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Hannah Noelle's Story   — Hannah's Mother

For "Hannah" our Angel

My husband and I lost our daughter Hannah Noelle on February 3, 2003. Hannah was born still due to a rapid acute infection of Group B Strep Sepsis.

I was tested at 37 weeks gestation for GBS and the test came back positive. The doctor said, "Don't worry, all you need is antibiotics during delivery, everything will be fine." I was 41 weeks pregnant when the doctor decided to do an internal exam and then proceeded to strip my membranes without my permission. This was on Friday, January 30th. He said I worked my magic (with a swooping motion of his forefinger.) He then told me to go home, "have lots of sex," and wait for either labor to begin ("I started things up") or to come back Monday morning to be induced. Labor did not begin over the weekend so on Monday morning I went to the hosptial to find out my precious daughter was gone. I was hooked up to the fetal heart monitors and there was no heartbeat. After several ultrasounds, the doctor confirmed that Hannah was gone and her heart was not beating. I had to continue with the induction and about 12 hours later I got to hold my beautiful, perfect but dead daughter.

I had no explaination of what had caused her death for the first 4 weeks, then finally the autopsy came in saying that the interuterine fetal demise was attributed to sudden onset of acute Group B Strep Sepsis (blood poisoning). The only place they found the infection was in blood they collected from her heart. It is uncommon for a baby that has been exposed to GBS to only have it in her blood. There are usually other symptoms of the infection such as damage to the lungs and there is usually evidence of GBS in the placenta and amnionic fluid if the infection has been with the baby over a longer period of time. Her placenta only had a trace amount of GBS which was attributed to being delivered vaginally. It was a short term exposure as it only affected her blood.

This makes me believe it was my Dr's fault. He stripped my membranes and allowed the infection to attack my baby. He should have known not to do this to a GBS+ woman. I should have known more about GBS--but in my defense he told me it was "NO big deal--don't worry about it, you'll get antibiotics in labor and everything will be fine." Well, it is so far from fine that I can hardly breathe. I had even requested a urine test to check for colinization in the urine and was flatly refused. Their reason was that it was unneccessary. I would still be treated only in labor with antibiotics.

We feel that if the doctor had provided us with information about Group B strep, we would have been more educated, and perhaps made different choices concerning our care. Perhaps Hannah would be due for a feeding or diaper change instead of never being in her parents' arms.

We are now dedicated to getting the word out there about GBS and how it can destroy lives. Ours will never be the same. We have joined forces with the Jesse Cause and even opened an "East Coast" branch "for Hannah" to help raise awareness from coast to coast.

Please visit our website at

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