Love & Family

I Gave Birth On Our Big Day!

Hannah’s wedding day was interrupted by a very special delivery
  • Hannah Buckley-Thirkell, 27, from Townsville, Qld was eight months pregnant on her wedding day 
  • On the way to the ceremony, her stomach began to cramp
  • Soon later, her tiny wedding crasher arrived

Here Hannah tells her story in her own words.

Camping at Boggy Hole in the Northern Territory, my boyfriend of three years, Nathan, then 24, knelt down on one knee.

‘Will you marry me?’ he asked, smiling, as he pulled out a sparkling diamond ring from his pocket.

‘Yes!’ I said.

It was July 23, 2021, and I couldn’t wait to start planning our special day.

So in love, the time felt right to try for a baby too.

‘How cute would it be if our little one was at our wedding?’ I laughed to Nathan.

But after eight months, we decided to stop trying, as we were getting closer to our wedding date of April 15, 2023.

I wouldn’t want to have a big bump on our special day! I thought.

By April 2022, I’d picked out my gorgeous wedding dress – a long, white gown with beautiful embroidery.

Then one weekend that August, I felt out of sorts.

Nauseous and teary, I took a pregnancy test.

‘It’s positive!’ I showed Nathan on FaceTime while he was at work.

We were thrilled!

But doing the maths, we realised I’d be eight months pregnant and almost ready to pop by our wedding day.

‘So much for not being a bride with a big baby belly,’ I joked to Nathan.

It was risky timing, but looking back at my mum Angela’s pregnancies, she gave birth to me, my sister Emma and brother Shane after her due dates.

‘I reckon we’ll be fine,’ I said to Nathan.

Hannah Buckley-Thirkell wedding day
Our special day (Credit: Brooke Elaine Photography)

‘Ben would be joining us sooner than we’d thought…’

At 12 weeks I exchanged my dress for a stunning lacy white gown that’d fit my growing bump. And at my 14-week scan, we found out we were having a boy, who we’d already decided to name Benjamin. ‘This is amazing,’ Nathan said.

The night before our wedding, I was so excited.

I could feel little Ben kicking, keen to join us on his due date in two and a half weeks, May 2.

The next morning, I was getting my hair and make-up done at my house with my bridesmaids, Tayla, Chantal and Tiffany and my sister Emma. The girls clinked their mimosas while I drank orange juice.

Driving over to the ceremony at a beautiful farm that afternoon, my stomach began to cramp.

Ouch, I thought, cradling my bump. Maybe it’s just wedding jitters, I told myself, feeling nervous.

I didn’t tell the girls, as I wanted to keep everyone’s spirits high.

Meeting Nathan at the altar, I managed to grin through the cramps as we both said ‘I do’.

It’s probably just Braxton Hicks, I tried to convince myself, plastering on a smile.

But changing into another beautiful dress and heading to the reception at the same venue, I didn’t think I’d be up for much dancing.

As a joke, we’d decided I’d walk in to Salt-N-Pepa’s song ‘Push It’. But with the cramps increasing, it didn’t seem so funny now.

I wobbled over to the table and took my seat. At dinner, I barely touched my pizza and pasta.

‘Is everything okay?’ asked Nathan, concerned.

‘Just a bit of cramping,’ I said, putting on a brave face. ‘It’s probably nothing,’ I added, not wanting him to panic.

Although by now I was pretty sure baby Ben would be joining us sooner than we’d thought…

I wasn’t hunched over in agony, but the pain was quickly intensifying.

Popping outside so no-one could overhear me and fret, I rang the hospital.

‘I think I’m going into labour,’ I said to a midwife, adding I was at a wedding – and I was the bride!

‘What do you have left to go?’ she asked, once I’d told her my symptoms.

‘Just the cake,’ I said.

‘Come in straight after that and we’ll check out what’s going on,’ she said.

Back inside I told a very supportive Nathan what was happening.

So after cutting our white choc mud cake, and telling guests our tiny wedding crasher was on his way, I dashed for Mum’s car with Mum and Nathan.

‘Thank you so much for coming!’ I called out through contractions, as I waved goodbye to everyone around 7.30pm.

We arrived at the hospital about 30 minutes later, and the midwife found I was 10 centimetres dilated.

Hannah wedding baby Ben
The married couple’s newborn (Credit: Supplied.)

‘He didn’t want to miss the fun!’

By now, I was in much more pain.

The midwife was surprised I’d managed to get through the wedding.

‘You’re having this baby now,’ she said.

Rushed into the birthing suite, after two hours sweet baby Ben was born with a hearty cry at 10.20pm on our wedding day – April 15.

Amazingly, no pain relief was needed.

‘He’s perfect,’ Mum and Nathan beamed.

Holding my bub, I was over the moon. With the cutest button nose, he looked like a little doll. And thankfully, despite being early, he was perfect.

‘He didn’t want to miss the fun,’ the midwife joked.

‘He’s the best wedding gift ever,’ I said.

Discharged the next morning, we brought home our three-kilo bundle of joy.

Hannah wedding baby surprise
Nathan, Ben and Hannah (Credit: Brooke Elaine Photography)

Adapting to our life as parents – and newlyweds – has been incredible.

Making memories with Ben and watching him grow is so precious.

Our cheeky boy, now 10 months, loves giggling at his reflection and crawling around the house.

Who knew our wedding day could get even more special. It truly was a labour of love!

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