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Talen's Story   — Valerie Davis, MD, USA

Only 3 months after my first son was born we found out that the mini pill that the doctor put me on for birth control didnít work! Still in awe of our first son born healthy and big by emergency c-section, we went ahead with the pregnancy. Everything went very smoothly. I had a dream pregnancy until at 30 weeks I was told I had strep B. I wasnít very alarmed because I had friends that had it, too, and they had good end results. Unfortunately we didnít have the same joyful experience. On July 28th 2006 we went to the hospital for our planned c-section. They started me on antibiotics only 1 hour before my delivery. When my newest son "Talen" came out he had apgar scores of 8 and 9--very good, right?!!! Then they took him to the nursery while they finished me up. When I was finally in the recovery room my husband came in and told me our son was having trouble breathing and might have to be shipped out to a hospital with a NICU! Very worried, we waited to hear what was going on with our son. Everyone told us he was having trouble breathing because he was born c-section and might have a little fluid in his lungs, But they needed to send him somewhere that could get the care he needed. The transport took 8 hours to get there. They said he would only be there for maybe a day or two. So they sent him to John Hopkins hospital. I never even got to hold him or kiss him good-bye. The next day I called the NICU to check on him and the nurse tells me that my son has gotten much worse and is now on a ventilator. I immediately wanted to go be by my sonís side so I pleaded with my doctor to let me leave the hospital only 24 hours after my c-section. He hesitantly let me go. When we got to the hospital my son was hooked up to everything under the sun. He had at least two IVís, was on 3 different antibiotics, blood pressure meds, and morphine to keep him calm, and all the doctors were swarming us with information and wanted consent for lots for things. He was very unstable and was fighting for his life. We couldnít even touch him. They said stimulation would make him worse. Things didnít get better. The next day I called to check on Talen again and he was even worse. His vent wasnít working on him anymore and they had to put him on a oslator so he always had oxygen in his lungs. He was completely sedated on 3 different drugs so he couldnít move!! They had to put in a central line and arterial line to give him his meds and keep good track of his blood pressure. He was very unstable and they still didnít know why! They just kept telling us it might be a blood infection and pneumonia and maybe meningitis. He was a very sick little boy!! Over the next week he stayed pretty much the same. We couldnít touch him or even talk to him without whispering. Sounds bothered him a lot. His oxygen levels would drop and he would have a lot of trouble maintaining his stats. He had two blood transfusions and a platelet transfusion! He just seemed to get worse and worse! He didnít even start getting better until he was a over a week old. He very slowly started to come off the machines and drugs keeping him alive. They started trying to find out what he had, the spinal tap came back negative for meningitis and the blood test was negative because of the 14 days of antibiotics he was on. I finally got to hold my son when he was 15 days old! It was a great milestone. Now, almost 3 weeks old, heís still in the NICU and can't feed with out going into respiratory distress so he gets all his feeds from a feeding tube. They say he could be in there for maybe 2 more weeks!! And all they can tell us is that heís a very lucky baby!! They say he had a blood infection and pneumonia caused by what they think might be strep B exposure. Apparently I was supposed to have received the antibiotics 4 hours before delivery and the bacteria might have been present in his amniotic fluid at or before delivery. Iím told Talen wonít have any long-term effects from his life-threatening battle, but he hasnít had his hearing test and other evaluations he will get before he goes home! We are praying for the best !!!

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