Mum Toni writes,
“In October 2022, I had my third baby, Leon. He was born just under two weeks early as I had gestational diabetes and he had dropped centiles on his growth scan. Apart from this and a scare of preterm labour at 27 weeks, my pregnancy had been really easy, with no signs of GBS.
After a tough induction, he was born at 1:54pm. He seemed like such a relaxed baby, but looking back, this should have been a warning sign to me.
As the day progressed, he didn’t seem interested in feeding and by midnight, I noticed he was grunting (something I had heard a lot of in the Gestational Diabetes Facebook group). I asked the midwives to check him and they thought it was to do with wind and bowel movements and asked to monitor it, so I was reassured and I dozed off.
Next thing I knew was the monitor they had bought to check him was alarming and they bought Neonatal doctors round, who monitored him for a bit before taking him to NICU.
He had lots of blood tests and blood cultures taken and was started straight away on antibiotics, he was put on high flow oxygen, a feeding tube and a drip. We were told he just needed some help getting fluid off his lungs, the antibiotics were just a precaution in case of an infection and he could rejoin me on the ward soon. Unfortunately, the blood cultures showed it was an infection and I was discharged without him the next day, to which I sobbed the whole day.
I’m so grateful he was started on those antibiotics straight away, as it meant that when we received the GBS sepsis diagnosis four days later, he was already on the right treatment and he was close to finishing his fight against it.
He was discharged when he was a week old and we were over the moon to take him home to be with his two sisters, who were desperate to cuddle him.
Unfortunately, six days later he started making the same grunting noises and we weren’t taking any chances, so we took him straight to our hospital, where he was admitted again after having a temperature and a fast heart rate. Again, bloods were taken and he was started straight away on antibiotics again.
A few days later, they told us he had contracted group B Strep again and he stayed in for another 12 days and a further three return visits while he completed a two week course of antibiotics this time.
It was such a scary time and he went though so much in his first 4 weeks of life, including two lumbar punctures, a chest x-ray, stomach ultrasound, full body MRI… not including the amount of blood gases, blood tests and blood cultures.
He’s now doing really well, but they are monitoring him until he is at least one as they have concerns about why he had it twice, but we are just so happy he has been so lucky to beat it twice.
It completely baffles me how there isn’t routine testing or information given to expecting mums. In my 3 pregnancies, I had never been told about GBS. I think everyone who is expecting should be told about GBS, how to get screened and the symptoms to spot.
I’m so grateful for the GBSS website as I have spent a lot of time reading here, from the first diagnosis until now and it’s been such a support knowing we aren’t alone in what we experienced.”
Update – Leon has just turned one and is no longer under the hospital consultants and is really beginning to thrive now.