Alicia, mum to Phoebe, says,
“This was my second pregnancy, as I had my first daughter 13 months before. I was 38 weeks and had had some reduced movement episodes. I had an antenatal appointment that day, and the midwife said that her measurements hadn’t gone up since the last appointment two weeks ago. I was sent to be checked at the hospital in three days’ time.
I had an awful feeling come over me, so I went to the hospital straight away. I was checked and told to go home as everything was fine. I was very scared and upset and refused to leave as this feeling of dread was over me. I managed to convince the midwife to induce me as I wasn’t leaving. I was induced, and the whole process was very quick, and Phoebe was born within eight hours.
Phoebe was grunting as soon as she was born. I asked them why she was making that noise, and they said it may be fluid. I still had a feeling that something wasn’t right, so I asked if I could stay on the postnatal ward rather than go home.
A few hours passed. She was very sleepy and still grunting. By the time of her second bottle, she refused it and cried out in pain. I knew something was wrong, so pressed my buzzer seven separate times. Seven times in those 20 minutes a midwife came in and out, telling me everything was fine and to press if there was an issue. So, by the eighth time, I told them to bring a consultant in. A NICU nurse then came in and took her.
Within five minutes, she was incubated, put on steroids, oxygen and antibiotics. I had no idea what was going on, but knew that I had done something right for her and was glad she was being treated appropriately. She was the illest baby in the NICU at the time, and when the doctor came round, he told us that the antibiotics were not working for her, and they needed to try more, but it’s very touch and go, and she may not make it through the night.
While in intensive care, they did the culture to find out what was wrong as all the antibiotics were failing her. When they told me it was group B Strep, I felt like collapsing. I had heard of it, and I got tested with my first pregnancy the year before, which was fine. But I hadn’t gotten around to it this time, as I had her at 38 weeks.
I just keep thinking how lucky I was not to have gone home. As she was so ill, she wouldn’t have survived the night. Thank God I listened to my instinct, and my daughter’s group B Strep sepsis and pneumonia were able to be treated. I believe that, without me pushing, she wouldn’t have gotten her treatment so quickly. My poor baby was in hospital for two weeks. Phoebe had a lumbar puncture to check for meningitis, which she didn’t have and made a full recovery and came home.
Just to know there is a charity like Group B Strep Support out there and knowing they are trying to make a difference is of comfort to me. Phoebe is now five and has no apparent problems from having this Illness. I am lucky and blessed daily to have her in my life.”