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Kyla's Story   — Heather Finlay, Victoria, BC, Canada

I knew I was positive for Group B Strep early in my pregnancy because of a bladder infection I had developed so I tried to educate myself on what this meant for me and my baby. I knew that you should receive antibiotics and that this would significantly decrease the risk of passing GBS onto your baby. However, when my water broke at 7pm on Nov. 21st I called my midwife and she told me to take a couple gravol and go to bed. She told me I didn't want to be pumped full of antibiotics and that I would need my rest for later when contractions started. My contractions started an hour later and when I called she told me once again to go back to bed. By midnight she came to assess me and I was 8cm dilated and just barely made it to the hospital. Needless to say I did not receive any antibiotics. When we asked her about the Strep B, she told us not to worry about it. I later found out she didn't even put it in my chart so the nurses did not even know to watch for any smptoms in Kyla. She then released us from the hospital 10 hours after I delivered. When we got home over a two day period Kyla stopped feeding, was really fussy, and eventually started moaning-- The classic symptom I have now discovered in reading other stories. I called my midwives multiple times throughout those days and explained her symptoms and they told me she was a lazy eater and fussy baby. Despite my intuitive feeling that something wasn't right, I trusted their judgment. By the second morning of life, Kyla started having seizures. We took her to the hospital where we ended up staying for three weeks. Kyla was soon diagnosed with Strep B. After a couple of days, when she was stabilized, they did a spinal tap and they found she had meningitis. She also has a part of the brain that has been damaged because of restricted blood flow. Despite everything, the doctors have been amazed with her recovery. We have been home now for three weeks. However, we are constantly terrified that something is wrong. She got her first ear infection and they think she may be colicky. We are constantly at the doctors' or taking her to emergency in fear that she's sick. We have followup care for five years to monitor her progress. She is quite the little fighter. Mostly it makes me sad and angry that this could have been prevented. She has gone through so much already. I think it will help tremendously to be proactive and educate families and healthcare professionals about GBS. Thank you for this website.

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