Previous GBS experience:Tested positive for GBS Prenatal-onset GBS loss ~ for Leah’s story, click here Waited 7 months before trying to conceive again. Considered an at risk pregnancy.
Emotional state during pregnancy: I was very anxious and scared.
How did your provider address any emotional concerns about losing another baby? They treated me more aggressively than they normally would to help ease my anxieties about being heavily colonized with GBS again.
How did your provider address any medical concerns about losing another baby? My urine was cultured at every visit, and I was treated with antibiotics if needed. I had biophysical profiles beginning at 32 weeks and a scheduled c-section at 37 weeks 4 days after passing a fetal lung maturity amnio.
Pregnancy/birth plan: My plan, which my doctors finally agreed to, was to be cultured at every appointment and given antibiotics if it showed up in my urine. They also agreed to biophysical profiles beginning at 32 weeks and performed an amnio at 36 weeks to test for fetal lung maturity. He failed that one and was tested again a week later. He passed that one and was delivered by c-section the next day. The only reason I chose c-section was because my baby that died from GBS was delivered by emergency c-section, and I wasn’t willing to risk another loss from a uterine rupture by doing a VBAC.
Medical plan after birth: Once our rainbow was born, he had blood cultures drawn and was given a intramuscular shot of penicillin.
What did you do personally to help alleviate stress, anxiety, etc. during this pregnancy? I saw a counselor bi-weekly throughout this pregnancy. I also used essential oils to help keep me calm, instead of medication. I also joined a Pregnancy After Loss support group on Facebook.
What did you do personally to help alleviate stress, anxiety, etc. after this baby was born? He was born in September, and I was really okay for the first couple of months, although I washed my hands constantly, especially after changing his diaper, due to fears of late-onset GBS. As the holidays approached, it got a lot harder, but I didn’t do a good job of sharing this with anyone. Again, I used essential oils to help ease stress and anxiety.
How do you share GBS information with others? I exhibit at Maternity and Baby Expos with GBSI materials. I send out these materials to doctors’ offices throughout Alabama. I have exhibited with GBSI at national conferences.
Encouragement for parents considering having another baby: Pregnancy After Loss is HARD. Especially when you deal with the same thing that caused your loss, as I did throughout my rainbow pregnancy. (I was heavily colonized with GBS again.) But, it is worth it when you get to hold your precious baby in your arms. I am cherishing everything so much more with him than I probably would have otherwise. I am enjoying nursing and getting up all night because I know he is such a gift. I know all babies are, but I think I’m just more acutely aware of everything with him.