I was a nervous wreck. It was week 38 of my pregnancy and I had a level of anxiety I’d not been introduced to before. Body trembling, blank stare, silent tear anxiety. And I had no idea what to do about it. And my husband didn’t know what to do with me. Ha.
Fear was my main source of anxiety, fear of making the wrong decision. I don’t know if you know this but pregnancy hormones can cause some women to have bacterial, gut flora issues. I was one of those women. You name it, I had it and it didn’t matter how many probiotics I took or how many spoonfuls of apple cider vinegar, liquid chlorophyll or coconut oil I ingested. My body didn’t seem to take into account that I gave up sugar and white carbs weeks ago. I was destined to have these issues.
One of the many bacterial infections I had was something called Group B Strep (GBS). It’s a “bad” bacteria that is a part of normal gut flora but sometimes in pregnancy it colonizes within the vagina and takes over the “good” bacteria. There are no symptoms and it happens to 10-30% of pregnant women, so in general it doesn’t seem like a big deal, except the baby coming through the birth canal can’t handle the bad bacteria. The CDC recommends that you have antibiotics via IV every 4 hours during labor so that the bad bacteria and…the good bacteria is annihilated and the baby will not be harmed. if the baby DOES get GBS bacteria in their system it is extremely dangerous.
My husband is very into statistics, reason and logic… so he was quick to point out that the chances of the baby getting GBS are extremely low. The trouble is… I had been told by a friend that her friend’s baby died of GBS 24 hours after he was born. I was also being told by the head midwife that I couldn’t have an IV drip of antibiotics at my homebirth and that they offer an antibacterial wash every 6 hours, which is standard practice in Europe. The other two midwives at the practice decided to order me antibiotics behind the head midwife’s back which also stressed me out. I love researching alternative medicine, natural options but I also value medical advances and science. So I find myself straddling the two world’s and that includes several groups of people I respect and admire whispering two different things in my ear.
I hate how my body reacts to antibiotics. I hated the idea of an IV drip during my “natural” homebirth. I hated the thought of flushing out all my good bacteria and exposing my son to antibiotics upon first breath. I was concerned that my son may be allergic to antibiotics because my mother and grandmother are. I was concerned that an antibacterial wash may not be enough. Or maybe it was perfect. How was I to know? How could I make the best decision? What if my baby died??? Ugh. That was mostly what played over and over in my head and I could not bare the thought. It tortured me. I was a mess.
My resolve was this… keep testing for GBS and keep eating things that would help balance the gut flora. I tested positive, then negative. I told myself if I tested negative one more time and the water didn’t break early (an added risk), I’d do the bacterial wash. Otherwise, I’d do the antibiotics via IV. Final answer? Sure. It had to be. I was slowly losing my mind.
Again, apparently this is not a big deal to most women but it sent me over the edge. In reality, I think I was just beginning to wrap my mind around the weight of a little tiny life in my hands and all the what ifs that come with that. Once I made the 2 part decision, I let go. Again. I now see that it was never about the GBS but rather a journey into becoming a mother, a protector.
Next up… ‘The Birth’. 🙂
And then, ‘The First Month’. No this isn’t a mom blog now. But this is a personal blog and this journey, his journey is worth documenting.
Love to you,