My beautiful Zachary,
You didn’t wait for your due date, you came at 38 weeks and 1 day. I was in labour for an hour and a half, had gas and air for pain relief and you were born in your water sack. You were here, all 4lbs 8ozs of you. A piece of the puzzle we had no idea was missing. Daddy and I felt our hearts expanding and filling with all the love we had for you. You were perfection, happy, healthy, beautiful and loved. We were so happy in that moment, that we never imagined that we would only get to keep you for ten days.
We spent a few days in hospital and you were okay. We went home, registered your birth, and all the usual things. Then when you were seven days old you got really ill. I was fobbed off as an inexperienced young mum. They wouldn’t listen to me. When they finally did listen, Daddy was giving you CPR and following the instructions mummy was being given on the phone.
Then came the first responder car, the ambulance, the hospital, the Children’s Acute Transport Service, Great Ormond Street Hospital, the tests, the news, the baptism, the goodbyes, the life support being turned off and the physical feeling of the pain of our hearts breaking.
I wrote a blog a while ago on our story of the late onset Group B Strep that caused meningitis and stole you from us, and you from your life. We lost you before we were even supposed to have you, you died on the 21st but your due date was the 24th.
We have had to do so much without you; we got married, went on honeymoon, where we had booked a room with a cot which we forgot to cancel, so we went in the room and it had been set up with you in mind. We bought a house and moved. We had your little brother, and then your little sister. We watched your brother start school and it was all new to us, but it shouldn’t have been because you should have done it the year before. Your little sister is at school now too. We moved house again, 300 miles away up to Northumberland.
We should be the proud owners of a ten year old. We have celebrated your birthdays, your siblings pick a cake, they buy a card and a toy to go next to your photo. Your little brother and sister know of you, they ask questions, look at photos and wonder what you would be like.
We see how Lewis and Ziva have bonded and grown together and we know in our hearts that you three would have slotted together perfectly if you had been given the chance.
We will never get over the fact that more awareness raising, a simple swab test and some antibiotics would mean that you would still be here with us today. On the year you would have been five, Daddy did five big runs to raise awareness and money for Group B Strep Support and the Children’s Acute Transport Service and of course, in memory of you.
We all love and miss you Zachary Stephen Glyn Herbie Ilott – 11/1/08 14:25 – 21/1/08 19:50.
‘God remembers the crown of the valley and the illustrious warrior’.
We held you in our arms for a little while, but in our hearts forever.
Group B Strep is found in the gut flora of around one third of the population and around one quarter of women have GBS present in their vagina. If it’s been detected during your current pregnancy, you should be offered intravenous antibiotics in labour. These massively reduce the risk of your newborn baby developing a group B Strep infection. They do not reduce late-onset GBS infection. Researchers are working on developing a vaccine that will one day prevent almost all GBS infection in babies.