​56-Year-Old Dies Suddenly After Giving Birth to Long-Awaited Twins

Lisa Swinton McLaughlin waited 10 years and endured dozens of fertility treatments because she wanted children so badly. The 56-year-old medical director for the American Red Cross in Baltimore was over the moon when she and her husband discovered they were going to have twins. And then the unthinkable happened: she died just a few days after giving birth to healthy boys Jordan and Dylan.


McLaughlin reportedly gave birth via Cesarean section on December 27 after having an uncomplicated pregnancy in which the only real issue she had was gestational diabetes, which her doctors were able to manage. She was on bed rest for one month prior to the birth, but her premature babies were born healthy.

As most of us moms know, doctors are adamant about ensuring we have a bowel movement after birth, particularly if a C-section is involved, before we are released from the hospital. McLaughlin reportedly had a "liquid bowel movement," but it was enough for the hospital to believe she could go home.

The new mom continued to experience stomach pains and looked bloated, according to her husband, Michael. She wasn't able to eat but was told by her doctor that she needed to walk more and drink more water. Sadly, this wasn't the solution. She died on January 4 of a bowel obstruction.

More from The Stir: Mother Dies from C-Section Complications After Delivering Twins

This story would be heartbreaking no matter who the victim is—but it truly hurts the heart to know this mom's dream was to have babies. Her 67-year-old husband said she did everything she was told to do during pregnancy and was the happiest he had ever seen her.

So many women out there can relate to her story. They are willing to do anything, spend anything, to conceive and couldn't care less about the risks involved in childbirth. In fact, most of us aren't even aware of the risks because the benefits of giving birth far outweigh the potential negatives.

I'm in no way trying to be a Debbie Downer, but facts are facts: an astounding 650 women die in the United States each year from pregnancy and delivery complications. In fact, the maternal death rate in the wealthiest country in the world is double what it was 25 years ago. The most common causes are hemorrhaging and diseases of the heart and blood vessels.

Few women talk about the dangers of pregnancy and birth, most likely because the desire to have a child isn't going to dissipate on the off-chance that something might happen. Think of it as one of the only risks in life we don't even think twice about taking.

Our hearts go out to this mom's sons and her husband, who is planning on raising his boys in Nebraska with the help of a nanny. Hoping they grow up understanding how much their mother loved them and wanted them to exist.

Did or do the risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth ever make you think twice about having children?


Image via Mamma Loves/Flickr

Read More >