So I've been exposed to Fifth's Disease (parvo-virus). Apparently, there has been an outbreak here in Iowa this winter. Fifth's Disease is a childhood disease - the fifth in a family of viruses that cause children to break out in fever and a rash. It is a mild disease really, nothing to be concerned about for kids. But for those are expecting . . . it can present a few problems. Over half of the adults in the US have been exposed before and don't even know it. Once we found out I had been exposed, I wasn't really concerned. I figured in all my time with and around kids, surely I had been exposed and was already immune. But no. Can't be that simple.
What does it mean for baby Stenberg?
Well, fifth's disease can cause anemia (lower red blood cell production) in unborn children if the mom contracts the virus. So far, I have not contracted the virus. My immune system is fighting it off. So . . . that's prayer request number one - that God will direct my body to continue to fight the virus and that I will NOT contract it.
How will we know?
I am to the point in my pregnancy (27weeks) where normally I would begin to see the doctor every two weeks anyway. So along with those regular appointments, we'll be getting an ultrasound every two weeks where they will look at the blood flow in the umbilical cord (modern medicine is amazing) and just follow along to see if there is any indication that that baby is being affected. IF over the course of the next six weeks or so everything continues to look normal, then we'll assume I've fought off the virus and there will be no further testing or concern. But IF something comes up, I'll be sent to Des Moines to baby specialist for further testing.
Of course, I'm hoping for the best and believing that God can protect both me and the baby.
So, put us on your prayer list and I'll keep you posted!