The plan was for Michael Gallardo and Marie Margaritondo to get married in an intimate ceremony weeks before their first baby was due. Instead, Margaritondo's water broke last month, three weeks early and just days before the planned wedding, sending the New Jersey couple to the hospital to welcome the little boy earlier than expected. And in order to avoid having to list Gallardo as "fiance" on the baby's birth certificate, they made a quick decision: get married in the hospital, since they had already procured their marriage license. As NBC New York reports, the wedding ended up finalized seconds before Margaritondo was taken into an operating room for a C-section. Mom and baby are doing fine nearly a month later.
"And I said, 'Is there any way somebody can marry us like now before we give birth,'" Gallardo recalls to News 12 New Jersey. "Everyone was incredible," he adds of the staff that sprang into action. "The nurses were scrambling—one was trying to get ordained online, one went outside and picked flowers for a bouquet, others were monitoring Marie and the baby’s vitals." Ultimately, an on-call chaplain performed the ceremony, for which vows were exchanged and the mothers of both bride and groom were present. Gallardo kissed his new wife, and "less than a minute" later she was taken into the operating room, he says. Michael Preston Gallardo was born seven hours later. Gallardo calls him the couple's miracle baby; since dad is 45 and mom is 44, "It kind of put everything in reverse" after the couple got engaged about a year ago, he tells NJ.com. "We got engaged, and then tried to get the baby and then do the ceremony." (Read more uplifting news stories.)