Mum Emma writes
“I was 19 when I gave birth to my first child, being so young I was not aware of any complications that could happen during labour and birth.
I had a textbook pregnancy, as I was told. My waters broke on 31st December 2011 and I gave birth on the 2nd January. I had many complications during my labour and the birth which resulted in my son almost dying at birth.
The day after I gave birth, someone from the hospital came to bathe the babies on the ward. I can remember calling my partner and telling him that our son was such a good baby, he didn’t wake up crying through the night and he was asleep and relaxed while he got his bath, he didn’t cry like the other babies on the ward did.
Shortly after his bath, a doctor came to check Jamie. She quickly put him back in his cot and said that she was taking him for more tests. That was all.
She didn’t give me any explanation or information so I assumed these were normal baby checks.
An hour passed and she had still not returned with Jamie so I asked the midwife where he was. She told me he was in ICU and asked if I wanted to go and see him. I had no knowledge of ICU so I didn’t expect to walk in and see him in an incubator.
Jamie had meningitis from group B Strep but this was never explained to me in the hospital. He was kept in hospital for two weeks, he had many blood tests, lumbar punctures and IV antibiotics. I only realised the extent to what he had when a family member did some research about group B Strep. Nothing was ever explained to us from a doctor, which I find strange.
Jamie has minor problems with his vision and hearing which is a good outcome, considering the life threatening outcomes of group B Strep.
I have gone on to have two more children and both times during my labour I have had to plead with the midwives to check my notes and administer the antibiotics during my labour.
With my second child, even after I told her my first son had group B Strep, I was told, “Just because you have had it in one pregnancy, it doesn’t mean you will have it in another”. She wasn’t going to give me the antibiotics until my mum told her to thoroughly read my notes and past medical history of my first born.
I cannot believe these tests are not mandatory during pregnancy and labour.”