#stillBORN Campaign - William's story of CMV
Published on: 27/03/2017
My baby died at 21 weeks (so technically a miscarriage rather than a stillbirth). At my 20 week scan we discovered that William had contracted an infection and that this had caused a number of developmental problems. I had an emergency fetal blood transfusion in an attempt to save his life, but a few days later his heart stopped. We discovered soon after his death that William had contracted CMV from me in the early days of my pregnancy.
It has since been confirmed, by a full post-mortem, that William had a severe CMV infection and that this was the sole cause of his problems and ultimately his death. The time at which I contracted the infection was verified by analysis of the blood tests which were taken at my midwife booking-in appointment.
I had never heard of CMV. At my booking appointment, my midwife told me about preventing Toxoplasmosis and Listeriosis but never about CMV. I now know that CMV is an incredibly common infection – contracted via bodily fluid and most often via young children to their mothers (or to those who work with babies / young children). My first son is 2 yrs old and it is highly likely that by sharing food and drink with my son, by eating his leftovers, I had inadvertently caught CMV from him which then caused William to die.
I wish there could be a public health campaign to raise awareness of CMV – that midwives could include it in their list of behaviour changes women should adopt during pregnancy.
This would be an amazing legacy for William.
Please visit our CMV Infection page for more information.