When Ava Rose was born, she was grunting when breathing. There was meconium so they told me they think she had breathed some in. I waited to hold her and when I did it was for about a minute then she was taken to the NICU. They did bloods, an X-ray and a lumbar puncture and told me she had an infection. My partner was with her but as I’d had an epidural I couldn’t get to her and a porter never came.
I went to her and she was just alone in this box with wires everywhere, I didn’t know if I could hold her or change her. I wasn’t allowed to feed her (she was nil by mouth). They wanted me to express, so I tried in my ward to express but it was so hard without her there I ended up just crying every time I tried. I was so confused but there was no time to really be upset. It’s like I just went with what was happening.
A doctor spoke to me briefly the next day, told me she had GBS infection and that it came from me. I’m not sure what else he said, it was like all I could think about was that it came from me, and how could I tell her dad that this was my fault and that if anything happens it’s because of me?
Eventually, I began to breastfeed her and she started to become stronger. After a few days, she was released to the ward with me but needed to stay in for antibiotics for another week (the longest week of my life). We were discharged once her bloods came back clear and had a follow-up appointment in 6 weeks. I thought this was just routine bloods or something. When I went to the appointment, the doctor was checking if she had been left with any problems – wanted to know what milestones she was or wasn’t reaching etc. Then I asked to know more about the infection. He explained quite well the seriousness, that I will need to tell them about it in further pregnancies, and that she had sepsis. What? I wasn’t told this in hospital. All I could think about was what if she had died? I had no idea it was that serious. I felt happy because she is fine but outraged that I wasn’t told about how ill my own child was. This is when I really began to research into GBS and found this site.
After reading a lot about how many women carry GBS and the statistics, and that there was a test that could have helped prevent all of this from happening, I was so upset. It all began to kick in the overwhelming sadness and guilt just hit me. At night was the worst. I’d just lay there and cry once he was asleep. I didn’t want to tell him I was so sad because I felt stupid because she is fine now, but it’s like I had a delayed reaction to what had happened.
She is 6 months old now and I feel much better – I spoke to my partner and my mum about how I was feeling and just needed some time. I emailed GBSS and they sent me some information that really helped me understand more. Ava Rose is healthy and happy, for that I am truly thankful.