Tummy tuck left mother's stomach muscles so tight it brought on premature labour
Laura O'Donnell, 28, from Wrexham, had a tummy tuck after gaining and losing weight after giving birth to her four older children, Shannon, now 10, Malachy, seven, Felicity, four, and Harvey, three.
She decided her family was complete, and travelled to Prague in 2009 for a tummy tuck to remove the excess skin.
She was delighted with her 'washboard stomach', but a year later, she discovered she was pregnant again. However she did not develop a bump and was in constant stomach pain.
Laura was told at 18 weeks that her unborn baby was in danger because her stomach muscles were too tight, forcing her baby to push against her right kidney. She was taken in for surgery, but after contracting a water infection, went into premature labour 10 weeks early.
Baby Blake was delivered by emergency casearean, weighing just 3lb, 13oz.
"My stomach muscles were too tight and they had been pushing Blake onto my kidney," says Laura. "Doctors warned there were risks to me and the baby from the anaesthetic, but we had no option. I just started getting contractions one day and I knew he was coming early.
"Blake almost died because of my tummy tuck. I could feel something tearing in my belly and I thought it was the stitches from the tummy tuck coming apart.
"Doctors decided a caesarean was the safest option.
I want to warn other women that having this surgery is very dangerous if there is still a chance of you having more children.
I don't blame anyone for what happened. I'm just so relieved Blake pulled through."
Blake spent four weeks in the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.To repay hospital staff for their efforts, Laura, who has been a part-time promotional model for 10 years, has created a calendar with the proceeds to be donated to the SCBU.
"The staff there were amazing, and I can't thank them enough," says Laura. "Blake might not have made it without them. This is my way of repaying them."
To buy a copy of the calendar for £12, visit Missyo.co.uk.