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Jessica's baby   — JESSICA DAVIS, AZ, USA

I am a carrier of GBS. It was detected and treated with my first 2 children. With my 3rd child I went into preterm labor at 34 weeks. I tested positive for GBS this time also, except this time they tested twice and the second test was negative, so I was not treated with antibiotics. My daughter was born with an apgar score of 9 at birth. They took her to the NICU for observation because of her prematurity. The last time I saw her before she was taken to the NICU she was breathing fine. She was pink and crying, and looked as healthy as a newborn should. About 2 hours later the NICU phoned to let me know that she started having some trouble breathing, so they put her on oxygen through a nasal canula. At that point I started to get worried. When morning came and I went to see her in the NICU I wasn't prepared for what I was walking into. I had to scrub my hands before I could enter the actual room where she was, and, as I entered, there were about 5 nurses and 2 doctors all around her. When they saw me they told me that I had to leave and that I could not see her because they were intubating her. I started crying and I couldn't stop. I had no idea what they were doing or what had gone wrong. A nurse from the recovery suite arrived and wheeled me back to my room. A couples of hours later a doctor from the NICU came to explain to me what they did and why. He said the CPAP wasn't working so they stuck a tube down her throat so she could breathe. He added that I could see her now, but that she was on morphine for her pain and she was sleeping. Also, I wouldn't be able to hear her cry or hold her. The nurse took me back to the NICU so I could see her. When I walked up to her little incubator I could see tube after tube and hoses and beeping machines. Underneath all of that my little precious angel was lying there. I felt so useless at that point, unable to hold her and let her know that it was going to be all right and to let her feel the warmth and safeness of my arms. The only thing I could do was stand there and hold her little foot. After about 3 days on the ventilator, her right lung collapsed. They had to put a chest tube in her chest so she could breathe. The next day her other lung collapsed, so now she had two chest tubes. They switched her ventilator to one that would giver her 500 breaths a minute. It was the scariest thing I have ever seen. My poor baby's body was just vibrating from the force of the machine. I asked her doctor why all of this was happening and he explained that her X-rays showed she had what was called sepsis. It looks like shards of glass inside of her lungs which caused her breathing problems and her lungs to collapse. I asked if it could be because I had GBS with my first 2 children. The doctor just said, "Maybe." A week later her tubes finally came out and she was weaned to the CPAP thing again. During the two weeks my daughter had been in the NICU, she'd had two episodes where she had stopped breathing. So the doctors wanted to do an ultrasound of her brain to see if there was any bleeding. The ultrasound showed my daughter had a stage two (of a possible three stages) bleed in the "horns" of her brain. I asked the doctor if this meant she had suffered brain damage, but he could only say, "We have to wait and see." The doctors watched the bleeding for a few days and it didn't get worse, so they moved her over to the other side of the NICU where she finally got to start eating. After a week she had gained a pound and was weaned completely off of the oxygen and was able to go home. The day she was discharged from the hospital was the happiest and most wonderful day of my life.

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