Your health: i gave it to him!

Laura Pol­lard, 23, from Liver­pool, dis­cov­ered her new­born had a nasty in­fec­tion...

Pick Me Up! - - CONTENTS -

Even in my daze, I just couldn’t take my eyes off of my baby. It was 17 De­cem­ber last year and Joshua was just 3 hours old. My part­ner Gary, 24, and my mum Anita, 46, were with us, and I was ex­hausted and drowsy from med­i­ca­tion.

I couldn’t wait for our first fam­ily fes­tiv­i­ties at home. I’d got Joshua an elf out­fit and per­son­alised baubles say­ing, Joshua’s First Christ­mas.

In my weary state, I hadn’t no­ticed that Joshua was mak­ing grunt­ing sounds.

But Mum and Gary had. Gary rushed to get the nurse and Joshua was whisked to In­ten­sive Care.

‘There’s a prob­lem with his breath­ing,’ Gary told me. But he’d been fine ear­lier! When I saw him hours later,

he was in an in­cu­ba­tor – wires at­tached to his tiny body, gravely ill with pneu­mo­nia and sep­sis.

Joshua was given an­tibi­otics and a blood trans­fu­sion, while doc­tors ran fur­ther tests.

I was sur­rounded by mums and new­borns, but I couldn’t have my baby with me.

He had a high tem­per­a­ture, and con­ges­tion on his chest.

‘His ill­ness was caused by a group B strep in­fec­tion,’ a doctor ex­plained to us.

It is a type of bac­te­ria car­ried by some adults, usu­ally harm­less to the hu­man body.

Though rare, in some cases the bac­te­ria can be a prob­lem for preg­nant women if passed to their baby, lead­ing to longterm dis­abil­ity, or even death, if not treated im­me­di­ately. ‘I gave it to him!’ I cried. ‘It’s not your fault,’ Gary said. Later, af­ter I’d left a message for my mid­wife, she called me back, sound­ing fran­tic. ‘I’m so sorry,’ she said. It turned out the bac­te­ria had shown in my urine test at 36 weeks, but the re­sults had never been flagged.

If they had been, the doc­tors could have made prepa­ra­tions for the birth. I wasn’t an­gry, just wanted my baby to get bet­ter.

Joshua stayed in hos­pi­tal until he’d fin­ished his two-week course of an­tibi­otics, and the doc­tors dealt with his in­fec­tion and got him breath­ing on his own.

He wouldn’t be home for his first Christ­mas af­ter all… heart break­ing.

So, on 25 De­cem­ber, in­stead of un­wrap­ping gifts by the tree, Gary and I made our way to the hos­pi­tal.

Now Joshua was no longer on a breath­ing machine, I dressed him in a sleep­suit, Santa hat and elf shoes!

We put up cards and sang We Wish You a Merry Christ­mas to him.

And our fam­i­lies popped in, too.

Slowly but surely, the an­tibi­otics worked their magic and he came home on New Year’s Eve. En­er­getic Joshua is climb­ing on ev­ery­thing in sight now!

If it wasn’t for Gary and my mum, Joshua’s in­fec­tion may have been missed and he might not even be here for his first proper fam­ily Christ­mas…

I dressed him in a sleep­suit, santa hat and elf shoes!

Fes­tive Joshua in hos­pi­tal last year

He’s a star! My boy re­cently

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