1. When I started writing, not long ago, I didn't know if my daughter would be noticeably "special." It is hard to completely erase anything on the Internet and I didn't want it coming back to haunt her. If she chose to share this history with her future friends and family, I wanted it to be her choice.
2. As my daughter was not yet noticeably delayed, I didn't want her to become the playgroup version of the high-school or college kid who admits he has HIV. Aren't we more than our diagnosis?
3. Another reason is that I didn't want to become a spokes-mommy for CMV. I didn't want to parents to think I was judging them if they kissed their children on the face, or think I was scrutinizing their hand-washing technique.
So, you may imagine I had some qualms about sending the following e-mail to our play group. First, some background: The playgroup was formed based on our common language: English. I have yet to attend the playgroup do to health reasons and my mom being in town. None of these women know about Gili. I have actually been nervous about joining the group for fear that pregnant moms will judge my decision to bring a CMV infected baby to the group. A couple women were asking questions to the whole e-mail list about potty training. I REALLY did not want CMV to be their first encounter with me, so it was a very difficult decision whether to chime in on the discussion. I'll have to get back to you in the future about my regrets. Here are the CMV relevant portions:
"EVERYONE - I know a couple of you are expecting, and I'm guessing many of you are of childrearing age. I know you don't know me, but I am NOT the lady who forwards every warning and scare, but as we are discussing potty training, I want to mention CMV. Please read this http://www.cdc.gov/cmv/index.html. Many moms think that they need to rush to potty train one sibling before another is born, but I am writing this to warn you to please limit your contact with your children's bodily fluids if you are expecting or thinking about it. The CMV specialist in Schneider says that all preschool aged children should be considered carriers of CMV. Urine has the highest content of the virus, which is why I'm bringing this to your attention now. A lot of the other precautions are tougher: don't eat you kids leftovers, share cups, kiss them on the face or arms! But for G-d's sake, think twice before multitasking while changing diapers or cleaning up accidents, and scare your husbands into some good hand washing skills. Now I will get off my soap box, and I hope you won't remember me as "that mom."
I look forward to meeting some of you in person this week or next week! Shavuah Tov!"
Any thoughts? I have never received any response when I mention CMV to preschool principals or teachers in the US. I guess I'm hoping that my e-mail is an unselfish act, while I am selfishly considering my own social wellbeing in a new community.
I want to take a moment to confess that I feel a little guilty spending more time on Gili's blog than holding my sweet girl. I've been in bed with an average of 102 F or 39 C fever, alternatively shivering and sweating. I am hoping my most recent dose of ibuprofen will kick in soon and I can get some sleep!