Ashley and Zachary Thompson had planned to get married with a low-key courthouse ceremony on Oct. 10, one month before the couple expected to celebrate the birth of their son. But baby Jack, it seems, did not want to miss the party, arriving just a few days before his parents intended to say “I do.”
Thanks to a BWH nurse, Ashley and Zack were still able to say their vows on Oct. 10, albeit in an unanticipated setting – the Brigham’s NICU – and with a very special “best man” in their arms.
Shortly before Ashley’s C-section on Oct. 6, Matt Medina, MSN, RNC-OB/EFM, a nurse in the Center for Labor and Delivery, learned about the engaged couple’s situation. Medina, who is also a lay minister, offered to perform the ceremony before their son was born, but the couple had not yet obtained their marriage license.
On Oct. 10, Medina was in a nurse midwifery class in Springfield when he received a text message from the Labor and Delivery nurse-in-charge that Ashley and Zack had their marriage license and wanted Medina to officiate the ceremony that day.
In between an exam and his other classes, Medina was in contact with staff from the NICU, Spiritual Care Services and the Center for Patients and Families to ensure everything was ready for the celebration.
That evening, the couple and Medina gathered in Jack’s room in the NICU, which was decorated for the occasion by NICU nurses. Holding her newborn son in one arm, Ashley joined hands with Zack as Medina pronounced them husband and wife.
“I’m so excited to have been connected to you both during the unexpected delivery of this handsome little man,” said Medina during the ceremony. “Our meeting and our connection is a perfect reminder to cherish and savor those serendipitous moments that come up. As your love grows, remember to follow these moments that will write the story of your life. Spontaneity is one of the many seeds of a strong marriage.”
Suzanne Fernandes, MSN, RN, nurse director of the Growth and Development Unit and Special Care Nursery, noted that the ceremony would not have been possible without Medina going above and beyond for the couple.
“Not only did Matt help bring Jack into the world, but he also united his parents in marriage. It was beyond the call of duty and exemplified the true art of nursing,” she said.
Ashley described the experience as unforgettable, thanking Medina and the Brigham for “helping our dreams come true” as a family.
“Being able to hold Jack in our arms as Zack and I committed to forever together was something so unbelievably special,” she said. “It’s a moment we will cherish for the rest of our lives.”