The mother who left a bloodied placenta, an umbilical cord, and forceps in a Mississauga, Ont. park, which incited a massive police search, is calling the incident a “misunderstanding” and says she was simply returning her afterbirth to nature.

On Monday afternoon, a passerby walking his dog discovered evidence of an apparent childbirth at Sugar Maple Woods Park. Out of concern for the safety of the mother and her baby, Peel Regional Police conducted a large-scale search of the area and released a notice to the public appealing for information about the case.

The next morning, Natasha Das Gupta received a call from her mother who told her: “I think your placenta is all over the news.”

The 27-year-old mother told CP24 she had given birth to her daughter at a home in Brampton, Ont. over a year ago. She said she kept everything from the birth, including the placenta and medical instruments, and stored them in a bag in her freezer.

After her daughter recently turned a year old, Das Gupta said she thought it was time to do something with the afterbirth.

“I wanted to do something really natural with it,” she explained. “I didn’t just want to throw it in the garbage and no, the compost bin was not a better choice. I really wanted to do something really beautiful and serene and just put something natural back into nature.”

On Friday evening, Das Gupta said she grabbed the Tupperware container containing her afterbirth from the freezer and walked to a nearby park.

“I went to the forest by myself and I found a good spot, you know, unassuming, nobody would find it, and I had it in Tupperware and I dumped it out somewhere secluded and packed up my plastic and headed off thinking that was it,” she said.

Das Gupta said she had nearly forgotten about it until she received the call from her mother on Tuesday morning.

“I was like ‘Oh my God,’” she said of her initial reaction.

At the urging of her friends and family, Das Gupta said she called police to let them know the placenta was hers and she and her baby were fine. She said she realized there were people out there who were probably really worried about her and her baby so she decided she should call the police.

Following her telephone conversation with the officer, Das Gupta said she went to the police station to testify on camera that she discarded of the afterbirth and to provide them with a DNA sample. She said they told her she could eventually have it back and do whatever she wants with it.

Das Gupta called the whole experience “surreal” and said she never imagined that something so private would become so public.

“It was just like the biggest misunderstanding of my life,” she said.