WARNING – GRAPHIC IMAGES Mel Bremner, 38, bent down to pick up shampoo while she was in the shower and her guts spilled out
This is the moment a new mum was left cradling her own intestines – after her c-section scar burst open five days following birth.
First-time mum Mel Bremner, 38, bent down to pick up the shampoo in the shower when she saw her guts spill out.
She hobbled to the sofa with the help of partner Aidan Johnson, 40, who covered her with a towel while the paramedics rushed to their home.
Mel – who admits she has a high pain threshold – posed for a photo while they waited, before being airlifted to hospital.
She shared the photo with parenting site ChannelMum.com in a bid to dispel the myth that c-sections are “easy” and encourage mums to heed advice to take it easy after the major surgery.
Brave Mel, a hotel waitress from Macduff, Aberdeenshire, said: “When I look at that photo I remember sitting there and my stomach and insides were literally in my hands.
“It was all gurgling around and moving. It was awful.
“I was sitting there thinking ‘oh my god I’m holding my intestines’.
“It was quite creepy.
“Everyone was asking me ‘what have you been doing?’ but I wasn’t doing anything I shouldn’t have – I was just having a shower.
“People think that c-section is the easy way out. It’s really not.
“It’s major surgery, but they don’t tell you that at the time. They just tell you ‘take it easy’ and away you go home.
“I think after giving birth you are sort of expected to get up and get on with it.
“People are always telling you to take it easy but you just say ‘I’m fine’.”
Mel had an emergency c-section on December 9, 2011, after she was overdue, and she wasn’t dilating despite medical intervention.
The procedure at Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin seemed to go smoothly, and she was soon home with daughter Nadie, and partner Aidan, an off-shore engineering consultant.
She said her surgery wound dressing was inspected before she left hospital, and she was deemed well enough to leave.
Her partner noticed two “white blobs” in the middle of the wound four days after the birth – now thought to be fat – but they didn’t suspect anything was wrong.
A day later she was in the shower when she bent down and the wound burst.
“I had only been in for a couple of minutes and I bent down to get the shampoo,” she said.
“I don’t remember if I felt it happen or saw it happen first, but my intestines were slipping out of my stomach.
“I put my hands underneath to catch it.
“I realised if I shouted out it would put pressure on my stomach, and that if I shout it will all fall out, so I was just trying to call out calmly to Aidan.”
He calmly led her from the shower to the sofa in the living room, propped up her feet and fetched a towel to cover her while calling for an ambulance.
She said the pair contemplated covering her with cling film, but waited for paramedics who then called the air ambulance to take her to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
“I don’t think the woman on the end of the phone believed him really,” she said.
“I was sat there holding my insides the whole time. I daren’t move my hands.”
She had surgery and after a couple of days in hospital was home again.
The couple said the c-section consultant later speculated he had cut the end of the thread too short while stitching her up, or not tied the knot tight enough.
Mel later had daughters Allie, now four, and Robyn, now three, by c-section, despite the traumatic experience with Nadie, now seven.
She added: “If Aidan had panicked I think I would have too, but he was brilliant and calm.”
A spokesperson for Dr Gray’s Hospital declined to comment.