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Kirsten's Story   — Selita

On September 23, 2001, I began feeling contractions around 1:00pm, by 6:00pm I knew it was time to go to the hospital. My husband and I arrived at the hospital at 7:15pm, the fetal monitor was attached and everything seemed to be fine. I was concerned that the heart rate was only monitoring around 110-120, which was lower than I thought it should be. The nurse assured me that the heart rate was normal. Around 9:00pm, my water broke and the nurse assured me everything was fine but as a precaution I was placed on oxygen and an internal fetal monitor was inserted. I later found out that my water had meconium staining. Close to 10:15pm, I began to push and at 11:20pm, Kirsten Marie Jansen was stillborn. The doctors and nurses unsuccessfully tried to revive her for twenty minutes. Autopsy results concluded that Kirsten died of a Group B Strep infection 2-3 days prior to me giving birth. The hospital was unknowingly monitoring my heartbeat during my entire labor.

I had attended my 40 week check-up on September 19th and everything was perfect. KirstenÕs heart rate was in the 140Õs and I was 3 cm dilated. During this appointment, my Dr. asked if I wanted her to strip my membranes. I wasnÕt sure what this meant, so I asked. My Dr. simply said it would help put me into labor. This was a very invasive and painful procedure and I asked my Dr. to stop before she was able to finish. I am convinced that this invasive procedure is what caused KirstenÕs GBS infection.

I was never informed that a GBS test was available; I didn't show any signs of GBS infection prior to, or during labor. My hope is that by sharing Kirsten's story, more women will be aware of the seriousness of GBS and the risks associated with membrane stripping.

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