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Emily's story   — Michelle Marshall, Yorkshire, England

Emily was born at 38 weeks due to me being induced because of pre-eclampsia. The delivery was normal and she was laid in my arms. She never let out a real cry, but made grunty noises. Almost an hour after her delivery whilst her daddy cuddled her, her lips began to go blue. The doctors told us it would be best if they took her to SBCU so they could suction out her airways to clear them. Four hours later we still hadn't been allowed to go see her again. A senior doctor from the unit came down to the ward where he told us Emily was doing extremely poorly, and at this point had a 50/50 chance of surviving. They didn't know exactly what was wrong with her, but when they had suctioned she had hemorrhaged into her lungs and was requiring maximum ventilation. When we were allowed to see her we were shocked at how things had changed so fast from us cuddling her any everyone being calm to her life being on the line with doctors and nurses dashing around for her. She was transferred to Sheffield where they were more equipped, but she was getting worse. The doctor there said she was doing as poorly as a baby could get as septicemia was taking over her body and asked us to decide whether to 'let her go', which we decided would be kindest thing to do for her. Our beautiful baby girl died aged 13 hours. The post mortem showed the cause to be GBS. Thirteen months later I gave birth to Josh who was born in 18 minutess at 31 weeks so there was never time for me to get antibiotics. Josh was put straight on them in SCBU and is now a thriving 3 year old. Then, in February 2007, I gave birth to Elijah at 32 weeks, but this time I did get the antibiotics. He was born with pneumococcal disease which I believe is another strain of strep, but thankfully due to a fantastic team of doctors he's absolutely fine! My consultant mentioned the cause of the preterm labours COULD have been because of group B strep, but he would never be able to say for sure.

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