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David's story   — Amy Gault, IN, USA

David was born at 37w 1d, 18 hours after finding out that I was GBS+. I have 3 hour labors, which proved to be true for David's as well. It was a planned homebirth, and the midwife was prepared to come and administer IV antibiotics; she never made it there. My husband caught him minutes after his water broke and he rushed out, and the midwife arrived 3-5 minutes later. Although I was positive (first time in 4 kids), we felt that there was a low risk, due to my short labor and lack of other risk factors. Before she went home, she gave us a list of things to watch for, just in case. In the back of my mind, I had a feeling that something wasn't right with him. Little did we know that the signs he was exhibiting were all signs of GBS. His hands and feet couldn't maintain their color. He made a funny "eh-eh-eh-eh" cry from the moment he was born. He spit up a little bit of yellow phlegm/mucous. Many of those signs could have been attributed to his rapid birth, as he was born in 3 pushes, but were, in fact, signs of his distress. By the time he was 8 hours old, it was quite obvious that he was not doing well. My husband had taken one of our other children to the urgent care center for bronchitis when my mother and I noticed that David's lips were blue, and his buttocks as well. He had a terribly full meconium diaper - fuller than I've ever experienced before. I called the family doctor and the midwife for advice, and ended up calling 911 because I knew something wasn't right. At 11 hours after his birth, he was rushed to the nearest Level III NICU, 15 minutes from our home. We spent several hours in the ER where the NICU staff worked feverishly to stabilize him. He kept declining. Even within 30 minutes, the NICU nurse practitioner knew it was grim. They were finally able to transfer him up to the actual NICU, where they settled me in a parents' room bed. They tried transferring him to Riley Children's Hospital to try ECMO, but he wasn't a candidate for that. He had already crashed once by this point, which is when I believe that we lost him, although they kept his body alive. Miraculously, his body was still alive the next morning, when I was able to go to him and hold him one last time. I also had to make the agonizing decision of when to pull him off all the drugs that were keeping his heart going and the ventilator that was keeping his lungs going. My baby died 30 hours after his birth due to overwhelming sepsis caused by GBS. The lab report came in 15 minutes before he died. It stated that it was an extremely rapid growing strain of very virulent GBS - there was no chance for my sweet baby, regardless of his place of birth. We were educated, informed, and had chosen to get the testing done. Somehow, he had gotten it in his amniotic sac, and he was a very sick baby before he ever came out.

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