My precious daughter, Faith, was stillborn on 23rd October 2015, nine days after her due date. She was my 4th and last child to complete our beautiful family.
I had a normal healthy pregnancy, with growth scans throughout due to my second baby born in 2010 being a small baby for me (weighing 6lb 12oz). I had my last scan just 3 weeks before my baby was born and she was growing well and everything was perfect. She was very active throughout the pregnancy and I had no cause for concern.
My due date of 14th October 2015 came and went, not surprisingly as I have been induced with all of my babies! So on the 21st October I had a routine 41 week sweep.
On the evening of 22nd October around 8pm I started having a few pains and became excited that I would labour naturally. After a rough night’s sleep, on the morning of 23rd October when I arose at 5am I was having regular contractions. By 8am I rang the hospital as the contractions were 3 minutes apart and lasting around 20-30 seconds. I was informed by the hospital to stay at home until they were lasting around 40 seconds. I waited until 10:30am and then went to the hospital. When I arrived they asked me if my movements were good, to which I replied something like, ”Actually I can’t recall feeling any movements today, but I felt her in the night and she was active yesterday. I’ve been working through my contractions so I haven’t been aware.” They listened in and to my horror, there was no heartbeat. This was confirmed by ultrasound and minutes later I was ready to push. Within one hour of arriving at the hospital super excited to have our 4th and last child to complete our family, I had my dead baby in my arms.
As we did not have an autopsy I will never know the cause of Faith’s death, however, it was only when we received all the results back following Faith’s death that I found out I had group B Strep. My results showed I was heavily colonized with group B Strep, as was my urine, placenta and Faith’s swabs and my bloods showed I had an infection. I will be offered IV antibiotics in labour for group B Strep in future pregnancies, but have had to wait for my baby to die to find out I even had it!!!
The ECM test costs the NHS £11. It’s hard to believe that if the NHS routinely tested pregnant women using the ECM test around 35-37 weeks perhaps my precious Faith might be here today.
It is my hope and mission that every pregnant woman be routinely tested around 35-37 weeks using the ECM test for group B Strep carriage. I hope that in the midst of this heartbreak I can do some good, that I can somehow increase awareness and help bring about change for the future.
I will forever miss my beautiful perfect daughter and I will think of her every day. She will always be part of our special family and will be made alive every day through our conversations and few memories we have of her. I am grateful to have the knowledge as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints that although I miss her deeply every day, our parting is brief and one day I will receive her back in my arms and be able to be her mother forever, Until then, she is safe in the arms of my Heavenly Father.