Teacher who had baby in classroom at Hainault school describes ‘surreal’ experience of shock birth
12:57 19 September 2013
Diane Krish-Veeramany cried out to God and said “thank-you” after colleagues delivered her baby in a classroom after she went into labour at work.
Diane, 30, was working up until the week she was due at Manford Primary School, in Manford Way, Hainault, when her contractions started unexpectedly on Thursday.
The lightning-speed labour lasted just 20 minutes and started just before 9am, minutes after she told colleagues she was feeling “queasy”.
Diane said: “My first labour lasted 13 hours so when I had the first contraction, I thought I had some time but he was in a hurry.
“I was trying to keep calm because I was with my friends and it kept going through my mind that I was at work.
“When you think about having a child, you just want to be in that private room with a midwife and a doctor that you’ll never have to see again.”
But Diane had no choice but to rush into an empty classroom with three teaching assistants.
Sam Mustafa, Dita Gojnovci and Chris Sword delivered the baby while taking instructions over the phone when they realised an ambulance was not going to make it in time.
Luckily, dad Vijaye Veeramany had already set off to pick up his wife and arrived just in time to see the birth their son Jonah, born at almost 9lb.
"When you think about having a child, you just want to be in that private room with a midwife and a doctor that you’ll never have to see again"
After using the towels hurriedly collected from around the school for the delivery, there was nothing left to wrap the little boy up in.
Dad Vijaye took off his shirt to swaddle Jonah and the ladies gave up their cardigans to keep him warm.
Incredibly, mum and baby got through the shock birth without difficulty, needing only a quick check-over at Queen’s Hospital in Romford afterwards.
But during the birth Diane began to worry if they would be alright without medical help.
She said: “You carry this child for nine months and you build your hopes up.
“It was only when I had him in my arms and I was holding him that it sunk in and I cried out to God to say thank you.
“I’m so grateful that he’s fine and I’m fine.”
Baby Jonah’s first presents were nappies and an outfit from a nearby shop and the school has now named the classroom he was born in “Jonah’s Room”.
Headteacher Tina Jacobs praised the work of her staff and paramedics.
She added: “Everyone has seen this sort of thing on the television before but you never dream it will happen in real life.”
Jonah is now having a less eventful time at home in Harold Wood with mum, dad and big brother Noah.
The story of his unexpected arrival has made headlines all over the world since the Recorder’s first report on Friday.