Couple weds in maternity ward moments before baby’s miracle birth

Couple weds in maternity ward moments before baby’s miracle birth


 First comes love, then comes marriage … then comes baby, two hours later.  At least that’s how it went for ­Shantel and Jamison Espaillat, who wed in a hallway at Mount Sinai Hospital on the Upper East Side ­after they received news that their baby boy was coming unexpectedly early  The Washington Heights couple had been planning a City Hall wedding for Monday. Shantel, 22, had appointments to get her makeup and nails done that morning, but had to cancel after severe stomach pains sent her to the hospital  Doctors told her that she had a uterine infection that could lead to a premature membrane rupture Although she was only 29 weeks pregnant, Shantel needed to deliver the baby immediately  “I was scared,” she recalled. “Everything was happening so fast.”  “They were shocked to hear the decision to deliver, but they kept saying how important it was to them to be married before the baby was born,” said Dr Luciana Vieira, who delivered the baby.  “We made a promise to each other to be married before the baby came,” said Jamison, a 29-year-old bartender “I thought maybe there could be two blessings in one day.”  He quickly ran home to get the marriage license and rings, and the countdown clock was on  The Rev. Amy Strano, the hospital’s director of spiritual care, was ready.  “I said, ‘We’re going to make this work — we’re going to make it beautiful,’” Strano said “You could tell they really love each other and were ready to welcome the baby into their lives ”  Instead of the new white lace dress she had bought for the occasion, Shantel wore a plaid hospital gown Jamison donned white scrubs.  But there were plenty of traditional touches.  The hospital dispatched a medical student to pick up a rose bouquet and a boutonniere for Jamison, as well as sparkling cider and a ­berry-strewn coconut wedding cake (which Shantel couldn’t enjoy until after delivery)  Because the ceremony was so last-minute — and in a restricted area of the labor and delivery unit — none of Shantel’s or Jamison’s family and friends could make it But nurses, doctors and other staffers happily stood in as wedding guests.  A nurse snapped photographs  “We tried to make it as ceremonious as it could be,” said Dr. Vieira.  “It was like a movie,” Jamison recalled “It felt like it was only us in the room — it was powerful.”  The bride was just as happy “This is 100 percent better than City Hall,” said Shantel, a general manager at a gym “It was so much better than I expected,” Elias Sincere Espaillat was born via C-section two hours later, weighing in at two pounds, six ounces  As his due date was Sept. 2, baby Elias will likely remain in the hospital for another two to three months  Dr. Annemarie Stroustrup, the hospital’s assistant chief of newborn medicine, told The Post that Elias is doing well in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit  “The baby miraculously shows no signs of infection,” she said.  The Post was there Thursday when Shantel was allowed to take her son out of the incubator for the first time and hold him  “He feels so amazing and warm,” said the new mom, with tears in her eyes. “I don’t want to let him go ”  Although the newlyweds have now gone home, they’re still constantly at the hospital visiting Elias — and they’re treated as celebrities  “Everyone says, ‘Are you the couple who got married?’ ” said Shantel, adding, “I would never have thought I’d be married in a hospital, but I wouldn’t change a thing I can’t wait to tell our son our story.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *