hear someone say the word Cytomegalovirus. It's a terrible virus that you've never heard of until you don't want to know about it. The thought that they recommend an abortion for a CMV diagnosis in several states makes my chest hurt. So, to the mama who is at the doctor pretending nothing is wrong, I see you and you've got this. Whatever the diagnosis might be.

-Mary A.


bottom of page