A mother has advised parents to carefully consider sterilisation after her baby girl tragically died just two months after having tubal ligation surgery.
Mum-of-two, Katherine Lawson, 27, from Perth, had decided to have the operation right after her caesarean section as she and her partner, Ben felt their family was complete.
Ms Lawson gave birth to baby Imogen on February 23 and while she was still on the operating table, doctors performed the second surgery. However, during the operation, Ms Lawson did not know that her baby girl was dying.
Ms Lawson told Daily Mail Australia that the birth and C-section went well, but she noticed that doctors were spending ‘quite a bit of time’ with Imogen but when she and Ben asked if anything was wrong, they were reassured. “They said they thought she might have a bit of fluid still in her lungs so they took her upstairs and that wasn’t a problem at all. But after they had finished and I was wheeled into recovery we still hadn’t heard anything so Ben went upstairs to see what was going on… that’s when he saw how bad everything was. Imogen had been intubated and had a chest drain in because her lungs had collapsed. Ben came downstairs and told doctors I needed to get up there immediately,” she said.
However, as Ms Lawson was wheeled in, doctors were also wheeling Imogen out to transfer her to another hospital. At this point, the couple knew how sick Imogen was, but doctors were as confused as they were as to why this happened.
The following day, Ms Lawson visited Imogen who was in the Neonative Intensive Care Unit at Princess Margaret Hospital. She said that Imogen was being kept alive with ventilation machines and medications and doctors told her that her daughter had pulmonary hypertension. “It was shocking to see her like that. The first two weeks were touch and go so we couldn’t touch her. I got my first cuddle at 2.5 weeks,” she said.
Imogen showed signs of improvement, but doctors decided to give her a tracheostomy operation when she was around one month and two weeks, to give her a safer airway. Yet despite this, she soon needed to be ventilated again and tragically died on May 6.
Imogen passed away due to idiopathic pulmonary hypertension, but doctors are still uncertain why and how it occurred.
Ms Lawson hopes that by sharing her story, other parents may consider their options before opting to have their tubes tied shortly after birth.
“I would never ever recommend that anybody do it immediately after having a child, you need to recover.
“It’s a permanent thing and it’s human nature to want what you can’t have. Nothing is permanent… how you feel at that very moment isn’t how you might feel in six to 12 months. Don’t take options away from yourself,” she said.
Ms Lawson and her partner have considered having another child, but are waiting until February to make a decision. “We have looked into it. It won’t be anytime soon but I needed to know what options were available. At this stage, my options are tubal reversal or IVF,’ she explained.