Jennifer Petrie and her husband Theo Martins were shocked when their son’s birth turned out to be a rare mermaid birth, which midwives had never seen before.
Rio Petrie Martins, a boy, was born to this new mother on Thursday, December 16.
Jennifer told the ECHO that she was confused after going into labour but not feeling her waters break.
Jennifer and her husband, 32, traveled from Southport to Ormskirk Hospital where she gave birth in a birthing pool.
Jennifer said: “My water never broke.”. The amniotic sac, where water leaks out during labour, never broke, which is very rare. When the baby was born, he was still enclosed in the balloon.
“Almost as if he was born in a water balloon. During the water birth, the amniotic sac with the baby inside gushed into the pool intact. He appeared to be enclosed in a cocoon. As soon as he was picked up, it burst and he was born.
“Most midwives have never seen that in their career because it’s such a rare occurrence. It was amazing for the midwives who were there. It’s just so rare that many people don’t see it.”
Her husband said: “One of the midwives had seen it before, but the others hadn’t. They said it was one in close to 100,000.”
The couple viewed the rare event as a sign of good fortune, since the birth did not have any complications and Jennifer did not require pain medication.
An en caul birth, sometimes called a mermaid birth, is said to happen roughly every 80,000 births.
According to Jennifer, it made the event more magical because everyone was in awe of what was happening and people were saying how lucky it was and how great it was.
The fact that it was our firstborn child made it even more magical and exciting, especially with the fuss. It was wonderful.”