Despite being in labor, Sushma Dwivedi jumped into action last week when a couple at the same New York hospital needed an officiant for their wedding

By Char Adams
May 25, 2018 12:54 PM
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Credit: Courtesy Sushma Dwivedi and Vivek Jindal

Sushma Dwivedi was eagerly awaiting the arrival of her new baby boy last week at New York Presbyterian Weill-Cornell Medical Center when her labor took a unique turn.

The 37 year old had just gotten an epidural when a hospital official, making casual conversation, told her that a woman in labor just a few doors down was hoping to marry at the hospital. The couple’s wedding plans apparently went awry when the woman’s water broke — and the chaplain was nowhere to be found.

“They really wanted to get married before the baby was born,” Dwivedi says. “I mentioned, ‘I don’t know if this is weird considering I’m in labor too … but I got ordained on the Internet. If you can’t find the chaplain, I can perform their wedding!’ ”

Just after 12 a.m. on May 16, Brianna and Casey Walko had a sweet wedding procession down to Dwivedi’s room. She says the hospital staff “went above and beyond,” providing flowers and even a poem for the couple. Staff members did Brianna’s hair and made Casey a bowtie out of newborn baby hats.

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From left: Sushma Dwivedi, Brianna and Casey Walko
| Credit: Courtesy Sushma Dwivedi and Vivek Jindal

“It’s like the stars aligned in the weirdest of ways. As luck would have it, I wasn’t so far along that I couldn’t perform their ceremony,” Dwivedi, a New York-based public relations professional, tells PEOPLE. “My epidural kicked in … I couldn’t stand any longer. They had to move the bed up, and make me upright. But it worked out perfectly.”

Brianna and Casey stood at Dwivedi’s bedside, where they exchanged vows and Dwivedi pronounced them husband and wife.

“There was so much love. I know this is nobody’s preferred way to get married, but there was such a lovely energy in the room,” Dwivedi says. “It felt wedding-ly … It was just an incredible way to bring life into the world. It was awesome!”

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Sushma Dwivedi (left) with son Nayan
| Credit: Courtesy Sushma Dwivedi and Vivek Jindal

Hours later, around 5 a.m., Dwivedi welcomed her second son, Nayan. She says Brianna gave birth to a girl later that day.

“It was totally surreal. I felt like I had the opportunity to help someone in need right before I was gonna bring life into the world,” Dwivedi tells PEOPLE. “I just gave my son his first real life-lesson from mom.”

Dwivedi and Brianna have kept in contact, sharing “mom talk” over email in the days since the wedding.

“We shared a really amazing experience together,” she tells PEOPLE. “I’m sure we’ll stay connected.”