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Midwives and mother alike were left “sʜᴏᴄᴋᴇᴅ” after a rare “one in 100,000 mermaid birth” where it looked like the child was “born in a water balloon.”
The strange spectacle took place in Ormskirk Hospital in Lancashire on Thursday, December 16, with Jennifer Petrie welcoming healthy baby boy Rio Petrie Martins. Jennifer’s ᴀᴍɴɪᴏᴛɪᴄ sᴀᴄᴋ didn’t burst, meaning that it looked like Rio was enclosed in a “water balloon” or “cocoon” when he arrived. This form of birth, known as an en caul birth and sometimes referred to as a ‘mermaid birth’, is said to happen roughly every one in 80,000 to 100,000 births.
Jennifer, from nearby Southport, was welcoming her first child with her boyfriend Theo Martins. Jennifer said she was confused after going into labour but not feeling her ᴡᴀᴛᴇʀs ʙʀᴇᴀᴋ.
Jennifer, who gave birth in a birthing pool, said: “Basically, my water never ʙʀᴏᴋᴇ. The ᴀᴍɴɪᴏᴛɪᴄ sᴀᴄᴋ where the water gushes out when you’re in labour never ʙʀᴏᴋᴇ which is quite rare to happen. When the baby was born he was still encased in the balloon. It almost looked like he was born in a water balloon. It was a water birth so the ᴀᴍɴɪᴏᴛɪᴄ sᴀᴄᴋ with the baby inside gushed into the pool still intact. He looked like [he was in] a cocoon. It only burst when he was picked up and then he was birthed and out of it. The midwives were amazed because they were saying a lot of midwives don’t ever see it in their career because it’s such a rare thing to happen. The midwives that were there were like ‘oh my god this is amazing’. It’s just so rare that a lot of people don’t see it.”
The couple saw the rare event as a sign of good luck, with the birth having no ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs and Jennifer not needing any ᴘᴀɪɴ ʀᴇʟɪᴇF.
Jennifer said: “I feel as though it made it more magical because everyone was a lot more in awe of what was going on and people were saying how lucky it was and how amazing it was. It’s our firstborn child as well so it kind of made it a lot more magical and exciting, especially with the Fᴜss that was being caused over it. It was really nice.”