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First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage - except the last two happened almost simultaneously for Liz Shlimon, who gave birth on her wedding day.
She and groom Mario Shlimon booked a registry office wedding for June 6, 11 days before their first baby was due. On Thursday, Liz's waters broke, but she was determined to go ahead as planned for the sake of her unborn child - "so she's got the right last name and everything".
The Tawa couple, aged 39 and 41, both married before, had planned to have a "proper" wedding this summer.
Liz's midwife told her the latest she could say "I do" was 7pm the next day, so the couple went ahead with their 2pm wedding. She went into labour while at the hairdresser that morning, and staff there timed contractions at 10 minutes apart.
"I was thinking, ‘Just hold on there, just hang on. I've got to get through'," she said.
The bride had to delay the ceremony by several minutes so she could breathe through a painful contraction. Another came right afterwards, but the wedding party decided to have a celebratory lunch before heading to hospital. Liz made it only halfway through the meal though.
"I couldn't sit down. The waiter was a bit concerned, he kept hanging around. He said ‘I hope you don't have the baby here'."
The couple were greeted at Wellington Hospital at 4pm, still in wedding attire, to applause and flowers from enthusiastic onlookers.
"It was overwhelming seeing them like that. It was awesome," Mario said.
Midwife Verity O'Connor had organised for all the hospital's hole-punchers to be emptied for confetti, which staff scattered over the couple. "It was just so exciting. It was really special, I'm still smiling about it," O'Connor said.
Liz shed her dress for a gown and was led to what O'Connor dubbed the "honeymoon suite".
"She had been wearing these precarious heels. I couldn't believe she'd managed to walk in them, in labour," O'Connor said.
Eva Alishwa Shlimon was born at 9.50pm.
"Apparently we provided some entertainment in the delivery suite, with other mothers asking if the bride had given birth yet in between their contractions," Liz said.
"I wish I'd had a little bit more time up our sleeve, but everybody just seems to be amazed by it."
- The Dominion Post
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