baby · family · Group B Strep · Motherhood · pregnancy

Group B Strep – Our story.

To all of my usual lovely readers (blows kiss) that have popped by expecting one of my usual cake, poop and snot themed rhymes, I’m sorry, but this not one of those posts.  In fact this will be the first post I’ve written that doesn’t rhyme.  I mean seriously – What rhymes with Group B Strep?? On a serious note though: This is by far the most difficult post that I have written, and whether I will actually go on to hit publish remains to be seen, but if you’re reading this, then I guess I did.

 

Group B Strep Support – preventing GBS infection in newborn babies

 

So. Last night I read an excellent post by DISCOmBUBulated about Group B Strep.  I’ve been blogging for nearly a year now and this is the first post I’ve come across about this very serious and potentially life threatening condition.  Have you heard of it?  I’m sure that some of you will, but those of you that are thinking “Eh?” are not on your own.  In fact “Eh?” is pretty much exactly what I said when I was told that my 2 week old baby boy had contracted it, and that I had given it to him.

Here’s why I know a bit about it…

Mstr Tot was born in a midwife led unit after what I have lovingly referred to as a dream labour.  I was the only person on the whole unit all day, we were fed tea and toast while Magic FM played in the background.  I admired the views out of the window and a fancy colour changing bubble lamp thingy in the corner.  When the going got a bit tough I just “hopped” *coughs* into the birthing pool, quick snort of gas and air and out he popped! Within 3 hours I was at home and showing him off to his excited grandparents.

The next few days passed in a blur.  I was a second time Mum.  I had “nailed” labour this time after a particularly difficult birth and lengthy recovery with my first.  I was up bright and breezy the next morning and raring to go as a family of four.  I was determined that our first born would not feel neglected one tiny bit!  I was SuperMum!!  We spent the first week of my husband’s paternity leave in hospital first time around, but not this time! This paternity leave we were all set for family adventures!  We welcomed friends and family who all came (often bearing cake) and met our precious little bundle.  We prepared for Miss Tot’s 2nd birthday which was just four days after Mstr Tot was born.  We had a small family gathering at home and showered her with balloons and attention.  Mstr Tot seemed to settle in perfectly.  Yes we were up most of the night as he grunted like a warthog, and he seemed to want to feed incessantly and non-stop between the hours of 6pm and 2am, but we had done this before and we knew that the sleep deprivation would not kill us.  We would be fine!

We took him for his first weigh in the next day.  He was 5 days old and all was perfect!  He had lost a couple of oz which was I was a little disappointed with as Miss Tot didn’t lose even lose an oz! But as a breastfed baby I knew that this was totally normal and I silently patted myself on the back for apparently mastering the breastfeeding again.  I really was “SuperMum!”  Two children under 2 – no problem!  Labour – Pah! Breastfeeding – Nailed it!

We carried on.  We enjoyed the hubby’s second week of paternity leave and had a couple of little outings.  One of which was to a Stately home where we smiled at our new gorgeous baby boy all snuggled up in his puschair.  We even took him in his carry seat onto the little steam train with us.  I felt proud (and yes, a little smug).  There I was with my tiny little brand new baby enjoying a family day out, watching his big sister laugh at the fountains and play on the swings.  I had been pretty much house bound for weeks following my first birth and I was so keen to make the point that I had not been beaten this time. That I had not needed to be nervous of having two very young children.  That I was coping just fine and that I had this all in the bag…

Mstr Tot seemed to be the most content baby ever.  He slept.  All day long.  I was a mum on a schedule.  He really wasn’t very demanding with regards to food and so I would wake him around every 3 hours to feed.  He would feed for up to an hour before falling back to sleep.  I congratulated myself on obviously feeding him so well that he was content and sleeping soundly.  He obviously must be happy otherwise he would tell me!? He was still a little jaundiced.  His umbilical cord had dropped off quite early and his tummy button seemed a bit icky to me, but I was in regular contact with my excellent midwife, who reassured me that it should be fine, that they can be a bit icky and that she would check it when she next visited in a couple of days.

On an evening our little man was a different baby.  From around 6pm he would scream and be inconsolable unless he was feeding.  He seemed to be so upset and just wanted to feed for hours on end right through the night.  After letting him feed for what felt like forever, we would take him off me and spend hours trying to wind him, convinced that he was just feeding for comfort, and that the constant feeding was making him uncomfortable, or that he had trapped wind that needed dealing with.  We rubbed and patted and jiggled but he would just cry and cry.  Eventually after a cycle of endless feeding / jiggling / rubbing and screaming he would fall asleep at about 1 or 2am and then pretty much sleep solidly until I woke him to feed him again.  I was the ultimate guilty mum and would let him sleep for 4 (I think even 5 hours on one occasion), convincing myself that he must have taken so much milk during his evening “feedathon” that he was fine to go a bit longer during the early hours.  Surely if he was hungry he would have woken up to tell me?  I mean whoever heard of waking up a sleeping baby at 4am to feed them? Nah!

When he was 11 days old our wonderful midwife came to do his second weight check.  This time her face dropped.  She checked his tummy cord stump and went and made a phone call.  He had lost 14% of his birth weight – 18ozs in total.  The vast majority of this had all been lost in the space of 6 days.  I was devastated.

We were admitted to hospital…

We were immediately sent into hospital to have him checked over.  There was no tongue tie or physical feeding issue.  He seemed a little lethargic and sleepy, but otherwise seemed to be OK.  His tummy button was confirmed to be “a bit icky” but nothing to be particularly concerned about.  They took swabs just to be safe.  Next onto me:  I was presented with an electric breast pump and asked to express to see what I was producing.  Hats off to anyone that uses these things as in my opinion they are nothing short of torture.  I gritted my teeth and managed to produce a whole 1/2 oz.  So this was the problem.  I wasn’t producing enough milk.  It seems that for whatever reason my little man just wasn’t really feeding properly.  He wasn’t stimulating my supply, and so he was hungry, which made him tired, too tired to eat, and so the cycle continued.

We were observed feeding and then allowed to go home later the same day.  I was distraught.  I had been given instructions to wake him to feed every two hours (from the start of each feed, which would generally take around 45 mins).  In between feeds I was to try and express as much (or as little in my case) as I could, which was then to be fed to him via a syringe. This was to continue 24 hours a day, as well as looking after a 2 year old, and facing the fact that my hubby was about to go back to work.  I sobbed and clung on to my little man for the next two days.  The hubby eventually encouraged me to leave the house for an hour and we all went to a local family restaurant for lunch.  I cried throughout the whole time we were there.  I just wanted to go home.  I just wanted to let my son feed.  I just wanted to hold him.  I felt torn up inside and swamped with guilt that I hadn’t noticed that he had been starving.  My tiny newborn baby had come into the world and experienced real hunger and illness in such a short space of time, and I as his mother hadn’t seen it.  I somehow hadn’t spotted the signs.  I look back at photos of him at two weeks old and it still makes me want to cry.

We took it one day at a time.  I fed him.  Constantly.  I let him feed for 8 hours solid every evening, because that is what he wanted.  I let him feed until I ached.  I also topped him up with formula which broke my heart, but it worked.  My amazing midwife supported me throughout and came back every couple of days to weigh him.  Within a few days we were able to drop the formula altogether.

6 days after our hospital visit we were contacted by the Doctor to advise that the swabs that they had taken of our baby’s tummy button confirmed that he had contracted Group B Strep.  We were told not to worry and prescribed antibiotics.  I nodded along and in some small way felt a little relieved to hear that this was most likely the cause of my son’s “lazy feeding”.  It was almost good to know that there was a physical cause, and that it could be cured.  Did I know what Group B Strep was? Nope.  Was I concerned? Nope.

I came home with his medication and casually hit Google (as you do).  The facts were terrifying:

“Most babies who become infected can be treated successfully and will make a full recovery.

However, even with the best medical care the infection can sometimes cause life-threatening complications, such as:

One in 10 babies born with GBS will die from the infection. Another one in five babies who survive the infection will be affected permanently. Early-onset GBS infection can cause problems such as cerebral palsy, deafness, blindness, and serious learning difficulties.”*

*information taken from the NHS Website.

I was horrified and beside myself with worry.  Thankfully our little man had already started to improve dramatically due to the continuous feeds and formula top ups now that we knew that there was a problem with my milk supply.  But what on earth was this infection? How had he got it?  What harm was it going to cause him?

It turns out that I am one of around 20% of women who carry the Group B Strep bacteria.  In most cases we carry it without any symptoms and it doesn’t cause us any problems.  There is however a risk that the bacteria can pass to our babies in child birth.  The Group B Strep Support website quotes the following statistics:

“Overall, without preventative medicine, GBS infections would affect an estimated 1 in every 1,000 babies born in the UK. Therefore, based on 700,000 babies born annually in the UK, approximately:

  • 230,000 babies would be born to mothers who carry GBS; 88,000 babies (1 in 8) become colonised with GBS; 700 babies would develop GBS infections, usually within 24 hours of birth; and
  • 75 babies (11% of infected babies) would die.”

We received another call from our GP later that evening asking us to go back to the surgery so that our little man could be checked out again.  This came as no surprise to me having just read what I had. Needless to say we were all beside ourselves all night.

We were lucky.  So incredibly lucky.

Our GP checked him over and considered him to be fine.  He completed his course of antibiotics.  His tummy cord healed, but had to eventually be cauterized with a silver nitrate pen.  Within 10 days of us being admitted to hospital he had regained all of his lost weight and was back to his birth weight.  Our wonderful midwife continued to support us until he was a month old. Mostly I think to support me, as I was still fraught that he would relapse, or that I would miss vital signs that something was wrong (again). I cannot thank her enough for her time and help and I will always be incredibly grateful to her.

This is the little man now…

– I am so relieved to say that he made 100% recovery and is just perfect (OK so he likes to keep his finger up his nose but we’ll let him off with that).

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….He now eats like a baby dinosaur!

 

So what could I have done to prevent this?

In many countries in Europe, parts of the US and in Australia there is a routine test which is offered in pregnancy to identify mums that carry the bacteria.  If identified as being GBS positive, these mums are then given antibiotics via a drip as soon as their waters have broken and throughout their labour.  This has proved to be highly effective at preventing the baby contracting the condition as they are born.

In the UK we are not routinely screened for GBS.  Very few NHS trusts offer the test automatically, however some will arrange a test on request or based on certain risk factors, alternatively a test can be bought privately.

The ECM test is quoted to cost the NHS £11 per test and the antibiotics used to treat the mother during labour in most case cost just pennies.

What can you do…?

There is a petition currently in place to “Provide tests for group B Strep to prevent any more avoidable deaths of newborn babies”  Please read and show your support for this valuable cause.  I was one of the lucky mums but there are so many other families who have not been so lucky and have tragically lost their precious new babies to this condition which could potentially have been prevented so easily.

You can also visit the amazing Group B Strep Support website for information, support and practical ways to get involved and help raise awareness.

Lastly… please help me spread the word and raise awareness.  I was prompted to write this post having been gently nudged by the fabulous blogger DISCOmBUBulated to share my experiences.  Now you know about Group B Strep, please tell other people.  If you have questions on it please ask your midwife or health care provider.  After all I have zero expertise on this matter.  I just have a story to tell, and if somebody had told me their story I might have known to ask about this condition myself, and potentially had the test which could have prevented it.

 

…. and to my little superstar!

Mummy will always be sorry about those two weeks, but she will spend the rest of her life making sure that the rest of your weeks are so very special.

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Love you always xx

Please note: This post has not been written in collaboration with Group B Strep Support, this is just my story and information which I have sourced from their website and that of the NHS.

Thank you for reading x

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Linking up with…

Rhyming with Wine
3 Little Buttons

92 thoughts on “Group B Strep – Our story.

  1. Well done for being brave and telling your story. I am also a carrier of group b strep, I only found out in my last pregnancy and we got to hospital too late to have any antibiotics but luckily none of my three children contracted it from delivery. I was told to just keep an eye and I would know if my baby became ill and would be able to take him to the hospital, but from reading your experience it doesn’t sound that simple at all! I think it’s definitely something that more people should be aware of and I will definitely share your post xx
    Louise | Squished Blueberries recently posted…This Little Big LifeMy Profile

    1. Hi Louise. Thanks so much for your lovely comment. It’s bizarre that such a high percentage of us are carriers and yet I’d never heard of it until our little one was diagnosed? Thank goodness each of your children were ok. It must have been worrying to have to just watch and wait though. I think if I’d understood more about it I might have recognised that something was wrong sooner? Who knows. I’m just so grateful that he’s ok now. Thanks again. Dawn x

  2. I’ve just signed. I’ve heard f it before but have never really understood its consequences. How awful that you had to go through this. Glad Mstr Tot is fine, and please don’t beat yourself up, you weren’t to know xxx

    1. Thank you Mrs Lighty! I know that my story is nothing compared to what a lot of parents have to go through with their tiny ones, but it’s something I’ve generally skirted around when speaking to people. I feel a little bit like I’ve bared my soul with this one and without a poem to hide behind. Thank you for your lovely kind words and support as always xx
      Dawn – Rhyming with Wine recently posted…Group B Strep – Our story.My Profile

  3. Jeez. Newborns in themselves are such a challenge. Add your nutty hormones to the mix and throw in a problem and it feels insurmountable. I’m so glad that your tot is well, especially after reading those stats. There’s so many things out there that can make babies sick that I haven’t even heard of. Our little one was jaundiced and diagnosed with a heart defect two days after birth (which he still has but hasn’t caused him any problems). I vividly remember being too and needless to say I didn’t take the news well. Shudder. Big hugs. I think this kind of stuff haunts you forever. Well done for spreading the knowledge- I hope it help someone in the future. Off to sign now x
    Mama, my kid doesn’t poop rainbows recently posted…The #FartGlitter Linky: Week Twenty SevenMy Profile

    1. Thank you so much hun. I’m feeling a bit emotional after writing it to be honest! Blogging is definitely my therapy! I didn’t know that your little man also had problems when he was born. There is nothing at all that you could have done differently but I know what you mean about feeling haunted by it. Thanks for supporting this and for your lovely comment xx
      Dawn – Rhyming with Wine recently posted…Group B Strep – Our story.My Profile

  4. Hiya luvvy,

    That post really brought back a lot of memories for me. A lot of sad memories, but then also a lot of happy memories once our little boy started picking up.

    I’ll never forget the determination you showed. You set that alarm every 2 hours and you never once complained. You was going to feed him and nothing was going to stop you. You made him better 🙂

    I was a very proud husband…I still am.

    Love you xxx

  5. I’m so glad you had a better outcome than we did, we lost our little girl, pippa, at 1 day old to gbs and meningitis on 27 April. I hadn’t heard of it before and was given no information in pregnancy, I’m now on a mission to try and change that. Well done for raising awareness x

    1. Hi Kayleigh. I’m so sorry. I can’t even begin to image what you have been through and I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s shocking how little information there is about this condition in the UK. Thank you so much for taking the time to read. If I can help you in your mission in any way please let me know. Dawn x

  6. Oh Dawn; I just rode that roller coaster with you!!! So glad he is well and you are in a different place; that world of newborn haze, feed, sleep (if any) is so so hard! As an Aussie Mum, we are swabbed for the virus prior to birth, and I tested positive with my second baby. This meant it was monitored and ‘sorted’ before I even knew what was going on. Very, very lucky. Thanks for sharing. xx
    Mummy Muckups (Anna) recently posted…MY LOVE CHILDMy Profile

    1. Thank you Anna. It seems like such a simple test, I just don’t understand why it isn’t commonplace in the UK when such a high percentage of us are carriers and generally completely oblivious. Prevention has to be key, and I’m so pleased that they got things ‘sorted’ for you and your little one. Thanks for reading xx

  7. Hi Dawn, I wish I’d have told you about my GBS when we were at playgroup so you were aware of it 😢 I found out I was a carrier when I had a small bleed with Caitlin at 20+ weeks & I was swabbed it came back as GBS positive. I had to have two lots of IV during labour. I was told I’d be given IV antibiotics with Ella but when I went in to the labour ward they contradicted this as they said it can come & go so it might not be present. In the end I was given the choice & I chose to have it as what harm could it do as a precaution?! Scary really but that’s why I was told they do not offer the screening. They told me it might not show when tested but later be present so the screening isn’t worthwhile?! Thank goodness he is ok xx

    1. Hi Gillian. Thank you so much. I just didn’t have a clue what it was at the time (or how serious it could be). I don’t have any complaint at all with the care and support that we got. My midwife was amazing right the way through and couldn’t have done more. I do understand that it can come and go too and so a test might not pick it up so I can understand the reasoning behind not screening. I just think for me, even if the test doesn’t pick up every GBS positive mum, I’d like to think that it would pick up more than are identified now. I can totally see why you chose to have the drip with Ella to be safe. Thank goodness your little princesses are both ok too. I really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. I haven’t really spoken that much about it, but having read up on it a bit more since, I just felt like I ought to share our experience to try and raise a bit more awareness. Hugs to you and yours xx

  8. Hey lovely, I’m a carrier as well. Though I didn’t know with my first and was obviously just very lucky, with my second they found trace infection in urine sample, which meant antibiotics for me then and antibiotics in labour and after. It’s a simple test that could help so many xx

    1. Hi Laura. Thank you for commenting and sharing your story. It just seems to be one of those things that you only know about if you’ve been tested positive positive at some point doesn’t it? It is quite rare to actually pass it on to baby but you must be very relieved that you were identified as a carrier and got the preventative treatment. The more I read about it the more I agree that testing should be introduced here for all pregnant mums. Thanks again lovely xx

  9. What a great post. so informative. So important to raise awareness. I am GBS carrier and only learned this after baby #1. He wasn’t infected thank goodness. I was treated with antibiotics pre-labour then with my other 3 babies as a precaution. There is so much stuff none tells you about. People should shift their focus away from unimportant stuff and talk about the real deal when having children. Great Post, Dawn!

    1. Thank you Fran. I can understand that there are so many things that “might” happen, and that it could be overwhelming to hear about every possible risk. Personally though I agree with you and I think we need to know, and we need the option to be tested. It’s great that you got the treatment with your other babies and I’m so pleased that they’re all ok. Thank you for telling me your story x

  10. Thanks for sharing your story Dawn, up until a few weeks a go I had never heard of this. A mum friend of mine was telling me her experience and it sounds so scary. Don’t feel bad about not noticing it, how could you look out for something you didn’t know existed? Good on you for doing all you could to make little man better. I don’t understand why more women aren’t made aware of this and there isn’t screening in the UK? So many babies could be saved. Hopefully things will change and screening pregnant women will become routine one day.xx #Fartglitter
    wendy recently posted…20 week pregnancy updateMy Profile

    1. I hope so Wendy. It’s quite a controversial topic and there are arguments for and against testing but having experienced it first hand my opinion will always be heavily biased towards prevention wherever possible. Thank you for your kind words xx

  11. Holy moly. That is unbelievably stressful. I livei in Canada where the test is routine. I tested positive for GBS so they just tell you to come to the hospital as soon as your water breaks (or early in labour) so they can give you IV antibiotics. It is so routine i didn’t even give it a second thought. It was on my chart at the hospital of course but i do remeber when i arrived a nurse asked if i was GBS positive, I said yes and that was that. All taken care of. Will definitely sign this petition!!! I am shocked it is not the norm everywhere!

    1. Thank you Naomi. It’s refreshing to hear that it seems to be handled so well and the testing seems to be so effective in other countries. It remains a controversial topic in the UK, in fact there was quite a key debate on it just last week which was apparently very successful in making the point that women should be tested and proactively treated during labour as you were. Hopefully this will come into force in the UK. Thank you so much for supporting this cause. I’m very much biased towards prevention and reading your experience makes me even more so. Dawn x

  12. What a terrifying experience I am so glad your little one was fine. Well done for spreading the word on such an important issue. I can’t believe that this isn’t part of the regular screening process. It should be with those scary statistics! Thank you for hosting 🌸 #fartglitter
    An imperfect mum (Catie) recently posted…Gamer Zone #3My Profile

  13. I have never heard of this must of been a very tough time for you all very informative post glad that all turned out OK super cute picture thanks for hosting #fartglitter

    1. I was totally oblivious. I’m not saying that things would have been different or that I would have spotted the signs any easier, but I’d like to think that if I’d been tested there’s a good chance it might have been picked up and prevented at birth. Who knows, but I agree with you and I certainly think that we should be aware. Thanks for commenting x

  14. I read every word of this and really felt like I could put myself in your shoes and imagine exactly how you felt. I got a little choked up I’ll admit – because in many levels it reminded me of my early days with Arthur. He wasn’t poorly like your boy, but we did have a lengthy and quite severe case of colic and reflux which made the whole parenting experience so difficult. The constant worry when they are small is real – Arthur used to feed frequently and I’d worry he was having too much and it was making him worse. If he went a little longer I’d worry that he hadn’t fed and would be hungry. I worried all the time – and I’m not convinced I won’t do the same next time either. My friend had a baby at the same time and she slept all the time, needed to be woken up for feeds and she was up and about and sorted within days. It does happen. Every child is different. You don’t need to feel guilty that you didn’t know something – we can’t know everything and trying to cater to the needs of a tiny human who you have only just met and are getting to know is very hard. Well done you for sticking it out with the breastfeeding. I am never get as much by expressing as Arthur can get by feeding anyway – our bodies are made to ‘let down’ for a baby, not a machine.

    I had no idea the test is not routine in the uk, I’m sure for the sake of £11 many mums to be would happily just pay

    #fartglitter
    Sarah – Arthurwears recently posted…Children Changing Careers p5: Vicki Psarias from Honest MumMy Profile

    1. Thank you for such a thoughtful comment Sarah. You’re right in that we can so easily get swamped with guilt when I guess we’re all just trying to do what we think is for the best. It’s just heart wrenching to think that your tiny person is not getting what they need or is suffering in any way. I’m so sorry that you had a tough experience with Arthur. Thank goodness he’s through it now xx

  15. Wow! I have never heard of Group B Strep before but thank you for telling your story and raising awareness about this! It’s amazing to me that something that can be prevented is often overlooked by doctors with a simple test. At least, it is here in the states because as I said, I never heard of it. Thanks again for educating all of us on this important issue and thanks so much for hosting #fartglitter
    Michelle recently posted…Rockin’ Quote #28: What MattersMy Profile

    1. Thank you Michelle. I’m sure there’s a million things that I’ve got wrong and so I’m probably the worst person to try and educate anyone on this, but I have a story and I guess all I can do is share it in the hope that it helps someone else. Thank you for taking the time to read x

  16. Well I have teary eyes! Your post means a lot to me. I had strep B with both my births/babies and had to stay in an extra night and we were treated accordingly – luckily with no ongoing effects for any of us. It’s brilliant that you’ve written this post and have freely talked about you experiences because you will undoubtedly help/inform lots of people. I knew nothing of Strep B until a family member had it during her birth and so I looked into it and even did a pre test (as you’ve mentioned) before my second birth – am so glad I did. Awesome post x #fartglitter

    1. It’s brilliant that you’d heard about it and were able to get tested and be treated accordingly. As I understand it the preventative treatment and care is excellent once you’ve been diagnosed? It’s just how we make sure that it’s identified if we do carry it? Thanks so much for sharing your experience of it too. I’m so pleased that your family were all fine. xx

  17. I have two friends with Group B strep so I know a little about it (they weren’t allowed to give birth in the ‘normal’, nice labour ward, but were confined to an old sub-ward – nice!) Awareness definitely needs to be raisedx #fartglitter
    Crummy Mummy recently posted…10 of the best baby firstsMy Profile

    1. I think so too. I think knowledge is key and I think we should at least have the choice as to whether to he tested. It’s great that you already know a bit about it. Bit of a shame for your friends though being sent to the old ward? At least it sounds like they got the preventative care that they needed having been identified as carriers. Thanks for your comment xx

  18. That’s a very tough experience Dawn.

    I worked as an obstetrics and gynaecology junior doctor in a large hospital a few years ago and we did not do swabs checking for Group B Strep because there is no evidence that the risks of giving treatment outweigh the benefits.

    I don’t think it is a money related issue as much as it is the fact that evidence to date shows although giving antibiotics to women reduced the rate of passing the infection to the baby – it does not reduce the number of deaths of babies from the disease, so as such the benefits are not thought to outweigh the risks (there are risks to mum and baby of giving antibiotics).

    Don’t shoot the messenger though! As a mum- just the thought of one of my kids having been infected by something that potentially could have been prevented/treated sooner – it’s enough to make me incredibly emotional.

    Just thought I’d explain why it is they don’t routinely test women in the UK. I imagine there is plenty more research being done into this, so guidelines may well change someday, as they so frequently do!

    The evidence for this is here btw if anyone is interested:
    https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/gtg_36.pdf
    Dr Mummykins recently posted…5 doctor mummy tips on getting your toddler to take medicineMy Profile

    1. Hi lovely. Thank you so much for commenting and explaining. I know that the topic of testing is quite controversial in the UK – in fact I think there was quite a big debate on it just last week? I totally admit that I’m not an expert on this at all, and having experienced it with my little one my opinion is heavily biased towards any level of preventative care. I have absolutely no complaints about the fantastic level of care and support that I had from the doctors and my midwife, and I know that we were lucky and our case was very mild. The limited research I have done so far has been very “pro” the ECM tests, but I understand that there are also arguments against testing which you explain really well in your comment. I also agree that the rationale against testing is unlikely to be financial as the test appears to be of minimal cost. It’s good to hear balanced and professional reasoning behind the current decision not to screen. Personally though I’m still hopeful that we follow the lead set by so many other countries who seem to screen and successfully prevent GBS in many cases. As you say research is ongoing and who knows what they will discover. Thank you again for your comment. Dawn x

  19. Dawn thank you for sharing this post. I can imagine how hard it was for you to write and of course what a difficult time it must have been. Please try not to feel guilty, you were amazing – also I just read your husband’s comment and started crying again after reading the post and crying – what a fab team you are. I had read a little about it and signed the petition before but hadn’t quite realised how it is impossible to realise you are a carrier. I’m so glad Master Tot is all good and I love that picture of him. You’re an amazing mother. #fartglitter

    1. Thank you so much for such a lovely comment Ellen. It definitely has been the hardest post that I’ve shared yet and I sobbed like a baby when the hubby added his comment! He has already made it clear that this will be his first and last comment. Ever. It’s great that you’d already signed the petition and knew a bit about it. I was totally oblivious so you were leaps ahead of me. Thank you again lovely. Your words mean a lot xx

  20. So glad to see that he was all fine in the end. How scary it must have been. Motherhood is far from being easy. First time I am using #fartglitter and it was lovely to discover your blog x

    1. Thank you Sarah. It was really scary at the time, although we didn’t actually realise what had been wrong until he was alreday staring to improve which was comforting. I know that we were very lucky to have got through it as we did and I’m so thankful for that. Thanks for your kind words hun xx
      Dawn – Rhyming with Wine recently posted…Welcome to #FartGlitter! Week 28My Profile

  21. Hi Dawn, a brave post and well written: with the build up of everything being fine and the emphasis on how pleased you were with yourself and then, bam, the shock of suddenly having a newborn who isn’t well. Let’s hope this helps to spread the word. No.3 daughter would have died at her homebirth, had the paramedics not arrived with oxygen. Midwife’s had been prevented from routinely carrying oxygen in their cars due to cuts. We were used as a case for change. I hope your post helps to bring about change. Alison x #fartglitter
    Alison (MadHouseMum) recently posted…The Truth About EverythingMy Profile

    1. Oh my goodness! I do remember my midwife saying something about bringing oxygen when we first looked into a home birth. It’s terrible when you think what could have happened, but so incredible that your story could inspire change. Thank goodness your little one was ok. Thank you for your comment xx

  22. I am so glad that your son was okay, I know the outcome could have been very different. A good friend of mine lost her son to Strep B at just a few hours old and anothers daughter was stillborn. It’s absolutely inconceivable why pregnant women are not tested routinely, I would have the tests done privately in a heartbeat though had I not already had it following my second sons stillbirth (not Strep B related). Brave post, thank you for sharing. #fartglitter
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  23. I am so sorry that you had such a difficult and scary time, but obviously so immensely relieved for you that it turned out okay in the end. I had never even heard of group b strep before so thank you for educating me. Pen x #fartglitter
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  24. What an informative post, how traumatic you experience sounds. I’d obviously heard about it and never done any reading up about it. Glad your little one made an excellent recovery, and pat on the back for your midwife for calling it in! #fartglitter
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  25. Aww – now I really am welling up after spotting Husband’s comment! I don’t think anyone will mind at all that this is a change from your usual post. It’s a really important subject and one that I had NO IDEA about. Sorry to hear about those first few weeks but am so glad to hear you had great support and everything turned out well in the end. Phew. After reading the stats it’s hard to believe there isn’t more information provided on this given that lives are at risk. Will pop over to the petition link now to sign. Thanks for sharing, great post. x #fartglitter
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    1. Hi Charlie. Sorry about the welling up bit. The hubby tells me I’m hard now as I barely cry at all but I did choke back tears at his comment I must admit. I think this seems to be a condition that people have only heard of if they’ve been affected, or know someone who has. It’s a shame that we can’t take more of a preventative approach as other countries do. Thank you for your lovely comment and for supporting this cause xx

  26. Gosh, so that’s what group b strep is. I actually didn’t know until reading your post. It must have been such a worrying time for you all, and you are really brave to tell your story. So glad that everything turned out fine in the end. #FartGlitter
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  27. Oh sweetie you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself…how were you to know what was happening and you did everything in your power to try and make baby happy. Here in the US they give the test automatically. I had it checked with all 3 of mine thank goodness because yes the statistics are horrifying. Glad to hear he is happy and healthy and eating like a dinosaur 😉 Thanks for hostessing #fartglitter

    1. Thank you Trista. I think we mums are programmed to be hard on ourselves about even the smallest things – Let alone the huge gaping things like this. Thank you for your kind words though. It must have been a relief to have been tested and given the all clear. Xx

  28. What a frightening thing to happen to you, and thank you for sharing. We sometimes frighten ourselves with Google, but on other occasions I often think thank goodness we have it as a resource. Definitely in your case, as it sounds like it wasn’t explained to you. We are very lucky to have our NHS, but in a number of ways it is often found lacking in comparison to other countries. I’ll definitely sign the petition and share your post. It’s the least I can do. #FartGlitter

    1. Hi Cal. Thanks so much for your supportive comments. I can’t complain at all about the great care and support that I got from the NHS, and in fact I wrote in to thank my midwife as she was outstanding. I just find it so disappointing that we aren’t offered screening (and in most Trusts including my own we can’t even request it). I understand that there are arguments for and against testing but the more I research and read up on it the more I am convinced that it should be made available to us and we should all be better informed of the risks. I know that we were very lucky with a very mild case, and I guess this is why I wasn’t given the hard facts so as not to worry me. I just wish I’d known I was a carrier in the first place so that preventative measures could have been taken. Thank you for comment and taking the time to read. Dawn x

  29. This post was heartbreaking, and your husband’s comment just tipped me over the edge! Thank god I’m working from home! It’s brilliant that your little boy is healthy and recovered completely, but it’s really sad that you seem to feel so much guilt over it. I’m terrified that I have no idea about anything when my baby comes, so there’s no way I’d be able to spot anything like this. This post helps as I’m at least aware of it now. I can’t believe they don’t test for this routinely in the UK, it seems crazy. Definitely have my support and I’ll sign the petition right away 🙂 #FartGlitter
    From Day Dot recently posted…Nursery Vibes: Bright decor for a neutral nurseryMy Profile

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely words and support. I think I always will feel a level of guilt about not spotting the signs as I think as a Mum you assume that you’ll just “know”, and I still can’t fathom why I didn’t see that he was losing weight. It seems obvious now when I see photos. I’m sorry if I’ve concerned or worried you unduly. I certainly don’t want to scare anyone. Just to raise some awareness around this cause in the hope that it might help another family. The support that I got from my midwife was amazing and they are trained to find and spot these things so try not to worry. Dawn x

  30. Hi Dawn, I am so relieved that your little one has lived to tell the tale, but to have so many parents lose their little ones through Group B Step is crazy in this day and age, especially when a test costs so little. I am sure most parents would opt to pay for the test themselves if they could.

    The sad thing is that you had never heard of it before your little one came down with it and I had never really heard of it before reading this! Which seems crazy.

    Thank you for sharing your story, I’m popping over to sign the petition….Nice to see you too!

    xx
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    1. Hi Debbie. Thank you so much for your support. I now know of a friends that have paid to have the tests done privately, and as in the blog post by DISCOmBUBulated if you are identified as a carrier (it can come and go so you have to be tested at a certain point – ideally 35 to 37 weeks) then it is stamped all over your notes and preventative care is put in place. Otherwise mums are treated just based on presenting certain risk factors like a fever in labour. The problem is that this them misses a lot of mums – like me. We aren’t planning to have more children but if we did I’d definitely pay for the test privately, although now I know I’m a carrier I think I would receive the antibiotics automatically anyway. Thank you again for taking the time to read and comment. Dawn xx

  31. What a brave post and well done for sharing your story. More information needs to given to ladies about Group B Strep – as a NICU nurse I have seen plenty of stories that do not have your happy ending. You shouldn’t feel bad about those first few weeks, how were you to know? Look at your little man now, so contented! Thanks for hosting #fartglitter xx
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    1. I have so much repect for the job that you do. I’m totally oblivious to so many of the risks and have been very lucky, but you must have to experience and support families through such tragic losses. Thank you for your very kind words xx

    1. Thank you so much Morgan. I really appreciate you sharing it too as you have for me. (Apologies for not acknowledging yet on Facebook – I’m away at the mo and my phone has limited capabilities where Facebook is concerned.) 💕 xx

  32. Heartwrenching story – so glad that he was okay. I can see how easy & understandable it would be not to realise there was a problem – it’s drilled into us all to be worried about really fussy babies, but feel very pleased if they sleep a lot! I actually did know about Group B Strep & the risks, though I’m actually not sure why I did – yours is the first story I have come across of someone actually having it – I think probably a result of too much time spent obsessively reading baby books/google! Glad you decided to write the post & raise awareness. #fartglitter
    Silly Mummy recently posted…Say Hello to My Little Friend: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last WeekMy Profile

    1. Thank you for your very kind words. It’s great that you did know about this condition as it seems that many of us haven’t heard about it at all. I know that we were very lucky and I’m just so grateful that our story had a positive outcome. It just felt like the least I should do is share our experience in the hope that it might help someone else. Thanks so much for reading and for your comment xx

  33. Petition signed, wow what a lot of lovely comments you have , your story is amazing so glad everything was ok, something so needs to be done to change this tho and I’m so glad I am now aware and know all the facts xXx

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