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Exposure to B19 Parovirus, 34 weeks but measuring 36 weeks - have I jumped to too many conclusions??

(19 Posts)
welliesandpyjamas Fri 24-Aug-12 19:22:29

Bear with me but I am scared stiff. I know that exposure to the virus after 20 weeks is less dangerous but I have read up a bit too much this afternoon and would really appreciate some reassurance, thoughts, advice, hugs on this, if anyone can help.

I found out today that I was exposed to the virus 24 days ago. The child was in the infectious stage, so no outward signs. I don't think I've ever had it. It's possible my sons had it a couple of years ago but it was never diagnosed, just something that I realised was possible after they were well.

I had a feverish afternoon 2 weeks ago (i.e. 10 days later). Felt really rotten.

On Wednesday my midwife said I was measuring two weeks bigger than my dates. Baby has always measured spot on. I have a scan booked for next Thursday to check size.

Today I have a sore throat. I also had my bloods taken to check immunity and infection for the virus.

Now here's the bit that made me panic (because up until this I promise I was calm and rational, and able to accept that the chances of having it and baby being affected by it were pretty slim). I have read in a medical paper online that if a baby is infected in the womb, it can result in fetal hydrops. This shows itself itself in an abnormal collection of fluid inside the baby. One of the signs of fetal hydrops is 'size larger than dates', another is 'decreased fetal movements' (which I feel I've had recently but since I'm having ten movements a day the midwife has been happy).

Am I overthinking this? What do I do?

My midwife is only available 9-10 on a weekday. The rest of the time it is a call to the labour ward. My blood results will take days, with the weekend in the middle.

Tamisara Fri 24-Aug-12 20:00:09

I don't know much about this, except that parovirus is one of the things they check for, after a stillbirth.

Fundal height is a very 'hit & miss' way of measuring the baby, so please don't worry about that at the moment, you have a scan next week - as hard as it is hang on in there.

WRT the bloods - I would imagine they would contact you urgently if there was any immediacy to get treatment - and most of us are already immune, due to previous exposure.

The one thing I want to stress though - forget the ten movements a day thing. If you are worried (as you are) then go to the labour ward if your baby's movements differ from normal. You should hopefully know your baby's pattern by now, that is far more important, in terms of fetal wellbeing, than having the required movements a day. So until your scan, make sure you monitor baby well.

piggyboo Fri 24-Aug-12 20:08:09

i was exposed to this when i was 8weeks pregnant, had several scans and everything was fine. I think you may be overthinking things, until you get the results back you can't be sure you have been infected, the majority of people have already had it but weren't aware of it as mothers mistake it for teething and other viruses. Also less than a third of babies from infected mothers show any signs of anaemia etc. If you are very worried whilst waiting for your results you could insist on a scan as that is the only way to diagnose it in baby. measuring your bump is notoriously inaccurate so i wouldn't worry too much about 'measuring big'.


Whatevertheweather Fri 24-Aug-12 20:12:20

Sweetheart I would call labour ward and ask if you can have a scan tomorrow to put your mind at rest. Most likely is that you will already be immune but a weekend of stress is just not worth it when a scan can get you some accurate measurements and also check for any sign of hydrops.

welliesandpyjamas Fri 24-Aug-12 20:37:44

Thanks for replying, and many thanks for being so reassuring. I think I will definitely call the labour ward in the morning and see if I can head up there. Like whatevertheweather said, I could do without a weekend of stress and worry. I have been extra anxious (to say the least) this pregnancy after some of my friends had some very tragic experiences, so anything I can do to reduce it has to be good.

Those were reassuring words about how many people have had it without knowing it, piggyboo. The normally very rational side of me really knows that there's probably a decent chance I'm immune. If that is what my boys had that time and I didn't catch it myself, then I could be ok. It's really the worry of these two things coming at once (exposure plus increased size) that has scared the living daylights out of me sad

Clarella Sat 25-Aug-12 09:30:07


This came into work when I was 9 weeks, I turned out not to be immune and the ongoing confusion (this year is an 'epidemic year,' the children are special needs so high level contact plus often poorly) plus some other health problems has triggered massive anxiety so I do understand. Don't feel silly to be so anxious. I've had so many conflicting opinions and advice about this it was very hard to know what to believe. I went so nuts one day 3 weeks ago at 24 wks I was given another test to help me calm down (it was still about at school and I'd not had direct contact, but midwives at hospital gave really confusing advice). felt a fool for having it done but knew I had to stop the anxiety which was reaching hysterical levels! it was all clear blush

Firstly you may be immune, you may not have had any awareness of catching it in the past, so wait for the blood results. They will either confirm previous contact via one sort of antibody, (immune) or recent contact via another type of 'first response' antibody in which case baby should be monitored. ( May take a week or 2 for blood results so try to hang in there.)

The second thing to focus on is, as said above, it doesn't always pass to baby if you ve caught it. Also, I don't think the fetal hydrops (the worse thing for baby) occurs straight away, I think its after the infection has been in baby for quite some time. Id assumed if my baby had caught it it later on in my second tri, such as around wks 14-19, without me knowing that it would show on the 20 wks scan, mw later confused me by saying not really that simple. (triggering my panic!) But remember you are much further on and I think I found somewhere that baby might actually be able to make their own antibodies by now to fight it.

I also think that the fever you had is quite soon after the initial exposure, kids at school were feverish 3 weeks later after first cases and spots about 7 days after that but of course that's just my anecdote and god knows how viruses work. Adult symptoms can be different to children, double check on nhs.

The best thing is you have a scan booked anyway and hopefully will get the blood tests back soon. But yes maybe just pop to the hospital anyway. If the absolute worst case scenario happens and you've contracted it I am sure you will still be monitored but its also good that baby is much older now, and so stronger. I understand how you've linked the size to what you've read but as i said I think that would be the case after a much longer period of time - I know I'm no better than Dr Google though!

Hope all goes well xx

welliesandpyjamas Sat 25-Aug-12 09:32:34

Well, I called the labour ward, spoke to the midwife, who was understanding but passed me on to the doctor as she didn't know enough about the virus to comment. I talked with the most bored sounding doctor on the planet who told me it was unlikely, not to worry about it, and wait for next Thursday's scan. So that's it. Patience and fingers crossed for the best. I haven't the emotional energy to do anything else.

welliesandpyjamas Sat 25-Aug-12 09:32:57

Xposted! Will read your reply now...

beatofthedrum Sat 25-Aug-12 09:39:31

That sounds very unsatisfactory. I really sympathise, there is no way you can not worry when you're already worrying iyswim. I have no particular knowledge, just know I'd feel the same. Think if you are feeling really stressed out, maybe call back in 12 hours time (when you should get a different doctor) and say you're suffering awful anxiety, please could your scan be brought forward? Sorry you're going through this.

welliesandpyjamas Sat 25-Aug-12 09:40:26

clarella thank you very much for the reply, I really appreciate it. What you said about it being too soon for the hydrops to show - that makes sense. It is still only 25 days since I was exposed so I hope that is too soon for the two things to be linked. (Worry makes you lose all rational perspective, doesn't it!?).

It's a shame that it isn't a virus many people know that much about until it becomes a problem, especially given its incidence in kids and the danger to pregnant women. The health care assistant who took my blood yesterday had never heard of it and couldn't even get her head around the spelling to find it in her medical encyclopaedia!

welliesandpyjamas Sat 25-Aug-12 09:45:05

Thanks for understanding, beatofthedrum. I am a bit calmer now. Maybe even just calling the labour ward, despite the outcome, helped me feel I was doing something to inform myself better. Hope I can hold on to this feeling now and relax today.

welliesandpyjamas Sat 25-Aug-12 10:07:59

It helps that baby has now finally decided to give me a few kicks, after radio silence since last night. Relief.

Clarella Sat 25-Aug-12 10:36:33

Wellies, if you had seen me a few weeks ago....! Can't find the thread anywhere but it is one of those try to wait patiently things. I'm sure it was something like 6 weeks before baby was likely to get if you were not immune (60% adults are) and then only 25% babies catch.

As I said, I've experienced very contrasting opinions about it from the medical community, but the most sympathetic have actually seen the anxiety it provokes as an equally or more worrying thing. These are the people who understand, have experienced or know about anxiety in pregnancy (or just anxiety generally) which is a most peculiar thing, exists for an evolutionary reason but also gets out of hand (plus evolution hasn't quite learnt to adapt to the effects of Google yet, of which I am an extremely bad offender!)

I've taught for 11 years only heard of it briefly once before but also have to focus on the fact that in 35 years haven't caught it despite the number of times kids have snotted on me!

Big hugs!

Goldrill Sat 25-Aug-12 10:39:04

Hi wellies; nothing useful to say to help you, but just wanted to agree that it would be really helpful if doctors etc knew a bit more about it.

It has been doing the rounds at our nursery, and will have probably started when I was around 20 weeks. I had to go to the GP at 28 weeks, when I'd just found this out, and she absolutely dismissed the possibility there might be a problem - no blood test recomended ar anything. I was fine with that as I had googled slightly less than you at that point!

But then a week or two back I found out that a friend whose daughter is at the same nursery and who is at the same stage in pregnancy as me has kept her daughter off since we all found out about it - so around 8 weeks! Granted, she has had the blood test and is not immune, but she's also 33ish weeks by now, and I really thought the danger had passed.

Massive difference in attitude by the HCPs we've seen then - and now I am also quite worried as I have no idea how big the risk really is.

So - not much help, but I do sympathise!

I just wanted to add also, that movements are certainly different once you get to this point in pregnancy - I had forgotten from the first time how much less dramatic they feel once the baby starts running out of space and was worrying about that too!

MrsBingo Sat 25-Aug-12 11:38:01

I totally understand your anxiety. We have a small measuring baby (confirmed by scan) and also I got anxious about possible Virus-infections I may have had during this pregnancy.

If you can I would think that (while you monitor babes movement) you should try to focus on others things.. sometimes it helped me to worry about something less stressful IYSWIM. Because as others have said, bump measurements are pretty inaccurate, and even if the bump is bigger, it could have a million other reasons...

Also, looking at the Wiki definition: The risk of fetal loss is about 10% if infection occurs before pregnancy week 20 (especially between weeks 14 and 20), but minimal after then.

Minimal i guess is the word you should focus on.

All the best to you. xx

AlmostAHipster Sat 25-Aug-12 11:52:12

With my second pregnancy, DD1 got very rosy cheeks and a temperature so the doctor diagnosed Slapped Cheek (Fifth Disease) and made me have blood tests. It turns out that I had Parvovirus B19 (was a teacher at the time) and didn't even know it!

The medics just monitored the baby with a few extra scans and a few extra blood tests - she's now 13 and 5' 6"!

Please try not to worry - I'm sure all will be well.

welliesandpyjamas Sat 25-Aug-12 11:58:24

Thanks for all the kind reassurance. You lot really know how to make a pregnant woman blub grin

Lots of positive thoughts and stories there to help me chill out. Thank you so much.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 25-Aug-12 12:15:03

I don't think you'll get much joy from the labour ward about bringing your scan forward. In the majority of ospitals noone on labour ward can sort this. You need scanning by a sonographer for this level of scan, most hospitals won't have any in till Tuesday. The drs can do emergency scans over the weekend but these are basic scans to confirm presentation, etc. the drs and midwives can't change your appt, someone from clinic will need to do this and I doubt clinic will be open till Tuesday.

Measuring two weeks big though is not a big difference and not uncommon. Where I work you wouldn't even be referred for a scan at this, only get a scan if measuring more than 2cm difference. Ie, 37 cm at 35 weeks.

Hope all is well when you do get the scan.

welliesandpyjamas Sat 25-Aug-12 13:23:53

Thanks Viva. I didn't get that much from calling the labour ward (see above), but it did make me calm down a little. I don't know what the exact measurements were when the midwife measured me on Wednesday, but I was 33+5 and measuring 36 weeks and she decided to get straight on the phone to arrange the scan. Her speed was probably due mainly to the fact that I need an ELCS this time at 38 or 39 weeks and she wanted me to go in to meet the consultant with precise information the following week (I've just moved in to the area, making me a new patient).

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