This is a story of Awareness for Group B strep & sepsis.
During my pregnancy I was given a swab to check for Group B strep, it came back positive twice & negative twice.. But I was given the recommended amount of antibiotics during labour. On the 9th October 2015 Amélie was born not breathing, agpa score of 2, extremely swollen and floppy.
The Drs and midwives resuscitated her and she seemed to be ok I throughout the day.. To a new first time mum I just thought it was normal and had no idea she was really severely ill.
Throughout the day she wouldn’t feed, didn’t wake unless midwives stripped her, she was very swollen, purple and was breathing too fast – however midwives and I were reassured it could be because she wasn’t breathing at birth.
In the evening my midwife came round to do checks on her, she found that Amélies temperature was too hot on one side but too cold on the other side of her body, her oxygen levels were different from her hands to her feet.. Still very purple, swollen and non responsive my little new born was rushed up to The NICU Where IV antibiotics were immediately started.
She was taken for a chest X-ray, multiple blood tests, oxygen pumped into an incubator and a lumbar puncture, she was so poorly my baby didn’t even cry when a large needle was placed into her spinal cord.. She just fell asleep on the nurses hand.. That really breaks my heart.
Amélie wasn’t aloud any milk for a few days either, if her stomach expanded it out too much pressure on her lungs and she couldn’t breathe so was glucose drip fed before eventually going onto an NG tube.
I remember sitting with her, reading stories but being interrupted by the beeping of machines, the noses that never leave you. I remember being aloud to hold her, but being caught up in wires instead. I remember learning to feed my baby girl through an NG tube instead of with a bottle like all my friends could with their babies.
Amélie was born at 8lb8oz, as the antibiotics worked she started to lose weight.. Eventually getting down to finding that she had around 3lbs worth of extra weight through swelling.
At 5 days old Amélie pulled her cannula out which meant she had to be transferred to a different incubator and the Drs attempted to leave her without extra oxygen or tubes for 30 minutes to see how she would react.. My amazing Amélie started breathing properly on her on and miraculously at 5 days old got the all clear, the sepsis was gone.
The NICU nurses bought her downstairs to the room me and my fiancé were staying in as a surprise, I thought she was coming for a visit with the machines but we were told we could keep her, to be with just us and no one else. I could look after my baby girl, and that was the most incredible feeling.. I will never forget it.
I didn’t feel like she was mine, from the second she was born being whisked off to save her life and then just a few short hours later being taken again.. But after that I felt free and at peace.
Amélie is 21 months now, still tiny at almost 21lbs.. she started walking At 10 months which is amazing.. She has a few health concerns, however unsure whether linked to having sepsis as a newborn yet.. Other than that is the most happy and loving little girl, I couldn’t be prouder. She has been named Britain’s youngest sepsis survivor and along with her daddy we have raised almost £900 for the UK sepsis trust.
Amélies sepsis was caused by a Group B strep infection, something that is totally preventable.. I had antibiotics during labour so our little lady was a Fairly rare case to still get poorly.. But could you imagine if I didn’t know, if I didn’t get any antibiotics? I know my baby wouldn’t be here. Not every hospital openly give GBS test however through the ‘GBSS’ charity you can purchase your own test for a small amount of money, which is a very small price to pay compared to the possibility of losing your new born baby.
The websites for all information on sepsis and GBS are here, please do some research & learn the symptoms of sepsis, getting help as soon as possible is what will potentially save a life.