WHEN she woke up on the morning of her wedding day, Jena Carolus felt more than just butterflies in her bulging belly. But she tried ignoring the increasing pain because in just a few hours she’d be heading down the aisle.
Jena (31) was nine months pregnant but doctors told her the baby she was having with her fiancé, Selwyn (35), wasn’t due for another week.
The bride didn’t breathe a word to anyone and carried on with preparations as they’d planned. First, she’d pick up her wedding gown, then head over to the salon to have her hair done. Little did she know her plans would soon be derailed in a big way.
An hour before the ceremony was set to take place in the Dutch Reformed Church of her hometown Vredenburg, on the Cape West Coast, she couldn’t take it anymore. “I burst into tears – the pain had become unbearable.”
She begged her parents to take her to hospital. Her mother, Darlene “Dottie” Andrews, tried convincing her to hang on for a bit – until she’d managed to say “I do” to Selwyn in front of the 100 wedding guests.
“My mom said I shouldn’t push. But I couldn’t resist it anymore – I was in terrible pain,” Jena recalls.
The pain got worse and they didn’t have any other choice: Jena needed to get to hospital, wedding hairdo and all.
The couple’s fourth child – Gordanlee, a healthy baby boy weighing 2,9kg – was born just 30 minutes after his mom arrived at the hospital, and half an hour before the wedding ceremony had been scheduled to start at 3pm.
“Luckily, no one had arrived at the church yet,” Jena says. “I reckoned I probably wouldn’t be getting married that day, but my mom insisted we should go ahead.”
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