We were expecting our second child. First pregnancy had been normal, no complications. No mention of GBS at all.
At 18 weeks I went into premature labour. I was kept in and then discharged and told to take it easy. The next few weeks are a bit of a blur. I was in and out of hospital with contractions and each time I was checked over and discharged.
At 24 weeks I was rushed in as an emergency straight from my midwife appointment due to contractions again. This is when we were told to prepare for a very early baby. I was scanned to make sure I wasn’t losing amniotic fluid and then I was admitted. I don’t remember how long I was admitted for but it was a while and I was given the steroid injections (two courses) to strengthen my babies lungs. Soon I was back at home as the contracting stopped and my midwife took a sample of urine from me and did a swab test to send off to check for any infection that may be causing my contractions.
A couple of days later I received a phone call from my midwife asking me to come in straight away. I was 28 weeks now. Within half an hour I was told I had GBS. I was terrified. I cried. I didn’t know what this meant but I knew it was bad. I was given a leaflet and told my homebirth was cancelled. I instantly went home and started googling. That’s how I found GBS Support.
I made it to 39 weeks pregnant after a lot of scares, contracting and I went into slow labour on Christmas Day at 37 weeks. The day I turned 39 weeks, the contractions came fast and strong. 1 hour and 49 minutes later, I was laid on my sofa, surrounded by paramedics and holding a perfect baby boy. He weighed 6lb 10oz and we were taken straight into hospital. I was frightened. I had been told I would need antibiotics in labour. There hadn’t been time for that. They put us on the ward at 2am and a paediatrician came in at 8am. My son hadn’t fed. Hadn’t cried once. He had the cord wrapped around his neck when he was born so I had just thought maybe his throat was sore! The paediatrician took my son straight to Special Care. He had early-onset Group B Strep infection. I was devastated. He was given IV antibiotics and after 4 days he was allowed home. But he wasn’t out of the woods just yet. We had to be careful with him and keep an eye on him. But as each day passed, he grew stronger.
He is now a happy and healthy 4 year old boy and does not seem to have any effects from his dramatic start to life. I spend my time trying to educate and inform as many people as possible about GBS and the tests available.
If it hadn’t had been for GBS Support, I would not have had anywhere to turn to for good factual advice and for that I am always grateful. I know others have not been so lucky and I thank the stars everyday that my little boy survived. And all the medical professionals who helped him, from the paramedics to the NICU team. Not getting antibiotics in labour was not ideal but thankfully the paediatrician knew the signs of GBS infection and acted quickly.