Doctors deny mom's tubal ligation

Tarrah Seymour and her husband Adam Sylvester smile at their one-year-old boy Princeton. Tarrah...

Tarrah Seymour and her husband Adam Sylvester smile at their one-year-old boy Princeton. Tarrah wants her tubes tied but doctors say she’s too young. (Sun Media/Michael Peake)

MICHELE MANDEL

, Last Updated: 5:01 PM ET

BRAMPTON -- Tarrah Seymour and her husband, Adam Sylvester, met at Mohawk College and it was practically love at first sight.

"She was actually the first person I met, I met her on orientation day," recalls Sylvester, his face creasing into a shy smile as they sit together at their kitchen table. "I was actually nervous to talk to her."

But two years later, they were a couple graduating together from police foundations training, a step closer to their mutual dream of becoming police officers, and about to welcome their precious son, Princeton.

The adorable toddler recently celebrated his first birthday with family and friends and the bubbly little boy is now happily motoring around the kitchen, climbing into whatever lap is available, while his parents look on with pride.

They are decidedly young -- she's just 21, he's 23 -- but it is obvious that they are focused and determined to create a good life for themselves and their growing family. Seymour is five months pregnant with their second baby, and while her family wasn't thrilled with her early parenthood, she always knew she wanted to have her children early and Sylvester agreed. "I want to be young with them," he says. "I want to run in the park with them, stuff like that."

They also knew that with two children, their family would be complete. "I'd like one boy and one girl," Sylvester smiles, "but whatever I'm given I'll be happy with."

Limiting themselves to two kids would allow them to shower both with the advantages they hope to give them -- from outings to the zoo to one day, college educations.

"I'd like him to go to his namesake one day," Seymour says with a laugh, as Princeton toddles away with one of his favourite books. "That would be very nice."

With so many dreams and plans, they seem an incredibly smart and maturely responsible couple who have thought carefully about their future.

They just never imagined their obstetrician would stand in their way.

They live with his mother while he works in loss prevention at a grocery store and she lifeguards, saving their money to buy their own home one day.

Their plan is this: After the baby is born, Seymour will begin her career in law enforcement while her husband stays home with the kids. Once they're old enough for daycare, Sylvester will rejoin the workforce, hopefully with York or Peel police.

'I WON'T DO IT'

To ensure things unfold as they should, they asked her obstetrician to tie her tubes during her planned Caesarean section in October so they won't have any more kids.

"No, I won't do it," Dr. Kayode Ayodele told her unequivocally. "You're too young."

A tubal ligation was simply not even open for discussion. He told her that she might get involved with someone else down the road and regret her decision. He told her it's a permanent sterilization method and he's had so many patients wanting it reversed, that he won't even consider performing one now on any woman under 25.

Seymour and Sylvester were shocked.

"I don't really understand," her husband says. "I thought it would be our decision to make, not somebody else's, about what we can and cannot do."

Seymour resented being treated as if she weren't old enough to know what she was doing. She's a married college graduate and mother; she's weighed the ramifications and decided, with her husband, that this is what she wants.

Surely women should have the right to a tubal ligation if they choose. How can a doctor refuse?

"We were mad, we were mad, definitely," she explains. "We know what we want in life: we want two kids and then we want to start our careers. We had logical reasons behind it. He should have listened and respected that."

Reached in his waiting room filled with pregnant patients, Ayodele said he wouldn't comment on his decision.

Seymour's family doctor was not surprised by the obstetrician's refusal. He warned her that while he would keep looking, he doubted he would be able to find any ob/gyn willing to perform the procedure.

There are no age guidelines for tubal ligations, according to the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, but their Canadian Conception Consensus does note that 14 years later, 20% of women sterilized before age 30 expressed regret in a survey, compared to 6% of those who were over 30.

Seymour, though, insists she knows what she is doing.

"I thought we could make our own decision, with some guidance, not have the decision made for us," she says. They've been told to use birth control -- but that's not a 100% solution. Her husband is less than keen on a vasectomy.

To them, it just made sense to have her tubes tied while she was already on the table for her c-section.

But it seems no one will do it.

"I don't believe in abortion, I never have," Seymour insists. "If something were to happen, I'd be forced to do something I don't believe in. It doesn't make any sense."

None at all.

READ MANDEL EVERY THURSDAY, FRIDAY AND SUNDAY. MICHELE.MANDEL@SUNMEDIA.CA OR 416-947-2231


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