If you'd told me a year ago that I would be invited to speak at the House of Commons, I don't think I would have believed you - but a few months ago, I had a phone call asking me to do just that.
As most of you know, because of what we have been through (and continue to go through) with Adam, I am a passionate supporter of Group B Strep Support or GBSS, the amazing charity run by Jane Plumb, who campaigns for the introduction of routine GBS testing for pregnant women and for better education and awareness of the infection. Jane founded the charity back in 1996 after one of her children died as a result of a GBS infection and has recently been given an MBE by the Queen in recognition of her continuing work on behalf of babies and their families.
At the moment, the policy on GBS testing is being reconsidered and as a result of the report due out this month, Jane is organizing a lunchtime reception, hosted by Alison Seabeck M.P. at the House of Commons on 28th June. In addition to the medical information given by Prof Philip Steer on GBS, Jane wanted a parent with direct experience of a GBS infection to share their experiences. So, she has asked me to share Adam's story in an effort to put a human face on this devastating condition.
Although I've known about this for a couple of months, I couldn't say much about it until the event was organized and public but I've now been given permission to share. To say that I'm amazed, honoured and more than a bit intimidated to be speaking in such a location would be a bit of an understatement! So at the moment, around essays, I'm trying write my speech in a way that shares Adam's story briefly but captures the essence of what the lack of GBS testing has cost Adam and our family. The only problem is that at the moment, every time I read aloud what I've written, I start crying! Hopefully lots of practice and editing will help that.
I'd be grateful for your thoughts and prayers both as I write the speech and also on the 28th itself when I'm reasonably confident that I'll be a bundle of nerves!
(Thank you for the honour Jane - I hope what I ultimately share will help the cause and protect babies in the future. :-)