Group B Strep – Our Experience

Like all expectant parents, I started the journey with worry. I worried if I would miscarry, I worried if my baby would be born with a defect, I worried if something bad would show up on my 20 week scan, I worried if the labour would be awful. You name it, I can guarantee I worried about it!

However. One thing I didn’t worry about was Group B Strep. I mean to be honest, if you had mentioned this to me whilst pregnant, I would’ve stared at you blankly as I had absolutely no idea such thing existed. There are no routine tests, no information,  not even a mention of the words Group B Strep in a routine antenatal appointment, so why should I have known?

Oh how I wish I’d of known. I felt I had prepared myself with endless information about all kinds of problems, and I felt as though I knew enough so that if I did stumble across a problem, I would at least have known what was being spoken about.

So, when our baby (now 2 years old) came in November 2013, as beautiful and perfect as we had hoped and dreamed he would. We were beside ourselves with happiness, I think every new parent feels that overwhelming relief that their baby has come just as they’d hoped, the pride and joy you feel is just beyond any explanation.

Fast forward 2 weeks. Our nightmares were becoming apparent. Something was not right with our beautiful,tiny baby boy. He had woken me up at 6am for his usual feed, the only problem was, he would not take the bottle, maybe he just had wind? Maybe he wasn’t hungry and just needed a cuddle? I tried everything. My usual settled and content baby, was extremely distressed, he wouldn’t feed, he wouldn’t sleep, he just wouldn’t do anything. I even called for my mother in law to come over as by this point (around 12pm) I was at breaking point, I was all out of ideas, what was making my baby so distressed? I had checked his temperature and it seemed fine (however looking back now I feel this thermometer was inaccurate). My mother in law came, and we had both come to the conclusion that we thought he just had trapped wind and was a bit colicky. I had managed to get about 2oz’s of formula in him by this point, and my mother in law had managed to get him to sleep. Something did still not sit right with me, I really had a bad feeling, and this is when I decided enough was enough and phoned for an emergency doctors appointment.

As we sat waiting in the doctors surgery, Finlay had settled from the car journey, so was quite peaceful, and I began to wonder if I was just over reacting? Baring in mind our little one had still only drank 2oz in about 6 hours. As we sat down in the doctors office, I had explained all of the problems, to which the doctor didn’t say much, he then checked his temperature… 38.9!!!! This is when alarm bells started, and the panic set in, our baby boy was really quite unwell. The doctor phoned the hospital immediately and we were told to head there straight away. I honestly cannot explain to you what that car journey was like, the worry, the fear, the scenarios you play in your head. It was just so terrifying.

We had got ourselves into the children’s ward at the hospital and whilst waiting to see a paediatrician, we were asked to get a urine sample from Fin. This sounded much easier than it was. Why do little boys choose to piddle on you every other time but the actual time you need them to? We didn’t manage to get one, and by this point the paediatrician had come and explained to us that they would take some blood tests to try and establish whether Fin had an infection or not. My poor baby was prodded so many times, seeing them in pain is just so heart wrenching. A few hours later the paediatrician had returned. “I’m afraid Finlay has got some sort of infection going on, we will need to run some more tests, and he will need to be started on IV antibiotics straight away”. My heart sank. What was wrong? Was he going to be ok?

Over the course of the next few days Finlay underwent, more blood tests, injections, a lumber puncture, and a brain scan (he had began to have small seizures). It was the most terrifying experience for my entire family. The only thing I can be thankful about was that Finlay would be too young to remember any of it.

Eventually the diagnosis came.. Septicaemia caused by a bacterial infection called Group B Strep. We were told we had caught it extremely early, and had we left it longer, we could’ve been looking at meningitis. We had been very lucky in the grand scheme of things, Finlay continued on antibiotics and was released from hospital 8 days later and just a few days before Christmas.

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Would this have happened if I’d have known or been checked for GBS. To be honest i’m not sure. However I really do feel that if I had been checked and it had came up, precautions would’ve been put in place to try to prevent it. I cannot stress how important I feel it is to do the research on this, to make yourself aware of the symptoms in a baby. GBS will cause no symptoms in the mother and is completely harmless to her, but it can be life threatening to the baby. We were so so lucky. Many babies are not, it can leave them with brain damage, and future difficulties, in some cases even cause death.

I really wanted to write a post  to create some awareness of this awful infection, as we were personally affected by it. I really hope that one day some checks come in place to try and prevent this happening. Please click the link below for more information and the signs and symptoms from the Group B Strep Support website!

http://gbss.org.uk/who-we-are/about-gbs/what-is-gbs/for-pregnant-women/

I am so thankful that my Finlay is now a happy and healthy 2 year old!

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Chloe

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Have I failed at parenting?

 

There are so many unknowns when it comes to parenting. Nobody can prepare you for what lies ahead of you when you have that beautiful growing bump.

I had a very textbook pregnancy. No issues what so ever. I felt the glow, I had the beautiful bump, and in that time I thought to myself “I’ve got this”. Little did I anticipate that 2 years on I would be sitting here thinking to myself – I completely haven’t got this.

My eldest is now 2 years old, and we appear to have hit a phase commonly known as the ‘terrible twos’. Or is it? I have no idea, I am at a loss with this one, and thus comes the question have I failed? When my toddler is having the most epic of all meltdowns because I said no to him having a kinder egg, when my toddler has rapidly (and I mean rapid! How can those little legs go so fast?) run across the other side of what is probably the biggest Tesco in the UK despite asking him countless times to comeback, when my toddler will scream in a restaurant and then proceed to smear Bolognese throughout his hair and face until I can physically sit there no more. When you attend toddler group and everyone else’s toddler sits there so joyful following each instruction whilst you sit there tapping the bloomin’ wooden sticks together, singing a long, yet your toddler, yes yours, is across the room face flat on the floor. I cant help but wonder have I failed? Do all toddlers act this way? Is this my fault? The complete unknown.

Guilt swiftly follows these feelings. Like a massive slap in the face, the guilt will creep in because I’ve lost my temper for the 50th time in one day, because I haven’t played with him enough and maybe that’s all he wants? Because he’s now a big brother and I cant give him that attention like I used too, maybe that’s why he’s acting up a little? I just have no idea, but I can say that the unknown and guilt is a really horrible part of parenthood.

I am sure for all the bad days (which feel never ending at times) there are just as many, if not more good days. Parenthood, although scary at times, is the most rewarding and most beautiful thing I have ever had the privilege to experience. My two little boys are my world. Would I change them? Absolutely not. Some times I think us parents just need to hear we aren’t alone, and that we are doing a good job.

 

Chloe

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{The Ordinary Moments 16} #1 -Feeling Anxious

My very first Ordinary Moments post! I have been reading these posts on all different blogs and think they are such a wonderful idea.

I have been reading Katie’s Ordinary Moments posts for a while now, and they are so lovely to read, please go and have a read over at mummydaddyme They have given me real inspiration to start my own!

I have started this blog so that I can look back on such crucial and brilliant memories with my little family. Everyday there is something that makes me beam with happiness about being a mother, just the innocence of my little boy who wakes up every morning so ready to start his day, with such little care in the world. The innocence of just wanting to play, eat and laugh all day. A little boy who will wake up, forgetting if he got upset before he went to bed, or if mummy and daddy were a little grumpy the day before, or even if his baby brother perhaps had an unsettled day. He will always wake up so happy and ready for the day, and this really does humble me.

The holidays have been so amazing for us this year, with having a 2 year old who is becoming so aware of what is happening around him, and beginning to slightly understand the concept of Christmas which is so magical, however this year we have had our new little baby boy to share it with, and having them together for their first Christmas has been so special. We have had such a relaxing time, having days out with the family, have days in on our own, and staying round my in laws.

I absolutely love Christmas, not just for the kids, but this is the only time of year where, for 2 weeks my husband is home all the time. Going from having just one little one to look after to having two, is quite a big transition, and during the normal working weeks, I am on my own until about 6pm, which don’t get me wrong I can quite happily cope with, but it does make me feel quite anxious.

What if they both need something at the same time?  What if they cry at the same time? Which nappy do I change first? Who do I feed first?

I have done this 101 times already since Jacob was born in October, but as the end of my husbands holiday nears, these question just continue to go around in my head, and the anxiety builds.

Although our days together are very normal and probably seem somewhat boring to others. These are the days I absolutely cherish the most. Being on my own in the days with just the little ones, although I wouldn’t want it any other way, can be quite testing at times. Having my husband with me, creates a more stronger and patient character, someone who can deal with the crying coming from all corners of the room, and the conveyor belt of nappy changes. When he’s not here through the days, this becomes a more challenging ordeal.

For me, having my husband home in the days, being together, even if just to watch toy story with me for the 1000th time that same day, to juggle the two children between each other, to restore sanity with each other because our 2 year old and 3 month old have seemingly plotted to have the most epic meltdowns at the exact same time. To be a family.

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The most ordinary of moments.

Chloe

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A New Years Resolution

Just like any other year, I will make myself some new resolutions for the coming year.

However, I rarely (if ever!) follow through with these.

Cue.. My new blog!

I have wanted to start blogging for a while now, after reading them religiously through my two pregnancies, I find them quite comforting and reassuring.

I also love the idea of being able to keep this blog as a place where I can share my own experiences, and to look back on as my boys grow and the memories we have made. I am by no means an expert at this! In fact I have put it off for so long through being worried about what people would think but, I have made myself this promise and I am going to do it!

I am very excited to begin this little chapter, and document mine and my families lives!

Happy new year!

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Chloe

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