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Aidan's Story   — Allana Roberts, American, Overseas, Germany

When I went into labor, I went to the hospital I'd gone to four weeks before when I went into preterm labor. My water hadn't broken, but I had 4 mm of cervix left, and was hospitalized for 9 days. I "passed" all of their CTG exams without contractions, and was released! Subsequently, I saw my doctor every week. At one of these exams, I was tested for GBS and my test was negative. At 38w, the contractions returned, and persisted for about three days. They never regulated, so I didn't think much of it. My water broke when I was getting ready for work one morning, and my dear husband drove me to the hospital. Before I delivered my baby, I was tested again for GBS. Again, the test was negative. Aidan was born on 22 January 2009, just 6 lbs! I was very tired and sore after his birth, so I sent him to the nursery so I could get some rest. I felt hot, but from my previous stay I knew the hospital was hot and I didn't feel sick at all. The next morning, I still had a fever and was started on IV antibiotics as a precaution. Aidan was brought to me, and, while he was sleepy, he had alert times, too. He had a hard time latching on for breastfeeding, but I couldn't find help because my German isn't so good. They took me for a brutal pelvic exam, and tested me for GBS again. This time, the test was positive. No one explained how this happened, but I think I picked it up in the hospital while the delivery doctor went from room to room delivering babies. Aidan was lethargic, but it wasn't until the next day that he, too, was diagnosed with GBS. He was sent to the Kinderintensive unit (NICU) and put on antibiotics. He was so tiny-- they had to insert the IV into his head. It was difficult to see him and be unable to cuddle him. They caught it so early in him that he was discharged to the normal kinder unit within 18 hours. I discharged myself from the maternity ward so I could be with him in the kinder ward. (While they caught our GBS infections, they gave me NO instruction how to care for my sutures--no ice, no pain killers, NOTHING. They put my IV in the wrong place twice, and I wound up with phlebitis. My bedsheets weren't changed in 4 days. There was no sense in my being there as I could take better care of myself! It was so much better for both of us in the kinder unit because I could stay with him, even overnight. I had about six hours total with Aidan before he was taken to the NICU, and it wasn't until he was 4-5 days old that I could hold him again and actually *mother* him. We were in the hospital for a total of 13 days. If they'd sent us home with antibiotics, I wouldn't have known anything was wrong until it was too late. New moms, there's a difference between being tired and being lethargic because of GBS. Aidan was like a ragdoll when he was sick. Aidan's a normal three month old today. While I am grateful they diagnosed the infection in time, I will not have another baby in that hospital because I think we caught it there. I will demand antibiotics during birth of our next child, if/when we have one.

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