Mother's GBS status: Tested positive Gestational age: 39 weeks Age harmed: 2 weeks We had help becoming pregnant through IVF, and knew we were expecting a girl before we even transferred the embryo. Because we were slightly higher risk due to the IVF, we had multiple ultrasounds and growth scans through out the pregnancy. I went for my appointment at 39 weeks, and my blood pressure was high, so my doctor induced me. I tested positive for GBS, but I really had no idea what that meant. I did have to have my water broken, but I received antibiotics throughout labor.
Libby was born weighing 7 lbs 3 oz. She was jaundiced, so we spent an extra 12 hours in the hospital so she could get photo therapy. We took her to the pediatrician twice after we were released for checks. Other than that, she was fine.
I got very ill with an infection on her 13th day of life. I went to my doctor that morning, and though they were not sure what was wrong, they did some blood tests and prescribed antibiotics. I spent all day in bed. The next morning I was still not feeling well, but Libby seemed fine at her 3 am feeding, and in fact she ate much more than normal. By 8 am, I was not terribly concerned that she was not up to eat because she had eaten so much earlier. By 9:30, I started to worry a little. She was up, and very fussy, and didn't seem to have an appetite. I made an appointment with the pediatrician as a precaution because this was a holiday weekend. I thought that maybe she had reflux, or was having a reaction to the antibiotic I was taking. I was holding her around noon when she started moving her right arm in a strange jerky motion. At the time, I didn't realize that she was having a seizure, but I knew that what she was doing was odd. I decided to go ahead and take her to the doctor early. While being weighed, she had another seizure. I think the doctor knew what was going on, but wanted to rule out a UTI first. The doctor was unable to get a urine sample, and decided to send us to Vanderbilt by ambulance. While in the ambulance, she experienced two more seizures, one that lasted several minutes. She was seizing as we arrived at the ER. Immediately a team of doctors started working on her. Her pulse rate had been around 170 in the ambulance, then shot up even higher to 210. She was put on a ventilator, and started on four different antibiotics. A lumbar puncture was performed and her spinal fluid was yellow and cloudy. She took about three hours to get stable enough to move to the PICU. While the nurses never thought she was in danger of dying, she was critical throughout the first few nights.
She had several signs of severe brain damage, from needing blood pressure medications to temperature regulation. On her fifth day, she had an MRI that revealed severe damage to her brain. She had clots going into her heart and brain. She also had brain bleeds and an infection in her lungs. Her face was asymmetrical, and she was not gagging, coughing, or showing much reaction to light with her pupils. Her perfusion was also very poor.
We decided that it would be unfair to her to keep her alive based on the anticipated complications she would face. We decided to remove her from the ventilator. While she lived for almost 2 days, her color immediately changed, and she never showed any type of response to us.
The only true sign she showed of infection was poor feeding, and that was only when she was becoming very sick. She went from being a little fussy to almost dead in about 5 hours. Looking back now, there are a few things that I might have recognized had I known what to look for, but hindsight is 20/20. While this is still too fresh, I eventually want to talk to other mothers about the signs and symptoms of GBS meningitis and sepsis.
— Abbey Logan, USA
To learn more about the Signs & Symptoms of GBS Infection, click HERE.
To learn more about Recurrent GBS Infections, click HERE.
To learn more about How to Help Protect Your Baby from Group B Strep (GBS), click HERE.