Hospital Wedding

Sadie and Miles Huber in Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital where they were married earlier this week.

Not many people can say they got married and gave birth on the same day.

But that’s exactly what happened last week, when Sadie Huber was married in a room in Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital while going into labor.

The baby wasn’t supposed to come for another week. At 1 a.m., Wednesday Huber’s partner Miles flew into Bozeman from Hawaii, where he is in the Navy. An hour later, Huber began having contractions.

The couple never wanted an elaborate wedding, but they had planned on being officially married before the birth of their child, so on Wednesday morning they went to the Law and Justice Center to get a marriage license.

But the contractions were getting stronger and Huber couldn’t make it to the end of the application process.

“We were at the L&J filling out paperwork and I told him I had to go,” Huber said.

The pair headed to the hospital, where there were met by Brooke Cadwell, a midwife with Billings Clinic’s OB/GYN center, who had been seeing Huber during the last several months of her pregnancy.

Unbeknownst to Huber, Cadwell and her coworker Cassie Belzer knew about the attempted marriage and were hard at work securing a backup plan. Cadwell spent a few minutes online being ordained to officiate a wedding (a move approved by the hospital chaplain, who was off for the day), while Belzer rounded up some flowers, cupcakes, rings (another coworker makes jewelry as a hobby) and a guitar player who happened to be strumming in the hospital lobby.

“I said, ‘We need you for a wedding,’” Cadwell laughed. “He was a little bit dumbstruck.”

The midwife found a few readings and poems online, as well as the typical “Do you take this man” vows on Wikipedia.

“Everything just happened to fall into place, so I feel like it was meant to be,” Huber said. “There’s always unexpected things that happen in this job, but I never expected to be performing a wedding in a hospital.”

Huber’s first reaction when a stranger with a guitar walked into her room, followed by a plate of cupcakes and flowers, was one of surprise.

“It was a lot to take in at the moment because I was, you know, about to give birth,” the 24-year-old said.

But the pair’s relationship has been anything but normal, she added. The two met at Belgrade High School, dating for a few years before Miles graduated and went off to the Navy to work on submarines. Huber stayed in Belgrade (opening a coffee hut) before the two reconnected several years later.

So when Cadwell and Belzer coordinated a celebration and offered to officiate, it felt like a fitting way to tie up the couple’s relationship.

“We were like, screw it, let’s just do it,” Huber said.

The entire ceremony took all of five minutes, with Cadwell standing over Huber in her hospital bed, clutching a bouquet of flowers with Miles at her side.

“By the power vested in me by…” Cadwell said, squinting at her notes, “the Universal Life Church Ministries, I now pronounce you man and wife.”

“I figure if this midwife thing doesn’t work out, I can do that instead,” Cadwell later joked.

Then it was back to delivering a tiny human. Two hours after the ceremony, Evelyn Huber, weighing in at seven pounds, was pushed into the world.

Huber plans to spend the next few weeks recovering, before joining her now-husband in Hawaii, where he is currently stationed.

But she won’t ever forget the day in early May when she recorded two life milestones in just a few hours, or, for that matter, the nurses and midwives who helped make it all possible.

“It was amazing how they would go the extra mile for their patients,” Huber said. “I couldn’t ask for two better women to help me.”

“It was really special,” Cadwell added. “All of our patients are our friends, so it was almost like being present for your friend’s wedding and watching them have a baby in the same day.”

“It was a good day,” she said. “It was a super good day.”

Kendall can be reached at 406-582-2651 or lkendall@dailychronicle.com. He is on Twitter at @lewdak

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