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Sarah Grace's Story   — Sherry Collins, MS, USA

I gave birth to my daughter, Sarah Grace, in June 1996. At that time, they didn't require GBS testing. I didn't even know what it was. I was 37 weeks along and miserable. I asked the doctor if we could "strip" my membranes so the baby could be born soon. She agreed. One week after the procedure, my water broke. I had no contractions or any other signs of labor. We went to the hospital, where the doctor had me walk to facilitate labor. After 5 hours of walking, my first contractions began. After 15 hours of labor, the doctors told me I was running a fever. After a difficult three hours of pushing, my daughter was born. She had a high fever and was rushed away to the nursery. We were told that she had an infection and was receiving antibiotics. The first time we saw her, she was blue from the waist down! Her color was awful and she appeared very sickly. Even so, we were discharged 23 hours after delivery. Once at home, she cried day and night. She began having seizures, which the doctors could do nothing about. She had developmental delays and was diagnosed as autistic at 21 months of age. She continued to have periodic seizures until age 10 at which time she started having migraines. She is now 12 and in school. They assessed her as having Aspergers Syndrome. We now believe that what she experienced was GBS infection. I have since had two boys and was tested prior to delivery and found to be positive both times. They were delivered by C-section and are both healthy. However, even being GBS positive, the doctor didn't feel it was a big deal. I'm now very glad we scheduled our C-sections. (Note: According to the CDC C-sections do not prevent GBS infection although the risk for a planned C-section before the onset of labor and before rupture of membranes is extremely low. The Jesse Cause advocates having IV antibiotics to prevent GBS infection for at least 4 hours prior to the incision. ) Poor Sarah Grace will carry the scars for the rest of her life.

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