Allyson Felix Talks 'Traumatic Moment' When Separated from Daughter After Emergency C-Section

The Olympian recalls the difficult delivery of her daughter Camryn in a new episode of PEOPLE's Me Becoming Mom podcast

Allyson Felix
Photo: Allyson Felix

Allyson Felix is recalling a "traumatic" moment after she gave birth to her daughter.

On Thursday's episode of PEOPLE's podcast Me Becoming Mom, the 36-year-old athlete opens up about the difficult delivery of her daughter Camryn, now 3, during which Felix had an emergency cesarean section at 32 weeks pregnant.

Recounting the nerve-racking experience, Felix says her husband Kenneth Ferguson was able to go with her into the operating room where the couple had a "moment of prayer."

"They did the surgery. And I remember breaking down shortly after because they had to take Camryn away right away. And so I barely got to see her face," she tells host Zoë Ruderman, Head of Digital at PEOPLE.

"I remember there was this quick moment where they put her on my shoulder and I remember we had made the decision that my husband would go with her," she says. "And so I was talking with him for a second, I was like, 'I didn't get to see her face. I didn't really get to see it.' "

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"And it was this traumatic moment for me where I had imagined this skin-to-skin moment and this beautiful thing and it was like, okay, I just had a baby, but where is she? Is she okay? It just wasn't how I had imagined it to be," Felix recalls.

Elsewhere in the interview, the Olympian, who is currently involved in Anthem's Driving Our Health study, shares how she and Ferguson told her family that she had delivered eight weeks early.

"My husband made the phone call," says Felix. "Looking back and knowing everything … obviously, my mom was terrified and they just hopped on a plane."

"I think at that point I still didn't understand the seriousness of everything," she admits. "Talking to my brother after the fact, he explained that he didn't know if he was coming to see his niece be born or if his sister was gonna pass away."

Olympic moms
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The 12-episode weekly Me Becoming Mom podcast explores the various roads to motherhood through different interviews with both celebrity guests and experts in the field. Topics on the show include IVF, adoption, surrogacy, single parenthood, same-sex couples, home births, pregnancy loss, unexpected and surprising birth stories, among other subjects.

Guests on the show include Alyssa Milano, Hoda Kotb, Jillian Michaels, Shawn Johnson East and more.

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