Emma's Story

When Julia was a little over a year old we were thrilled to find out that I was pregnant again.  I had been sick with Julia for the first few months so it wasn't much of a surprise that I was sick while carrying Emma.  However this time around I was more tired than I remembered with Julia and the all-day-long sickness did not go away after the first trimester - it stayed for the entire pregnancy!  

At my 20 week ultrasound an echogenic bowel was discovered.  By the time I went for a follow-up ultrasound with the specialists the echogenic bowel had resolved on its own and everything appeared normal.  It was at this ultrasound that we found out our baby was a girl.  We were relieved to know that there wasn't any cause for concern with our baby and I was thrilled to find out that Emma was a girl!  I think it's great for a girl to have a sister and I was so happy Julia would get to have a sister.

Emma's birthday was a wonderful day!  It was an uneventful labor and we were so happy to meet our little girl.  Before we were discharged from the hospital we were told that Emma failed the newborn hearing screening in her right ear. Everyone told us it was probably fluid in her ears and not to worry. So, I didn't worry at all and thought that the worst thing we would be told is that she is deaf in one ear and that she would learn to compensate with hearing out of her other ear. After about a month we had her hearing checked again and she didn't pass either ear. Many tests later we found out that Emma was deaf the day before Thanksgiving, when she was 6 weeks old. When she was 3 months old we found the cause of her deafness was a CMV exposure, and that set us on our path of where we are today.

Emma's official diagnosis is Congenital CMV resulting in profound hearing loss (Emma is deaf) and spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. I had never heard of CMV before I had Emma and am now on a mission to inform every person I know about CMV. Please visit Stop CMV for more information on how to prevent CMV-related birth defects and spread the word to anyone you know who is considering or is already pregnant.

Emma is an amazingly happy little girl who inspires everyone around her and right now we take it one day at a time.  
It's easy to get caught up in the what-ifs, the milestones not met, the unknown, but it's so much more rewarding when we let go of our expectations and enjoy our children for who they are.