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Cooper's Story   — Ryanne Spaulding, VT, USA

When I was pregnant with my first son, Cooper, I tested negative for GBS. Unfortunately for our family it was a false negative. After a difficult labor and delivery, Cooper was born grey, cold and not breathing. He was taken immediately and intubated. As the doctors scrambled to find the cause of an uncomplicated full term baby, I was left in the dark, never given the chance to see or hold my baby. After I was stitched up and showered I was allowed to see him in the nursery. I was able to hold his hand as they drew blood. He was finally breathing on his own (barely). He was taken by ambulance to the closest neonatal unit in our area. Like many others it was about three days before I even knew what was wrong with my baby. The doctors gave me no guarantees as he was a very sick baby. We stayed at a local hospital house over the next two weeks while Cooper fought his illness. We were finally able to bring him home, but we needed to keep him on his oxygen. We were so excited to get him home nasal canula, oxygen tank and all. The next week was filled with sleepless nights waiting to hear if his oxygen monitor would alarm due to lack of oxygen. The first night there were about 8 alarms and they slowly decreased from there. He was off oxygen in less than two weeks!! Today Cooper is a healthy and very smart three year old who only suffers from vision difficulties. He has a very strong prescription for eye glasses that help and we couldn't be happier with him. I had my second baby and used the antibiotic treatment during labor and we had no complications from the GBS. All in all it was a happy ending and beginning for our family. My issue with the GBS testing is that they only test one time and they should at each two week visit toward the end of the pregnancy. Cooper's unfortunate beginning could have been prevented had we been tested more than once.

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