Bride who gave birth on wedding day says baby was best surprise guest

The pair never expected Rory to make such an early appearance (Pictures: Media Scotland)

A bride who gave birth when she should have been walking down the aisle has said the unexpected arrival was the perfect wedding gift.

Rory Cheetham decided to gatecrash his parents’ nuptials by arriving four weeks early, throwing their big day into chaos.

Hairdresser Rebecca Macmillan went into labour only a few hours before she was due to marry partner Nick Cheetham in front of 200 guests at Gartmore Village Hall in Stirlingshire.

‘Every bride wants a memorable wedding day and Rory has made ours more memorable than most,’ says Rebecca, 32.

‘We ended up not getting married but we have the most beautiful baby boy instead.’

Rebecca and Nick, 36, got engaged in July last year after meeting online and dating for five years.

Rebecca at her engagement party (Picture: Media Scotland)

The couple, who live in Stirling, booked their wedding for Saturday, May 21, in the heart of the Trossachs National Park and set to work organising everything.

When she found out she was pregnant and the baby was due on June 20, the couple decided to go ahead with the big day.

‘We were going to postpone the wedding but, after the pandemic, we realised life is too short and decided, “Let’s just go for it.”‘

Rebecca even joked with her hairdressing clients about giving birth on the wedding day – never believing it could actually happen.

She did admit that the pregnancy altered some of their wedding plans.

‘I had to buy a new wedding dress – four sizes too big for me – as my original dress was tiny,’ she says. ‘My hen weekend plans had to be designed around my pregnancy – but we still had a wonderful time in Portpatrick.

‘But other than that, I was a bit naive and believed it would all be fine and I’d be rocking out on the wedding dancefloor.’

She admitted she started to feel nervous their baby may arrive early the day before her wedding as she and Nick were joined by family to decorate the hall where their reception was being held.

‘I woke on the Friday feeling good. In the afternoon we set up the hall. Our mums went to work making table arrangements, the bar was set up and we set all our chairs out ready for the ceremony.

‘Things were looking great and there was a lovely buzz but I didn’t feel right. By the time the evening came, I was paranoid, so called the midwife. She assessed me and said my symptoms were OK and I should be fine.

‘We had a pre-wedding dinner with our parents, then I went to bed for an early night at a B&B whilst Nick stayed at a nearby hotel.’

Rebecca woke in the early hours of the morning as her waters broke. She called her fiancé and then drove herself to Forth Valley Hospital in Larbert.

A bride gave birth on her wedding day when her baby arrived weeks earlier then expected. Rebecca Macmillan was surprised when the couple discovered they would be parents four weeks after their booked wedding. CAPTION Rebecca Macmillan with fiancee Nick and baby Rory

Well someone might as well enjoy the wedding cake (Picture: Media Scotland)

‘As I was leaving, I knocked on my bridesmaids’ door to tell them I was heading to hospital. I had to drive myself because I was the only one who hadn’t had a drink at dinner,’ she recalls.

Nick called the wedding suppliers to cancel their big day, and their families did their best to contact the guests.

‘Our family and friends who were local gathered at the venue to start dismantling the wedding – collecting my dress, decorations, jewellery, the cake, putting it all back in storage for the next big day,’ says Rebecca.

‘Everyone was excited for us, which was lovely. Some people thought it was a wind-up.’

However, it wasn’t all plain sailing from there. Medics noticed Rebecca’s unborn baby’s heartbeat was starting to dip worryingly every time she had a contraction and the decision was made to rush her to theatre for an emergency Caesarean section.

Both mum and baby made it through OK, and Rory Ian William Cheetham was born at 11.40am, weighing 5lb 3oz.

‘All the hospital staff have been so kind and absolutely amazing,’ says Rebecca.

‘The nurses and midwives knew our story and told us how sorry they were about the wedding.’

Postponing their wedding just hours before it was due to go ahead may have cost the couple £12,000, but they hope to go ahead with their big day some time in the future.

‘We paid for the venue, catering, band, photographer, videographer, celebrant, cake, kilt hire, bar, flowers, hair, make-up and a piper,’ says Rebecca.

‘Our caterers, Alex Graham Bakers of Kilsyth, have been in touch and offered to move the date for a small fee – a cuddle from Rory. The piper and photographer have also said they will transfer our booking. Hopefully some others will do the same.

‘We may have lost most of the money but the joy of having our son is priceless.’

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