Couple Gets Married in Hospital, Then Become Parents in 30 Seconds

Michael Gallardo and Marie Margaritondo welcomed their baby just seconds after getting married.
And baby makes three. Michael Gallardo

The New Jersey couple thought they had plenty of time to get married.

Two of the biggest events in the lives of Michael Gallardo and Marie Margaritondo happened within 30 seconds of each other. 

They got married. Then they had a baby

The New Jersey couple thought they had plenty of time to get hitched. Their baby wasn't due for three weeks. They had just moved into a new house. There were unpacked boxes and contractors everywhere. 

It was Memorial Day weekend. They were getting married on Wednesday. 

But their son's entrance to the world preempted the planned ceremony. Gallardo was away from the house when Margaritondo called his cell. "She told me her water broke," Gallardo told Monday. "I thought she was kidding. Ha ha."

She was dead serious. So Gallardo rushed home, picked up his wife and headed for the hospital.

"As soon as we got in, they gave us all these forms," he said. Then it was explained to them that because they weren't husband and wife, Gallardo couldn't legally make any life-saving decisions for her. Gallardo panicked. "Is there any way we could get married now?" he asked the staff.

The doctor said, "We're going into the operating room in 10 minutes," Gallardo recounted.

The nurses sprang into action. One went running to find a chaplain. Another got on a computer to see if she could become a minister online. A third ran outside to the hospital's garden and picked flowers for a bouquet. "For them to go to all that effort is pretty amazing," said Gallardo.

The first nurse came back with not one but two chaplains. The couple's mothers arrived in time to watch their children get married — and meet their grandson. 

Gallardo had the marriage license in his car because he'd just picked it up a few days before.

"It was so beautiful," said the new dad and husband. "We had our mothers, we had each other, we even had music," in the form of Mozart playing over a cellphone.

Then Gallardo heard, "You may kiss the bride." As soon as his lips left hers, "the doctor said, 'We're going into the operating room.'''

There, he performed an emergency c-section and removed baby Michael, whom he handed over to the new parents. "Everyone is fine and everyone is happy," Gallardo said.

The couple had decided to focus on getting pregnant before their wedding because of their ages — he's 45, she's 44. Doctors told them they had a 3-5% chance of creating a child because they were in their 40s. 

"By some miracle," he said, "we got pregnant."

It was not without problems, however. "It was a high-risk pregnancy," Gallardo said. "She spent a lot of time on bed rest."

Despite arriving early, their baby is doing well. 

"We're kind of on cloud nine," said Gallardo. "I think we're both in shock."